As part of a three-whiskey box special I got a selection of Jameson’s. Of course you know we’ve already reviewed the classic, but the next two up are the Caskmate and this the Special Reserve (or as it’s being slowly renamed too – the Black Barrel). However with either the name of a special reserve or black barrel this feels not like a better more exclusive Jameson, but simply another breed in it’s line.
While we’ve yet the review it here the older Jameson’s add a lot to the line. This though feels more like the tale of Jack Daniels Green – in that it’s about the same with some variance and preference between the two, without one being the clear victor. I say that but as some metrics will show there is a victor here.
What they Say: “Whiskeys like Jameson Black Barrel don’t just happen by chance. Years of experience and skill go into the precise selection of whiskeys used in this intense and intriguing addition to the Jameson family.The Jameson Masters carefully select a high proportion of single Irish pot still whiskey and a rare small batch grain whiskey, all matured in flame-charred bourbon barrels and toasted sherry casks.”
Taste: 6.5 – While the smell doesn’t follow the taste itself is pleasantly sweet enough, quite a fan.
Aftertaste: 6.5 – The aftertaste though opens up to a much more whiskey pleasant flavor.
Burn/Smooth: 7.5 – There is a bit of burn sure, but even with it, it’s quite smooth.
Aroma: 5.5 – It has a much more spicy flavor compared to the much sweeter regular version; however it lacks a much more overt smell which isn’t as preferred.
Honesty: 6.5 – I will admit my only true sticking point with this whiskey is that calling this black barrel seems a bit odd considering it uses Sherry casks, and isn’t a darker tasting whiskey.
w/ Rocks: 6.0 – It opens up the whiskey more blending away most of the sweetness. Not sure which I prefer though.
Whiskey and Ginger Ale: 4.0 – It’s actually not that good with Ginger Ale.
Value: 4.0 – This is 12 dollars more than the original, and I can’t fathom why. Sure it’s a smaller batch, but it’s not like it’s worth the change in price.
Google Shop Average: $35
Metric Score: 41.5/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.93 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.0
Final Thoughts: Ultimately this is a fine Irish whiskey, and make no mistake you should try it once if only to see if you prefer it, but the small change in taste coupled with the price hike make this a whiskey in the Jameson line that I’m fine forgetting about in favor of others.