What in the world does Jameson Irish Whiskey and mustaches have in common? Don’t freak out; they don’t distill mustaches and turn them into whiskey. Neither does Jameson require every one of their male and female employees to grow mustaches. Actually, it’s a pretty straightforward and note worthy association. Jameson has partnered with Movember. Okay, now I’ll bet you have a burning question on the tip of your tongue: what in the hell is Movember?

Movember’s origin story is a “hairy tale.” Back in 2003, two guys in Melbourne, Australia got the idea to promote men’s health by growing mustaches, and through charitable events worldwide, raise awareness of men’s health issues, along with money to combat those issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity. That hairy idea eventually sprouted, took root and grew, and by 2014, the organization had grown to encompass dozens of countries, 5 million members, raised $649 million dollars and funded 832 men’s health projects.

Jameson got involved with Movember as an official Movember partner and in 2014 the Jameson Black Barrel network raised over $350,000 to help change the face of men’s health. And if that’s not enough incentive to go out and try a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey, there’s always that taste thing. Irish Whiskey in general is pretty darn tasty, so let’s see if this Jameson Black Barrel makes us happy!

Photo: Eoin Holland

Photo: Eoin Holland

Jameson Select Black Barrel is a triple distilled blend of rich pot still and grain whiskey that is matured in a mixture of sherry casks and bourbon barrels. However, unlike the rest of their range, the bourbon barrels undergo an additional charring. The bottle is a green color with a black label and looks rich and understated. The nose is fairly understated with subtle aromas of oak, smoke, apricot and guava and almost no alcohol vapors to get in the way. The palate responds in kind with an oaky, smoky top layer followed by laid back sweetness reminiscent of sweet figs and vanilla and crème brulee. All of those flavor profiles are accented by a spicy whiskey taste that brings up the rear. The finish is also oaky and smoky and a bit spicy and a tad sweet and lasts a fairly long time.

This is a deliciously sweet and smoky treat that brings a lot of flavor to the party. I particularly like the way the sweet spiciness lingers in the finish in the back of the throat. It has the kind of flavor that makes you sit up and notice that there is good deal going on here, but it isn’t going to lead you astray. That black barrel finish accents the oakiness and smoke without covering up any of the other flavors. This whiskey is very well balanced and really opens up over some ice. I would recommend this Select Reserve be consumed straight up or over ice because mixing it up with other ingredients is going to be a distraction that is totally unnecessary.

Reserve Black Barrel Whiskey can be found for a reasonable $34.99 per 750ML bottle that is 40% ABV.


By George Brozowski