Jameson Black Barrel Blended Irish Whiskey

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (6 ratings)

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Bottle size: 70cl
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alc./vol: 40%

Proof: 80°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: No age statement

Product of: Product of Ireland (Eire) Ireland (Eire)

Jameson Black Barrel (previously known as Select Reserve in some markets) is blended from two whiskies: a small-batch grain whiskey distilled at Midleton Distillery once a year and matured in heavily charred ex-bourbon barrels, and a malted and unmalted barley pot still whiskey aged in sherry casks.

Launched in New York City in October 2011, Black Barrel is billed as being a "darker, more full-bodied and complex" expression of Jameson whiskey and includes a higher proportion of Irish pot still whiskey.

Billy Leighton, Jameson's Master Blender says, "The Select Reserve (Black Barrel) was put together to deliver a sweeter top note to the whiskey and this makes the product very round." To achieve this sweetness they use a different type of grain whisky referred to by the code G01GPL and this is only produced in small batches once a year. The distillation method used delivers sweeter, softer, buttery grain whiskey. This is blended with pot still whiskies (with the code LPM) aged in sherry butts and first-fill bourbon barrels. To enhance the top-end sweetness a small portion of virgin oak aged pot still whiskey is used and this contributes intense vanilla notes and tannins from the wood which combine well again with the spicy, oily nature of Irish pot still whiskey.

Black Barrel does not carry an age statement but has an average age of around 12 years. The reason it does not carry an age statement is because the grain whiskey used loses its sweet butterscotch character when aged for much more than six years. Consequently to deliver the sweetness that this blend is known for the grain whiskey is used when at its peak, around six years old. The pot still whiskies used are aged at least 12 years and many considerably longer.

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 07/03/2023


Clear golden amber.


Leather rubbed with linseed oil and toasty oak with delicate apricot and stewed apple.


Fruity (stewed apple and pears with ripe banana) with pronounced vanilla, roasted almonds, majestic oak, gentle cinnamon and pepper spice.


Long barley finish with oak tannins turning dry as it fades with lingering vanilla and faint rye (burnt plastic-like and spice) flavours.


As the bottle label says, this whiskey is "charred for a rich smooth taste" - it's certainly easy drinking but with depth of flavour and complexity. A brilliant whiskey at its price point.

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Buy direct from

Difford's Guide
In stock
Bottle size: 70cl
$42.13 USD
Shipping costs calculated at checkout.
Choose your preferred shop:
Difford’s Guide

Update information/image

Product Information

Size (ml): 700


Energy: 221Kcal/100ml

More about Jameson Black Barrel

Produced by: Midleton Distillery
Owned by: Pernod Ricard Group
UK distribution by: Pernod Ricard UK
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