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From what I understand, Black Barrel contains more Single Pot Still than standard Jameson. It contains some sherry-casked whiskey and some re-charred ex-bourbon barrels.Special thanks to @Victor for recommending this one to me.
Nose (undiluted): bright Sherry, shortbread biscuits, buttered whole wheat toast, honey, oak
Palate (undiluted): Rich, medium-bodied, dark toffee, oak spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), marzipan, barley, brioche buns
Finish: medium length, red fruit, butter, some ripe (or dried) mango, green apples, slight spirity note
The fruity, mango note on the finish actually reminds me of the dried mangoes I buy at Costco, but that may not be helpful to anyone else. Adding water brings out lots of brightness on the nose. Lemons, green floral notes and cinnamon are all there. Unfortunately, the palate and finish are diminished by the addition of water. Even a quarter teaspoon of water thins out the body and diminishes a lot of the complexity. The palate becomes all toffee and brioche; the fruitiness and spiciness all but disappear. Skip the water. At 40% ABV, it really doesn’t need it. Also, there is more slightly bitter spiritiness on the finish with water.
This whisky, undiluted, is one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in a longtime. At $49 in The People's Republic of Ontariostan (possibly soon-to-be DoFo's FordNation shudder), it's a bargain. Highly recommended.