Heritage Barrel

Review: Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel (2019)

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s.

In 2018, Jack Daniel’s released what could very well be my all-time favorite expression of theirs – Heritage Barrel. This limited edition, single barrel bottling is a far cry from the standard Old No. 7 Black Label. Heritage Barrel starts with a slowly toasted barrel. The whiskey then entered the barrel with a lower entry proof than usual. These heritage barrels rested on the highest floors of their warmest warehouse. The result was a richer, more robust whiskey.

This second bottling sees an additional year of maturation. Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett selected 200 of these barrels for 2019, so there’s not a lot to go around. JD Heritage Barrel is bottled at 100 proof and is available for $64.99. How does this release compare to last year’s?

The nose features deep notes of vanilla and oak spice. Like last year, maple syrup and a citrus note round out the aromas. On the palate, an underlying toasted oak note sees waves of rich caramel, baked banana, and baking spices. Sweet vanilla and orange zest meet a rum-like note. Tobacco and drying oak lead into a long, spicy caramel-vanilla finish.

Last year’s Heritage Barrel was my favorite American whiskey of 2018. This 2019 edition is certainly a contender this year with a touch more spice and complexity than the first release. If you’re not a Jack fan, let this expression change your mind. Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel was delicious last year and has only improved with time. 9/10


Thanks to Jack Daniel’s for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review: Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel

JDSB_SpecialRelease_Heritage Barrel

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s was my first foray into whiskey years ago.  So it’s of great interest to me when the iconic whiskey brand releases a special edition.  With their new Heritage Barrel, the folks at Jack Daniel’s are mainly focused on barrel toasting techniques of early coopers.  Jack Daniel’s makes their own barrels, which is an extreme rarity among the major distilleries.

For this release, 200 barrels have been slowly heated, “achieving a deeper, richer toasted layer before being charred,” according to press materials.  It doesn’t end with specially toasted barrels.  The whiskey entered these barrels at a lower entry proof than usual and matured in the upper floors of one of their highest elevated warehouses.  The resulting single barrel whiskey was bottled at a hearty 100 proof.

The nose here is rich with big spiced banana and vanilla notes.  Maple syrup-covered pancakes and some oak show up with a little airtime.  On entry, that viscous and sweet maple syrup note is quickly joined by a peppering of cinnamon, allspice, and orange rind.  Charred banana and vanilla remind me of wonderful Bananas Foster.  Toasted oak, and the slight astringency usually associated with it, start showing up towards the back palate.  The medium finish leaves a lingering hint of spiced caramel and oak.

The slowly toasted barrels together with the lower entry proof, upper floor maturation, and high bottling proof have done wonders to the whiskey coming out of Lynchburg, Tennessee.  The resulting whiskey is rich, spicy, and amplified version of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey we’re all familiar with.  Heritage Barrel isn’t as spicy/astringent as Sinatra Select.  Instead, it comes across as a bit more balanced.  Delicious!  At $64.99 a bottle, Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel comes with a high recommendation.  8.5/10


Thanks to Jack Daniel’s for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.