Jack Daniel’s

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.

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.

Weekly Whiskey News Roundup 8/12/16

Welcome to our inaugural weekly news roundup.  Every week or so, I’ll share any whisky news that hits my inbox in a short post.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about adding to the blog for a while.  With dental surgery curbing my whisky tasting for a few days, I figured now is as good a time as any to start.

  • New expressions of Glen Grant are hitting the U.S. market.  Glen Grant released a 12-year-old expression this past June, and an 18-year-old single malt is expected to hit shelves this October.  SRP for the latter is $119.99.  This announcement comes as their Master Distiller, Dennis Malcolm, was appointed “Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” by Queen Elizabeth.
  • Glenmorangie brings their Legends Collection to the U.S (sort of).  Starting August 10th and lasting for three months, Glenmo fans can taste and buy Duthac, Tayne and the most recent release Tarlogan at the International Shoppes Duty Free store at JFK Airport in NYC.
  • Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel program get a personal touch.  Dubbed the “Personal Collection,” Jack Daniel’s expansion of their Single Barrel program now allows customers to pick out their own barrel of the Tennessee Whiskey.  The new program is similar to the single barrel selections of other distilleries wherein the customer can come in and pick from a selection of barrels chosen by Master Distiller Jeff Arnett.  Can’t make the trip to Lynchburg, TN?  Jack Daniel’s distillery will ships samples to the customer to choose from.
  • The Cooper’s Croze: a new expression of Jameson soon arrives in the U.S.  The Cooper’s Croze is the first in a series of three whiskies that pay homage to different aspects of whiskey-making.  Created by Midleton Distillery Head Cooper Ger Buckley,  the new Irish whiskey is named after the tool used to make the groove where the head of the barrel is positioned in order to seal the barrel.  The new expression hits shelves this August for an SRP of $69.99.