review
Review: Jameson Select Reserve

Jameson – Select Reserve

Like many whisk(e)y brands, Jameson thrives on providing options at differing price points – some entry-level NAS bottlings, followed by some mid-range older bottles (the 12 and the 18) and capped by the most expensive (as the trend would have it, NAS) luxury whiskies.

The Jameson Select Reserve: Small Batch (AKA Select Reserve: Black Barrel in other parts of the world, annoyingly) is a level up from the original Jameson Irish Whiskey, promising a more discerning selection of casks – in this case, double-charred bourbon barrels. Let’s see what those spicy barrels do:

  • Nose:

See my Jameson review.

  • Taste:

See my Jameson review.

Review: Jameson Select Reserve

Review: Jameson Select Reserve

Conclusions:

Shocker! I sat with this bottle for over a year, trying it at various intervals, with varying exposures to water, air and ice. It wasn’t until I did it side-by-side with a glass of original Jameson that my suspicions were confirmed: I simply cannot tell the difference. In blind tests I got the glasses completely confused and had to start over – there was no way I could smell, taste or see a difference between the two liquids.

Now, I don’t doubt for a second that (on a molecular level) there is actually different stuff in these bottles. I’m sure some part of some of the Select Reserve blend does indeed contain whiskey from extra-charred barrels. But either it’s in such minute quantities as to be imperceptible (add a teaspoon from an extra-charred barrel and boom! – we’ve got a premium blend on our hands), or the process itself just does very little to affect the quality of the whiskey.

Fortunately, this makes it easy: If they taste the same, get the cheaper one!

Jameson – Select Reserve
5
10
Quality: Average
Price: Inexpensive
See my rating guide here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *