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Jameson vs Jameson Black Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Jameson vs Jameson Black Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Jameson Whiskey

jameson-irish-whiskey
NoseFloral, marmalade, caramel
PalateRipe fruit, vanilla
FinishMedium, caramel, spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toBushmills, Proper 12

Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two solid reasons: It is smooth and affordable offering good value for the money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey and still decent.

Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol coming behind but nothing too severe.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

It is a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

Learn how it compares to the Teeling Small Batch!

There are a few facts worth knowing about Jameson Whiskey:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whiskey is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.
  • Crafted at the Jameson Distillery in Old Midleton.

Jameson Black Barrel

jameson-black-barrel-whiskey
NoseCaramel, oak, smoke
PalateCaramel, vanilla, cereal
FinishMedium, roasted nuts
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toBlack Label, Black Bush

The Black Barrel takes the regular Jameson as its base but is aged in extra charred ex-bourbon barrels. This adds a deep amber hue to the Whiskey along some tasting notes that make it more interesting.

The nose is mostly sweet, with hints of caramel, charred oak and just a tad of smoke.

On the palate, the Black Barrel feels a bit peppery at first, but nothing too severe. The peppery taste gives way to a rich caramel flavor, along sweet vanilla, toasted cereal and a tiny hint of smoke.

The finish has a medium length, with a hint of roasted nuts, charred oak and very little warmth to it.

Adding water releases a bit of caramel but doesn’t change the flavor by much.

Overall, the Jameson Black Barrel is a more interesting whiskey than the regular Jameson. More tasty as the charred oak added value to the dram and yet smooth making something that drinks nicely on the rocks.

It tastes like a smooth and sweet version of the Johnnie Walker Black Label if you want me to draw a comparison.

Learn how it compares to the Redbreast 12!

There are a facts worth knowing about the Jameson Black Barrel:

  • Comprised of a high proportion of single pot still and grain whiskey aged first in a mix of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
  • Finished in extra charred ex-bourbon barrels.
  • Age ranges from 8-16 years.
  • Jameson is owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard along the Glenlivet.

What’s the difference between Jameson and Black Barrel?

The Black Barrel was aged in highly charred barrels

The Black Barrel is the product of finishing the regular Jameson’s aging length in highly charred ex-bourbon barrels.

This added a dark tone to the whiskey along charred oak notes and a tiny hint of smoke making it more tasty while preserving Jameson’s signature smoothness.

Jameson vs Black Barrel: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Jameson$20
Jameson Black Barrel$30

Jameson vs Jameson Black Barrel: Which is better?

The Black Barrel is a step-up over the regular Jameson

WhiskeyJamesonBlack Barrel
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Barreling the regular Jameson in charred oak made it more interesting, tasty and still quite smooth.
  • The Black Barrel might not be the best sipping whiskey but it’s competent when served on the rocks.
  • If looking for something to make cocktails I’d still use the regular Jameson.

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