A raging battle amongst whisky lovers around the world has always been on preference. Single Malts or Blended? Neat over ice or with a chaser? Scottish? American? Japanese? Irish? Whisky or Whiskey? Age?
It is always constant bickering. But the one thing whisky lovers the world over will agree on is that the best way to enjoy one is with good company and that’s exactly what I had when I reviewed the Jameson Black Barrel.
A lot of whiskeys claim to be touched by fire, but the Jameson Black Barrel looks and tastes the part. The black box it comes in feels like it could carry a conversation on the weather, while casually dropping insightful stock exchange tips. Right from the packaging, it is a whisky that escapes the allure of the young. It is conservative yet elegant at the same time. It does not want to fight for space on your shelf at home – you only have it there because you want it there. It will sit comfortably next to its peers, not demand any attention and only indulge you when you indulge it.
The bottle itself? I love it. It’s neat. The corkscrew type bottle cap pulls it all together like a floral pocket square would complete a light-coloured linen blazer. The golden liquid inside glimmering and exuding a warm glow enticing you to pour yourself a finger (over ice hehe). But you just don’t rush it with such a bottle, you take your time. Admire it. Throw it a compliment for good measure. Pass it around let other people admire it and once everyone gives a nod of approval then go for it.
"..Instead it will subtly fill your tongue with its flavor and warm its way down your throat and maybe into your heart. Yes, heart. The Jameson Black Barrel is a charmer, by all means."
Do you ever wonder why people bring up a glass of whisky to their nose? I always do. Professional whiskey tasters will take you on a wild tour. Their noses pick up different aromas, some so subtle you wonder if they’re taking you for a ride or they exist. With the black barrel up my nose, only one thing jumped out – sweet noses of slightly burnt ingredient. I wish I knew what ingredient that was or maybe it was just residue from the barrels the whisky was distilled in. That was the strongest scent I could pick up. Not that I could taste the scent, but there’s this way scents have of getting their way onto your tongue, you know. One sniff and you can taste it? Kind of like strong coffee or vanilla extract. It was basically heavenly. If scents could have a voice, then this one would be chiming in an alto whenever the chorus kicks in.
For the taste, the black barrel is not harsh. It will not reprimand your taste buds (or give you a tongue lashing hehe) for simply having a sip of it. But if whisky is not your thing or you’re just getting started a touch or three of ice will help you reign in its slightly fiery nature. But generally, the drink is very smooth. If you take small sips - enough to wet the lips, as you should the flavor will not overwhelm. Instead, it will subtly fill your tongue with its flavor and warm its way down your throat and maybe into your heart. Yes, heart. The Jameson Black Barrel is a charmer, by all means.
Also what this means is this is not your Friday night, club-hopping, ratchet dancing, drunk texting. This is the kind of drink I would keep in the house. One you come home to in the evening and enjoy a glass or two to end your day. The kind of drink I would pour over a block of ice at 3 PM right before I started penning down my next piece. The kind of drink you gift a new dad. Or just one you have on a cool evening, exchanging polite mannered banter with friends and going home before the sun touches the edges of the world.
In my opinion, the Jameson Black Barrel is a definite win.