Jameson Black Barrel is a step-up from the standard offering. Like the standard expression, Jameson Black Barrel is a blend of grain whiskey and pot still whiskey. What makes this one different is its age and maturation process. This one is aged in a mix of sherry casks and bourbon casks. The bourbon casks are re-charred before filling. As far as age, this blend contains whiskies aged up to 12 years, but the majority is probably still 5-7 years old. Yes, I know… that doesn’t mean much, as we don’t know percentages.
That different maturation is clearly evident on the nose. Those Jameson aromas (honey, grain alcohol, floral) are still there, except now there are big sherried fruit and spice notes alongside them. Flavor-wise, lovely honey and spiced fruit step up first. Those charred ex-bourbon barrels add vanilla and cinnamon. At 40%, this whiskey has an unexpected luscious and creamy mouthfeel. The medium-length finish carries over some of that sweetness and spiciness.
Like I said in the first statement, Jameson Black Barrel is a step up from the standard offering. It’s a more interesting whiskey, thanks in large part to the maturation process. In my review of the standard Jameson, I mentioned the best way to enjoy it was over some ice. With Black Barrel, go neat all the way. I would love to see this released at a higher proof. That would make it even more interesting.