…Jameson Black Barrel!
Until the summer of 2016 this whiskey was known as Jameson Select Reserve, but now the whiskey has been renamed Black Barrel and moved from the famous green bottle to a clear bottle, believed to be more in line with the early Jameson bottles.
Last week, this whiskey won the Irish Whiskey Award for Best Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60). The award is well deserved, Black Barrel is one of the finest expressions under the Jameson umbrella, and was one of my favourite whiskeys to delve into when I started out.
This is a blend of Irish Pot Still and Irish Grain whiskeys, with a small batch whiskey also in the mix, created from a mash bill of both malted and un-malted barley, distilled through column stills after leaving the wash still. The whiskeys are matured in ex-Bourbon and sherry casks, with a small proportion being matured in double charred ex-bourbon barrels.
Black barrel is the only whiskey in the Jameson portfolio to use double charred ex-bourbon barrels. Charring creates an active layer of carbon on the inside of the barrel, and by invigorating, or re-charring, the barrel, even more sweetness and toasted wood can be imparted onto the spirit, further developing the complexity of the whiskey.
I’m a huge fan of this whiskey for its smoothness and sweetness, but also because the nose is full of exotic fruits like mango and papaya which I don’t believe carry through to the palate. If you’re ever in the Jameson Distillery Bow Street, or the Jameson Experience Midleton, I’d recommend checking out their cask-strength version, either at the bar or pour your very own bottle straight from the cask! This is even more intense, smooth and creamy; a gorgeous whiskey for all tastes!