Whiskey Review: Jameson Black Barrel

, | January 23, 2023

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

You should know what Jameson is. Arguably the most recognizable Irish whiskey in the world. Originally known as Bow Street Distillery in 1780, John Jameson didn’t take full ownership until 1805. Currently the brand is located at the New Midleton Distillery.

Jameson is a global name; I doubt you can visit any country which serves alcohol and not find a bottle of Jameson on a shelf. What they distill is consistent, and I would argue an industry standard. The whiskey is versatile to a consumer’s preference: straight, ice, or cocktail.

In the US Jameson sold nearly 4.1 million 9 liter cases in 2021, and globally that number reached nearly ten million 9 liter cases. Outside of selective specialty releases Jameson has only a handful of products. Their standard blended Irish whiskey, their Caskmates beer barrel whiskies, and also Black Barrel.

Jameson explains of this bottling on their website that “double charring the wood fires up the barrels and gives them new life.”

At its core Jameson has always been Irish whiskey straight up. Jameson Black Barrel is not a specialty release, nor is it really an experiment. Black Barrel is a blend, but it’s comprised of a larger quantity of single pot still whiskey aged in re-charred bourbon barrels. They are using a “rare small batch grain whiskey” for the blending as well.

Read More Whiskey News
Whisky Review: Penderyn Small Batch US Limited Edition #1

Personally, I’m a fan of Jameson. Will Black Barrel maintain the legacy of Jameson, or is this just a nifty experiment in the 200+ year history of the distillery? With that, we turn to the glass.

Jameson Black Barrel review

Jameson Black Barrel (image via Jameson)

Tasting Notes: Jameson Black Barrel

Vital Stats: Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey, 80 proof. $37.99 MSRP

Appearance: Gold foil – quick evenly spaced legs

Nose: The classic Irish punch is heavily muted on first blush. I get clove, honey, spring grass, with a little bit of the copper metallic taste. The nose is very reminiscent of springtime, it’s floral, sweet, no burn of alcohol. The very end has hints of oak and wheat.

Taste: First touch of the tongue is tart but gives away immediately to honey and clove. We evolve into caramel, razzberries, brown sugar, and cobbler. It is just a lovely profile along the mouth. Extremely soft without being overly delicate, you get the profile and don’t need to cleanse your palate before sipping this. The finish is dessert like pie crust. It finishes too quick for my preference and leaves a soft touch of clover at the end.

Whiskey Review: Jameson Black Barrel
4

Summary

I was not ready for how much I like this. The traditional punchiness you find in Jameson is not here, or if it is, it is hidden behind the sweetness of the bourbon barrel this it’s aged in. There is a lot to love with this whiskey if you’re into bourbon profiles. If you’re a classic Irish whiskey fan, this might not have enough punch for you. However, I found this approachable, enjoyable, and balanced. The only thing I wish it had was a longer finish.

Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Drinks

Charles Steele

Charles Steele is a Portland area attorney, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His legal education affords him an analytical approach to understanding whiskey and other aged spirits. Traditionally a legal writer, freelancing for The Whiskey Wash will prove a unique opportunity to flex his writing skills. Although he...