Jameson Black Barrel

”Thin Lizzy”

Whisky Review # 973

Country: Ireland 🇮🇪
Brand: Jameson Black Barrel
Distilled at: Midleton Distillery (1975), Cork, Ireland
Type: Triple Distilled Blended Irish Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Double-Charred Bourbon Barrels
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 25-35 (December 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😀 Okay at around US$ 25
Buying Advice: 👎 If you like affordable Jameson, stay with the Crested

Colour: Golden Sunlight (Artificially Colored)


Light, Young and a little Dusty. Perhaps 5 Years on Average. There is an initial waft of Varnish so give it some time in the glass before Nosing. It's quite Sweet with Fruit, Vanilla and Butter as the main drivers. The Alcohol is noticeable. Nothing special I'm afraid.

Main Aromas:

Malted Grain, Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Vanilla, Butter Biscuits, Apple, Red Berry, Cherry-Flavored Candies, Grass, Forest Floor, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger and Pepper.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Syrup, Honey, Marzipan, Nectarine, Orange, Lemon, Resin, Nuts, Dusty Old Shelves, Glue, Varnish, Mint Chocolate, Tea & hints of Metal, Leather & Raw Meat.


Young, Thin and slightly Raw. Mostly Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour and Salty notes for company. Too much Caramel was added IMO. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, Buttered Toast, Grass & Hay, Charred Oak, Apple, Nectarine, Strawberry, Grapefruit, Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Bourbon, Dusty Shelves, Forest Floor, Resin, Orange, Lemon, Nuts, Marzipan, Cocoa, Herbal Tea, Licorice and Metal.


Short, Young, Thin and a bit Raw. Mostly Sweet but with a few Bitter, Sour and Salty notes as well. I would assume that a generous amount of Caramel was added. I find Sugared Grains, Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Apple, Strawberry, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Orange, Dusty Track, Charred Oak, Honey, Cocoa, Herbal Tea, Nuts, Marzipan and Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger. Hints of Espresso and Licorice.

Drinking Advice: No need to add Water to the Black Barrel

Rating: 79 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 6.5 (******1/2)

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies I thought it would be confusing to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I have now decided to start using the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat: Borderline Acceptable

Drinking Advice On the Rocks: Okay but on the Thin side


According to the information on the label, this Jameson matured in Double-Charred Ex-Bourbon barrels. I suspect however that a bit of Sherried Wood was used also.

I bought a bottle of the Black Barrel at the Duty Free Shop here at the Sao Paulo International Airport. I bought it because it was cheap and I had not yet reviewed it. The good thing about this purchase was exactly that. I have now reviewed it and it is indeed Cheap. Did I like it a lot? No. It's Thin, Young and a bit Rough. It's not interesting enough as a sipping Whiskey so I will probably finish my bottle on the rocks perhaps adding a bit of JW Black for additional flavor. I'm not a big fan of the regular Jameson expressions and this Black Barrel does nothing to change my mind. If you are into affordable Jameson though I think you should go for the Crested

Cheers! 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                   December 29, 2022

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