Whiskey review: Jameson Black Barrel

Category: Blended Pot Still and Grain Irish Whiskey

Origin: Midleton Distillery

Bottling: Irish Distillers, Jameson

ABV: 40%

Cost: £35.83 from Master of Malt

jameson-black-barrel-whisky

What they say:

Jameson Black Barrel

Twice charred for a good measure. Black Barrel is a triple distilled blend of rich pot still and grain whiskey that is matured in a mixture of sherry casks and bourbon barrels. However, unlike the rest of our range, the bourbon barrels undergo an additional charring. It’s a painstaking process, but we hope you’ll agree that it’s worth the extra effort. Black Barrel delivers the signature smoothness of Jameson Original, with enhanced spice, nutty notes, vanilla sweetness and sherry fruit.

Nose

One of the best noses in the business, Billy picks out butterscotch and creamy, toffee fudge from the grain whiskey, peppery notes from the pot still whiskey, and ripe succulent fruits like nectarines, apricot and ripe apples from the sherry casks.

Taste

Billy describes the flavour as intense and enhanced – the grain whiskey in specially flame charred bourbon barrels delivers more concentrated spice, nutty notes and vanilla sweetness, while the pot still whiskey in sherry casks adds sherry fruit flavours.

Finish

“An enhanced finish, reflecting all the components of Jameson Original, smooth and mellow with an intense and rich finish.”

So says Billy!

What I say:

First sampled neat in the Liquor Rooms Dublin during our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with Jameson. Produced by Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery, this particular Jameson expression is matured in barrels that have been double-charred to open up the wood and give greater influence on the whiskey maturing inside. Thanks to Irish Distillers & Richmond Towers for the official sample.

Colour:

Antique gold (8/20), medium-sized tears leave medium legs

Nose:

Rich and sweet with a heady mixture of fruit and toffee, caramel, wood polish or beeswax, caramelised fruit like pineapple fritters in syrup, dried mango and toasted coconut precede a cereal malt barley and orchard fruits such as peach and nectarine, very rich and full/rounded

Taste:

Rich and syrupy, buttercream, caramel sauce, fig, date, pineapple cube and coconut ice sweets/candies, highland toffee, toasted malt, roasted hazelnuts, wood spices, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and hints of darker dried fruit such as raisin and liquorice root.

Finish:

Medium-long, creamy toffee, spiced dried fruits, woody and liqourice

Overall:

Rich and full, lots of depth emanating from the double-charred barrels and sherry maturation evident, mature fruit, rich toffee and sherry influences to the fore in this expression, cementing my love of heavily charred maturations.

Score: 85/100

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