Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

30 May

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

Full disclosure: I love Jameson.  I began a long love affair with whiskey during my college years.  I had a hard time getting drunk drinking beer because I had a lot of tummy trouble at the time and the carbonation made it difficult to drink large amounts without blowing chunks.  Whiskey has been a close friend of mine ever since.

That being said, a particularly favorite brand of poison for me has always been Jameson.  Jameson is a single distilled Irish whiskey, though technically speaking it is a “blended” Irish whiskey as it is usually a combination of malted and unmalted barley.

Recently, my wife came home with a bottle of the new Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel.  Only slightly more expensive than your average bottle, I was intrigued.  I had recently finished a bottle of the 12 Year Special Reserve with mixed feelings and was eager to try something else.  I had never heard of Black Barrel before, and rightfully so.  It’s rarer than your average bottle of Jameson, distilled once a year and gone when it’s gone.

The Black Barrel is a blend of Irish pot still whiskey with small batch grain whiskey that’s been distilled in barrels formerly used for sherry and bourbon. This lends Black Barrel a little bit more fruit and flavor than otherwise.  All of the differences in spice and flavor are relatively subtle, but refreshing nonetheless.

I found, as I enjoyed it, that I missed the telltale taste of my old favorite.  Although I did not hate Black Barrel, by any means, it lacked a bit of the harsh and aggressive taste that I have grown to love.  It is a cocktail party whiskey, a garden party whiskey, not a cowboy’s whiskey.  Still, at its price point it is a very worthy drink and I would recommend it to anyone.

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