Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof

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Class:  Tennessee Straight Whiskey

 

Reviewers:  Bobby Long, Andrew Owen

The Jack Daniel's Distillery, residing in the otherwise small and quiet town of Lynchburg, Tennessee (population of about 6,000), has always been a sleeping giant in the American whiskey industry.  No other American distillery has the resources available to it that Jack Daniel's does, which includes ownership of its own private cooperage.  Nevertheless, for decades Jack Daniel's has been content to rake in an astronomic amount of profit selling its watered down, meant for mixing, advertised to appeal to the masses, Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. (Click that link to see our review of it).

Who can blame them?  Old No. 7 is currently the best selling whiskey in the world.  Why would Brown-Forman change a thing?  As a result, Jack Daniel's has long been forgotten by the enthusiast community.  When it is brought up, it's with a snicker or a snear, or to argue the neverending "Is Tennessee Whiskey the same as bourbon" question.  But finally, Jack Daniel's has awoken from it's slumber and started to utilize its resources to make some whiskeys that have the enthusiast community perking up its ears.  Along with a few other single barrel and rye whiskey releases, Jack Daniel's has recently released a single barrel bottling at barrel proof, and we could not be more ecstatic to see what the uncut and unfiltered honey barrels of those old warehouses taste like.  These bottles are steadily becoming more available across the U.S. and are priced to compete with other standard barrel proof bourbons at around $60-70 USD.  Remember, that as a single barrel bottling, every bottle will be alittle different if it is not from the same barrel.  Bobby and Andrew have reviewed two different bottles to hopefully give a more well-rounded representation of what you can expect.

Notes:

  • Distilled to 140 proof and ran through 10 foot vats of maplewood charcoal as new make spirit before being barreled (the Lincoln County Process).
  • No age statement.
  • Mash of 80% Corn/8% Rye/12% Malted Barley.

Bobby's Review

65.15% ABV (130.3 Proof)

Nose:  Caramel and warm oaky pleasantries mingle with equally strong notes of butterscotch, brown sugar, corn and a light vanilla.

Palate:  Big and rich body as the proof levitates the liquid over your tongue. There is a nice buttery caramel note with plenty of vanilla, similar to a warm cream soda, with full oak notes in the background. A bit of fruity zest like orange or banana peel rounds things out.

Finish:  Caramel candies and oak pervade with an earthy tobacco before transitioning to baked nut bread. This finish is big and long and ends with a candy corn like note and a bit of banana foster.

Score:  88/100

Buying Recommendation:  Must Try!  The consistency of the liquid and the high proof's ability to carry flavor are impressive. The flavors are unique and intricately blended in a fun way. I was shocked when I tasted this stuff even though I was never as big of an Old No.7 hater as most. Tough to beat the balance and deep flavor profile of this whiskey whether it’s a bourbon or not!  Cheers!

*Here at WBSE, we sometimes drink the same whiskey (Surprise!) and we find that most often, two or three opinions are better than one (unless one of them is Greg's).  We like to see how our own tasting notes compare with each other, and you will get multiple opinions on overall score!  Everybody wins!*

Andrew's Review

From Rick L-23, Barrel 17-0595.  65.6% ABV (131.2 Proof).

Nose:  Dense and balanced.  Big, heavy aromas.  Initially spice forward (cinnamon and nutmeg) with a nice dry oak influence.  As it opens, sweeter notes of banana bread, warm creamy vanilla, brown sugar, and walnut develop.

Palate:  Some entry heat fades to a low burn packed with flavor.  Toasted oak, banana bread, nutmeg, crème brule, and woodspice.  Bold and dark.  There is a nice syrupy quality to the dram that gives it an excellent mouthfeel.

Finish:  Toasted grain, drying oak, and woodspice.  Doesn’t get tannic or astringent.  A late blossom of apple skins appears as it fades.  Very long.

A note with water:  Don't be afraid of the big proof here.  Water makes the aroma a bit sweeter and nuttier, but adds some bitter "grilled" notes to the palate.  I'd skip it.  A good rest in the glass is all this whiskey needs.

Score:  92/100

Buying Recommendation:  Buy it Now!  Combine the incredible richness, denseness, and concentration of the flavors with a unique enough profile to be just different enough from the typical barrel proof Kentucky bourbon, and you've got a real winner to add to your shelf here.  At $60-70, it's a good enough value to pick against just about any other barrel proof American whiskey currently on the market.

The Rating Scale

At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92).  This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys.  Here is how the scale breaks down:

1-49:  Varying degrees of bad

55:  Average

60-69:  Better than average

70-79:  solid/good

80-89:  excellent

90+:  truly exceptional

All thoughts and opinions expressed are original to the author of the review or article. We are in no way paid to express any specific opinion about any specific company or product.

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Bourbon Specialist

All Time Favorite Whiskey: Barrell Bourbon Single Barrel 9 Year

Daily Drinkers: Booker’s Bourbon, Old Ezra 7 Year

Bobby is a self-proclaimed high proof enthusiast. Bobby has always been drawn to high proofs; in college, it was a fairly common sight to see him drinking Everclear straight from the bottle on Saturday evenings at Theta Chi’s Zeta Lambda chapter. Bobby naturally transitioned to drinking more whiskey, and started seeking out more complex whiskeys in his mid 20’s. His whiskey obsession really picked up after he tasted Booker’s and Jefferson’s Reserve. Bobby is a huge fan of bourbon and more recently rye whiskeys, with much to learn yet about scotch. The sweet heat of bourbon and rye is Bobby’s biggest draw.

With a bachelors degree from Westminster College in political science and minor in history, he has worked with spectrum disorder kids and adults for 10 years. When not working with kids or having a glass with friends Bobby is probably fishing, playing video games, shooting targets, playing basketball or spending time with his fiancé. Bobby is easily identified as the short, opinionated guy that is on a mission to find the richest most complex whiskeys the world has to offer.
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Publisher

All Time Favorite Whisky: Balblair 1990 2nd Edition

Daily Drinkers: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, Springbank 10 Year

A former craft beer enthusiast, Andrew fell in love with whiskey after tasting a pour of Laphroaig 10 year and being amazed that such a flavor could exist within a liquid. With a college background in biochemistry and a passion for history, Andrew quickly grew to love the science of whiskey making, the history of different distilleries, and the exploration of flavors within a dram. To Andrew, whiskey is more than just a drink; it is a fascinating mix of art and science – an intricate beauty to be pondered and appreciated. Besides this, Andrew has found that a nice bottle of whiskey has an amazing ability to bring people together and unite people from all different backgrounds together as friends.

While Andrew can be found drinking any style of whiskey from any region around the world, he has a particular affinity for spice-laden bourbons and coastal scotches. Besides drinking whiskey, Andrew also enjoys weight lifting, road biking, and cooking.

4 thoughts on “Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof”

  1. Wow!!!! My thoughts on this whiskey are confirmed! I absolutely LOVE this whiskey! I’d LOVE to see a barrel proof 10+ year, Age stated, whiskey from Jack Daniel’s!!!

  2. Just picked up my first bottle today. 130.7°. Absolutely delicious. Easily comparable to ECBP or even BTAC from a lesser year.

  3. I definitely got the brown sugar notes on this, but it wasn’t terribly sweet. I’ll have to taste again to look for the banana bread component. Great reviews!

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