Review: Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve Irish Whiskey

Review: Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve Irish Whiskey

jameson black barrel with box

Jameson is one of the big darlings of the whiskey world right now — Irish is currently the fastest growing spirits category, and Jameson is at the top of the sales charts. We’ve long loved Jameson’s various incarnations, and now it’s out with a new one.

Jameson Black Barrel is mostly pot still malted and unmalted barley aged for considerably longer than standard Jameson — 12 years vs. 5 to 7, in both Bourbon and sherry casks. Then a touch of grain whiskey that’s been aged in Wild Turkey barrels is added to the mix. Bottling alcohol level remains at 80 proof.

While there’s nothing specifically “black” about Black Barrel, it’s a considerably different experience than standard label Jameson. The nose is rich, Bourbon-like, with vanilla and toasty oak notes. The body is creamy and impressively smooth, undercut with some citrus character likely brought on by the sherry cask influence. The finish offers grain notes, like a bowl of thick, raisined oatmeal, with a fleeting touch of smoke at the end. It’s night and day with regular Jameson, which is all fresh fruit and grass, with a menthol character to it. Black Barrel, side by side, very quickly overwhelms the regular bottling. As Irish whiskey goes, it’s almost decadent.

80 proof.


Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve Irish Whiskey




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Michael on May 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    “almost decadent” is a good choice of words. The one thing missing from the Irish whiskey I’ve tried is the smoke. After experimenting with the peat in scotch and the smoke in bourbon, I almost prefer the smoke and Jameson does it well with the Black Barrel.

  2. John C Bromark on September 28, 2017 at 4:45 am

    The whiskey run down my throat like it was on the coattails of angels and finished like a lullaby my grandmother would sing to me as a baby; warm, snug, and cozy…and wanting more.

  3. Ken Bouchard on April 20, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Is it possible to purchase a cask of Bushmills Black Barrel ? If so, how does one go about it?

    Respectfully Yours,

    Ken Bouchard

    • Christopher Null on April 20, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      Ken: The BUY IT NOW link on the review above will get you to a page where you can purchase a bottle. Thanks.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.