Jameson Black Barrel

Posted by Andrew Healy on

Jameson Black Barrel, which was launched in 2011, is part of the ever-growing range of Irish whiskeys sold under the Jameson label. Launched in New York City in October of that year Billy Leighton (Jameson Master Blender) said that "the Black Barrel was put together to deliver a sweeter top note to the whiskey and this makes the product very round." It was also described as being "rich in pot still whiskey and rare small batch grain whiskey, matured in flame-charred black barrels for a rich and luxurious taste."
From that humble limited availability launch almost 11 years ago Black Barrel now has substantial distribution across the US and is the perfect stepping stone for those looking to find an Irish whiskey with more depth and complexity than the regular Jameson. Sales in the first-half of 2021 were reported to be up 35% for Black Barrel and it is now an important part of the Irish Distillers/Pernod Ricard portfolio. 
Black Barrel is a blend of single pot still and grain whiskey with the grain component coming from a unique once-a-year grain whiskey distillation at Midleton Distillery in Co.Cork. The grain whiskey is up to 6 years old while the pot still whiskey is a minimum of 12 years old. The whiskey is aged in a combination of double flame charred American bourbon barrels and Sherry butts. In 2021 Black Barrel was joined by Black Barrel Proof a limited edition release that weighs in at 50% abv/100 proof.
Jameson Black Barrel sells at retail anywhere from $32 to $40 for a 750ml bottle and has an abv of 40%/80 proof.
Nose: Black Barrel shows a deepish intensity of sweet and creamy notes that start initially with vanilla and also show a sweet candy character which is followed by some dried stone fruit and a hint of baked apples. A few drops of water bring the stone fruit and apple notes to the fore. 
Palate: In the mouth this is soft, warm, balanced, with hints of complexity beyond its price. It has flavors of baked or stewed apple and pear, that are wrapped in a nut butter creaminess, soft vanilla, and it shows crushed pepper and hints of cinnamon. The addition of a few drops of water brings out the pepper spice character and accentuates the cinnamon.
Finish: The finish is medium to long, balanced, with the spice flavors - pepper and cinnamon - to the fore, and it leaves the mouth with a warm, pleasant feeling.
Overall: Jameson Black Barrel is the perfect "next step" Irish whiskey for those looking to explore beyond the regular Jameson offering. It's perfect for sipping neat or over ice and adds great depth to both an Irish Coffee or your favorite Irish whiskey cocktail!
Jameson Black Barrel

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