Jameson Black Barrel Review

Jameson Black Barrel Review
I like Jameson. I buy it, I drink it, I mix with it, I share it with friends, but I can’t say that I’ve actually LOVED a bottle of Jameson… till now. The Jameson Black Barrel is fantastic stuff. It’s not quite as monumental as the Barry Crockett Legacy, but it’s working it’s way up there and as far as blended Irish whiskey goes it just might be my favorite, readily accessible, blend on the market.

Like the main Jameson releases, and as previously stated, the Black Barrel is a blend, but it’s comprised of a much higher amount of single pot still whiskey which is aged in re-charred bourbon barrels and uses a “rare small batch grain whiskey” for the blending. There’s no real way for me to verify that the grain whiskey used in this is any different than the regular grain whiskey they use, but the quantity of single pot still whiskey is easy enough to verify. Tasted next to the Jameson 12 year it’s very apparent that we’re dealing with a much greater quantity of SPS which makes for a richer tastier whiskey.

Jameson Black Barrel Review

ABV: 40%
Age: NAS
Price: $60*
Distiller: Midleton

Golden straw

Grassy malt, caramel, butterscotch and a light fruit lazily make their way out of the glass followed by some nice lemony citrus and a touch of spice. There is a hint of wood and some coppery undertones from the single pot still. From the nose alone it’s easy to tell that there’s a good amount of single pot still in this whiskey.

Caramel, toffee, malt and a pronounced fruit work their way across the palate. Some nice warm woody notes pick up and the spice from the nose morphs into being more cinnamon driven with a tiny bit of vanilla and lemony citrus. Like on the nose some coppery notes come through and it’s easy to taste that wonderful single pot still character.

Big malty ending mixed with fruit and wood that goes on and on.

Good balance with a full body and a soft creamy texture.

Wow I love this stuff, but then I’m a big Irish whiskey fan and anytime I get a good strong dose of that wonderful single pot still character it puts a big ole’ grin on my face. I can honestly say that I have finally found MY Jameson. The one that I’ll be stocking in my home bar. From the rich malty caramel nose to the creamy palate and malty finish it’s just plain delicious.

SCORE: 91/100


*Disclosure: This bottle of Jameson Black Barrel was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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26 Responses to Jameson Black Barrel Review

    • Oh boy, black bush sounds more like…a porn movie…but okie dokie, I’ll take your word it’s great ummm…bushy stuff–for those with certain, peculiar tastes… 8D

  1. I’m the kind of person that gets into things comprehensively. So, as soon as I discovered a fondness for Irish whiskey, I had to try every available one, from 2Gingers to Barry Crockett Legacy. After trying every Irish whiskey available on the Internet in America, and a few outside of it, I’ve settled on the Black Barrel as my daily drink.

    I swear, it is so smooth yet so flavorful.

    If someone who doesn’t drink whiskey much comes over and says, I want to try this Irish whiskey stuff, I’ll probably pour the Green Spot, as it’s about as smooth and beginner-friendly as it gets. If I’m going to a party and there will be some moderately knowledgeable-about-whiskey people there, I might bring the Powers John’s Lane or the Redbreast CS. If I’m with my whiskey bros, I’ll bring the Yellow Spot or Midleton Very Rare.

    But night after night when I’m home and wanting my nightly spirit, I always go for the Black Barrel. For the price, there is not a better value or drink, in my opinion. And if you shop online at Cappy’s or Amity, you can get the liter bottle, including shipping, for under $50, which is a DEAL.

    You probably see I’m inclined toward single pot still Irish over the Bushmills and Tullamore Dews. It’s my bias and I own it.

  2. I love the Black Bush as well! The smoothness and the sherry influence is fantastic. I have seen the Jameson Black Barrel priced for $35.00. Will be purchasing it next.

  3. Surprisingly, just found a fifth of Black Barrel for $37 at my local supermarket. Slainte! (It is as great as you say.)

  4. I picked up a bottle of this based on a store owner’s recommendation. So, I decided to check out some online reviews while I was sampling it this evening. I’m not a big fan of regular Jamison Irish whiskey, but it works well for making a rusty nail cocktail with Drambui. However, I have to say that for the $35 I paid for Jameson Black Barrel, it’s very good. Great review Josh. I will definitely be buying this again.

  5. Compared Black Barrel side by side with RedBreast 12. For the money, even though it is blended, the Black Barrel is very comparable. $21 price difference…lots of Pot Still flavor and only a slight touch from the grain whiskey…it’s a wonder in my book. Black Barrel is A tremendous value in comparison to Redbreast (which is also incredible at the price point).

  6. Just picked up a bottle of this and agree it is very good. I’ll buy it again for sure. I noticed the bottle no longer says “Special Reserve”. Anyone know if the new Black Barrel ls the same as the old? I’m afraid the new bottle is not the only change. Still, this is a really great whiskey.

  7. I’m in agreement with Josh. Although, in Utah I can’t buy it as cheaply as you guys do ($45.00/750 ml) it is very good. I might add, if you want a great Old Fashion try making it with the Black Barrel! I use to us our local High west “Double Rye” but the Jameson is way better!

    I do have a question for you Josh. Why only rate this at a 91? I would be curious what whiskey’s you rate the highest.

    • Hey Mike,

      Never tried it in an Old Fashioned, I’ll have to give it a go. As for the 91 it’s a pretty good score. I’ve had tons of whiskey that were better than it and my two highest rated whiskeys so far are Russell’s 98 and the Bowmore Bicentenary. Cheers!

  8. Former Bushmill man that was given a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel for Christmas and will NEVER go back.

  9. I’ve just finished my first bottle of Jameson Black Barrel. I’m a usually bourbon drinker, but this Jameson is in my top 5 !. Very good review.

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