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Jack Daniel's Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted on by Eric Burke

Do you ever notice that those times that you miss a text message coming in are exactly those times that you want to answer the message right away?

I'd been keeping an eye out for the Jack Daniel's Rye since the press release announcing it came out on September 6th. It was just before we headed to Tennessee and Kentucky, so I thought there might be a better than average chance that I could grab a bottle before I could get it here at home. I was wrong. I never saw it. 

But my wife and I decided to keep an eye out for it. I mean I absolutely loved the Jack Single Barrel rye, so I thought I might enjoy this version as well. So one day, I'm working, and despite the fact that I get my text messages on my Mac and the fact that I also had my phone right next to me, I missed the photo come that said: "did you want me to grab this?"

Of course, I did. And of course, by the time I realized the message was there and answered, my wife had left the store. And when I called her to see if by chance she had picked it up, she hadn't. And I was told in no uncertain terms that she was not turning around and going back for it. But being the wonderful person that she is, she offered to stop at another location of the same store that was on her way home. While she was there, she also picked up the bottle of Basil Hayden's Dark Rye that I reviewed on Tuesday. 

So what is Jack Daniel's Rye? What makes it different than all the other ryes on the market? Well for starters, the mash bill is different than the two most prevalent styles. Most of the Kentucky rye clocks in barely qualifying as a rye with 51% of its mash bill being rye grain, a small amount of barley and the rest corn. Most of the rest of the rest of the rye is sourced from MGP in Indiana, and for the longest time, the only one they sold was 95% rye grain and 5% barley. Jack Daniel's Rye splits the difference with a mash bill that is 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley. 

The other major difference is the charcoal "mellowing" that the distillate goes through before being barreled. Just like standard Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, this goes through the Lincoln County Process.

So, how does it taste?

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

Purchase Info: $29.99 for a 750 mL at Lakeville Liquors, Lakeville, MN. 

Details: 45% ABV. 

Nose: Wintergreen, cherry candy, and delicate baking spice.

Mouth: Wintergreen, cinnamon red hots, banana, and baking spice.

Finish: Medium length with lingering wintergreen and baking spice notes.

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Thoughts: I like this quite a bit. Sure, it's on the gentle side and the Jack Daniel's "banana note" rears its head. But all in all, this is a nice, affordable, change of pace from the Kentucky style "barely legal" 51% rye and the 95% MGP style rye that otherwise dominate the marketplace. And it is nice to have other options that we can afford out there. Plus it does ok in cocktails too.


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