When you think of Jameson, you most likely recall crushing a pub or dive with your bros, teetering on the brink of sh*tfaced-ness, when one of your buddies calls it: “Barkeep! 6 JAME-O!” There’s always the one dickhead who does it. It’s a timeless tradition that’s left many a hung-over morning and undesirable hookup in its wake.
It has meanwhile left bros everywhere under the impression that Jameson’s portfolio is limited to its standard Irish Whiskey blend, when in fact it offers a number of higher end reserves. Most recently, Jameson launched its Select Reserve Black Barrel (~$40), which is an 80 proof whiskey made from a distinctive blend of small batch grain whiskey and Irish pot still whiskey, aged in both sherry and oak barrels.
Aficionados in training note: Irish Whiskey is whiskey that is distilled and aged in Ireland and by Irish law, must be barrel-aged for at least three years. Irish whiskey is typically triple distilled and always come from one of three distilleries; Midleton, Cooley and/or Bushmills, each of which produces house brand products as well as 3rd party brand products such as Jameson. The four primary styles of Irish Whiskey are single malt whiskey (100% malted barley by single distillery), blended whiskey (blend of different types of whiskeys i.e. Jameson, makes up 90% of Irish Whiskey products), grain whiskey (made from corn or wheat, distilled in column still, typically lighter), and pot still whiskey (malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still).
The nose emulates a lot of characteristics from the barrels, highlighted by rich fruits of the sherry meeting with the spices of the oak. Notes of vanilla and toasted wood tame the initial sweetness while the finish is well balanced with fruit and wood spice. Overall it’s a super enjoyable whiskey, whether it’s served neat, on the rocks or, preferably, with a splash of water.