Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

2 X Jameson - Part II

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



7th Sep 2015

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 23
  • Taste: 24
  • Finish: 22
  • Balance: 21

Best price to buy online:

Tasting Notes by talexander

This expression has recently arrived at the LCBO (I think it was previously available only in NY for some reason). With this one, the pot still is blended with "small-batch" grain whiskeys (with a higher ratio of pot still), and matured in a combination of American oak sherry casks and flame-charred bourbon barrels. Information and tasting notes are printed stylishly across the entire cardboard box, in text that is almost the same colour as the background - very annoying.

The colour is a full gold - perhaps a slight hint darker than the standard Jameson. On the nose, buttered toast, tropical fruits, plums, grapeseed oil. Grassy and savoury - an herb garden. Hints of oak, with caramel and vanilla. Nutty. More barley sugar with water. Very nice cereal notes - you can tell there is more pot-still in this than in the standard Jameson.

Rich and round on the palate with an oaky pull; also apples, pears, strawberries and papaya. As with the nose, caramel and vanilla come with the charred casks. Some lovely spice. Juicy and mouth-watering, more so with water. Fuller than the standard blend.

The finish is not as furry as the standard Jameson but not perfect: more herbs, sherry and oak with late-arriving apple and spice. This is quite delicious, a much stronger offering than the standard Jameson (but quite a bit more expensive in Ontario: $32 vs. $50) Tasting them side-by-side, there is no contest - the Black Barrel is a very fine whiskey indeed. Dominic Roskrow scores this a 90, and Jim Murray scores this a 91.5.


Whisky details




Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel




Pale Gold



Victor wrote:

Thanks for a fine review, @talexander.

I was surprised at how well this Jameson Black Barrel works. In my view the Jameson Black Barrel Reserve currently represents (in my locale) very good value for money, maybe the best value for money, in the Jameson line.

08 September 2015 00:32

talexander wrote:

I would agree with you. Though, depending on how you define value for money, the 2009 Rarest Vintage Reserve was worth every penny of that $300.

But speaking more realistically, I'm not giving up on new Master Distiller Brian Nation yet. Even though I was disappointed with the 2014 Midleton Very Rare (which, though it had his signature on it, was distilled by Barry Crocket at least 12 years prior), and the standard Jameson hasn't improved, I'm over the moon for so many Midleton products that I remain loyal.

08 September 2015 00:41

OlJas wrote:


09 September 2015 20:13

talexander wrote:

Yeah, it's hard to describe - like an off-putting roughness that just kind of...I don't know...feels furry. I dunno how else to put it!

09 September 2015 20:17

OlJas wrote:

Well, I just picked up a small (200 ml) bottle as part of a three-pack sampler that must owe its existence to the holiday season, so I'll be able to investigate this fur as you speak of. Nice label for it.

17 November 2015 02:23

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