Brown-Forman

Jack Daniel’s Rye Whiskey Review

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s


Jack fans rejoice, for the the planets have aligned – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey is finally upon us.  Over the last couple of years, the brand has released unaged, rested, and single barrel rye whiskies using their first new mash bill since Prohibition.  The single barrel expressions can vary in flavor, while the unaged and rested ryes were previews of what was to come.  This new batched rye whiskey is the mass market release that Brown-Forman was aiming for.

Bottled at a hearty 90 proof, Jack Daniel’s Rye comes from a mash bill of 70% rye, 18% corn, and 12% malted barley.  Like it’s world famous black label sibling, Jack Daniel’s Rye is charcoal filtered before maturation.

On the nose, rye grain cuts through caramel-topped banana ice cream.  A whiff of fresh ginger arrives with a little airtime.  Taste-wise, rich maple syrup hits the palate initially, followed by a dual blast of rye grain and a myriad of baking spices.  Waves of creamy vanilla calm the spices down.  The medium finish plays on the sweet and spicy theme that defines this rye whiskey.  

Kudos to the folks at Jack Daniel’s for putting together a great tasting and affordable rye whiskey.  The suggested retail price for a bottle is $26.99, just a few dollars more than the famous black label.  Fans of Jack who didn’t want to pay the $50 premium for the single barrel rye should reach for this release.  It’s damn near half the price and delivers a solid experience. 7.5/10

Thanks to Brown Forman for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Old Forester Statesman Bourbon Review


When the trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle debuted online, I literally jumped for joy.  Kingsman was an insane thrill ride.  It’s sort a of 007 on speed all the while winking to the audience.  The sequel, which opens in theatres this Friday, looks to be even wilder.

Movie tie-ins are nothing new.  Sometimes they seemed forced, but every now and then they’re done right.  In the first film, the cover for the secret organization was a tailor’s shop.  In the new film, their American counterpart’s cover: a Kentucky bourbon distillery.  The filmmakers teamed up with none other than Old Forester to create a quality bourbon that would fit right in with the over-the-top world of The Kingsman.

Not that the bourbon is over-the-top.  Well, maybe a little.  This ain’t the Old Forester you’re used to.

The nose is notably spicier than the standard Old Forester.  There is lots of oak spice, which makes me think a lot of the barrels for this release were pulled from upper warehouse floors.  Some hot cocoa, vanilla extract and caramel balance out that spice.  On entry, a sort of spiced vanilla custard, the kind topped with ground cinnamon, plays strongly and is complimented by orange zest.  Some baking spice and a hint of leather on the midpalate add more complexity.  The finish is long, with orange dreamsicle and mint lingering.

Old Forester set out to make a whiskey that balanced spice and heat, and they’ve succeeded.  The volume’s turned up from the standard Old Forester flavor profile, but is still built around the distillery’s DNA.  The whiskey is both familiar and new.  I know what I’m sneaking into the theatre when I watch this film.  7.5/10

Oldforester.com

Old Forester 1920 Bourbon Review

Image courtesy of Old Forester


Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style is the third entry in the brand’s Whiskey Row series, following Old Forester 1870 and Old Forester 1897.  The bourbon is an homage to the distillation of Old Forester during Prohibition as a medicinal whiskey.  It is bottled 115 proof and available for about $60 a bottle.  The 115 bottling proof featured here is what Brown-Forman calls vintage barrel strength. 

The nose features deep aromas of medium brown sugar, caramelized cherries and apples, vanilla cream, pie crust, and oak spice.  Taste-wise, Old Forester 1920 comes across as rich, with notes of spiced caramel, vanilla bean, chocolate covered almonds, and cinnamon sugar, followed by hints of white pepper and sweet corn mash.  The finish is long and warm, with caramel and some drying oak spice.

Old Forester’s Whiskey Row series seems to get better with each release, and 1920 is no exception.  This may just be my favorite regular bottling of Old Forester.  It’s rich and intense, and priced just right at about $60.  The high proof adds a slight brightness to the Old Forester flavor profile, while at the same time gives us a richer bourbon.  Very well done.  8.5/10

Thanks to Brown-Forman for the sample!  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.