In the Jameson Irish Whiskey lineup, Black Barrel falls between the standard, ubiquitous Jameson and the 12 year old special reserve. Black Barrel was first introduced in 2011, and it’s composed of a high proportion of Irish pot still whiskey and a rare small batch grain whiskey. This blend is then matured in flame charred bourbon barrels, hence the “Black Barrel” designation.
Jameson Black Barrel is an overall richer experience as compared to the standard bottle. It’s full of sweet fruits like nectarines and apricots, but also adds noticeable bourbon characteristics to the mix — chiefly vanilla and toasted baking spices. On the palate, it’s lush and creamy with some grain sweetness, more vanilla, oak and spices. The finish is very long, with grain notes giving way to cooked fruits.
All in all, Jameson Black Barrel is a fine-drinking Irish whiskey. One that’s rich and smooth from start to finish and drinks a bit softer than traditional Jameson. And at a price point only about $10 higher, it’s an affordable step up.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume
CE Rating: ★★★