Friday, October 3, 2014

Review #12 - Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select



It's been quite a few years since I've tackled some Jack Daniels but I saw a bottle of the Single Barrel at the store not too long ago and decided to give it a go. Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 was my go to whiskey throughout the college years and it typically was consumed blended with Coca-Cola or consumed as a shot. I figured that it was time to give Tennessee Whiskey some respect and see what it had to offer.

According to their website approximately 1 out of every 100 barrels is set aside to age in the highest and hottest sections of their barrelhouses. The whiskey will get the maximum amount of maturation with the time spent in the upper sections also known at Jack Daniel's as the Angel's Roost. In turn the Single Barrel will gain a deep rich color and flavor. In total the barrel will lose 30% volume over the life of it's maturation period or more than twice the amount lost  by the Old No. 7. The distillery debuted their 94 proof Single Barrel in February of 1997.

PRODUCT SPECS

Whiskey Type - Tennessee Whiskey

Age - Approx. 6 years

Mashbill - 80% corn, 8% rye, and 12% malted barley

Alcohol By Volume (ABV) - 47.0% (94 proof)

Bottling Date - 06-24-2013

Rick Number - L-19

Barrel Number - 13-3603

NOSE
Vanilla
Orange
Maple Syrup
Caramel

PALATE
Tea
Black Pepper
Smoked Oak
Light red fruit
Powdered sugar 

FINISH
The finish is medium in length with a thin to medium mouthfeel. Not much burn however the finish leaves quickly and is fairly one dimensional in complexity. The higher alcohol content probably allows the finish to hang around a little while longer but there isn't a whole lot going on past the palate.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS
To say I am surprised with the quality of this whiskey is a huge understatement. There were little to no expectations other than I figured that there wouldn't probably be all that much going on in a bottle of Jack Daniels. I was very wrong in my assumptions. After sitting with this bottle for a couple of weeks I can say that the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel is just a great sipper. Maybe I'll chalk it up to nostalgia but I'd like to think that there is something a little more than that going on in this bottle. The nose has a great balance of sweet and smokey notes which really differentiates Jack Daniels from the bourbon world. Sometimes it's nice to get a whiff of burnt maple sugar wood in the nose or a little char on the tastebuds. I love the fact that it is also bottled at 47% ABV because it really gives the whiskey a much deeper flavor as compared to the Old No. 7. Definitely recommended for those people who want to take a step out of the bourbon world for a moment but don't want to compromise on either price or quality.

PRODUCT RATING 
3.5 out of 5

RATING SYSTEM
0 - hot dog water - nothing redeeming
1 - one dimensional - not complex and can be flat in areas
2 - entry level whiskey -  a few highlights for a good value
3 - daily sipper - solid, well made product that is always enjoyed.
4 - big whiskey - complex layered flavors - amazing balance
5 - huge, exceptional, unique, one of a kind