Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. It's the stereotypical favorite whiskey of motorcycle gang toughs doing shots in a dusty roadside joint and the on-stage bottle for the manliest of the rock & roll set. Still, it’s a gentle whiskey. A gentle whiskey with a pop culture presence that most brands would kill for. It’s the largest selling American Whiskey in the world. And…
And it’s not very good. Is it terrible? No. I’ve had much worse. But it isn’t good by a long stretch.
One thing it does have going for it, if you are into this sort of thing, is that mixes well with cola. I think that might be one of the reasons it’s in every bar in North America. It’s easier to say a “Jack and Coke” than “whiskey and Coke” or “bourbon and Coke.” When people specify a brand of liquor, bars tend to keep it on hand. Even if it’s just so they can upcharge them for it.
A couple of years ago when I reviewed Jack Daniel’s I found it disappointing. It was gentle and sweet. But that’s all it was. At the time I wondered to myself what it might be like if it were a little less gentle. As it stands, there is more water in a bottle of Jack Daniel’s than there is whiskey. What might it be like if there were less water? Or none at all?
Well Brown-Foreman, producers of Jack Daniel’s, must have read my mind because a few months ago they released a Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof brand extension. I’d had my eye on it for a while and finally decided to pull the trigger.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof
Purchase info: $55.99, 750 mL bottle. Total Wine, Burnsville, MN
Details: 65.05% ABV. Rick No: R-32. Barrel No: 15-4923. Bottling Date: 9-9-15.
Nose: Dusty oak, cinnamon and raw almond with a bit of fruitiness underneath.
Mouth: Sweet, hot and spicy. Cinnamon, cloves, maple and brown sugar play nicely with a tasty nuttiness.
Finish: Very long and warm. lingering heat and sweet maple nuttiness.
With water: Not as hot, sweeter and more pronounced fruitiness.
Thoughts: This is really good. Much more so than I would have expected. I think this is well worth the $55 I paid for it. Especially at barrel strength. I’m loving this one.
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