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Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

A Real Gem

3 986

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

20th Mar 2018

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

Tasting Notes

  • 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.

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9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, you are welcome! I am delighted to see that you are enjoying your Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel. I consider this one to be the best value for money in the Jameson's line. I've had samples from three different bottles and they were all consistently good. Rock on!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Is this the current dried mango available at Costco, or the previous brand, which was much sweeter and fruitier? The current one has an off note.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound - Nice review, thanks! If this is the same Black Barrel I had last year then I totally agree with your assessment. My bottle started out a bit nippy but when it opened up it became very quaffable and picked it up in the sale for £30; so $50CD is a steal!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan These mangoes. No off notes to my taste buds, but I have had fresh and dried mangoes that I felt were underripe and tasted too much like pine for my liking.

about one year ago 0

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@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Can this compete with Redbreast 12?

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, it's a different style from Redbreast 12, for a different mood. Usually I'd go for Redbreast 12, but the Black Barrel is extremely drinkable, and it costs about 1/3 less than does Redbreast 12. Black Barrel is a big step up from most batches of standard Jameson.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt I would recommend someone try this before dropping > $80 on a bottle of Redbreast or Green Spot. It gives a really good representation of the Single Spot Still character, but there’s definitely some “regular” Jameson present on the finish (what I perceive as green apples).

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I found there was something off-putting. I've gone through 2 bags over the last half year. The others were better.

I haven't tried the whisky.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I guess the price of this guy makes sense, then. Regular Jameson is ~$25. This thing seems to go for about $35-40. Redbreast 12 is about $65, and the CS or 15-year versions are a notch up from there.

I'll put this on my mental list for the next time I'm picking out a cheapo at the local Irish pub during their trad session nights.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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