Jack Daniel’s doesn’t exactly have a tenured history when it comes to rye whiskey. In fact, I’d venture to guess that most folks don’t even realize the Tennessee distilling giant produces it. The overwhelming popularity of last year’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye hasn’t necessarily translated to growing interest in the brand’s other two rye offerings, either. The pricier of the two is a single barrel product bottled at 94 proof and tends to sell for around $50. Other than that and a 70% rye mash bill, details are scarce, with Jack Daniel’s website merely mentioning that it’s their first new recipe since Prohibition. I picked up a 375ml bottle on sale last month and recently finished it. You know what that means…
Bottle Info: Rick L-23, Barrel 18-5483, Bottled 8/14/18
Nose: Banana cream and dark brown sugar round out a backbone of slight to moderately medicinal cherry with some vanilla. Get an approximation of clove and medium roast coffee amidst a backbone of sweet, mellow oakiness. Has the faintest trace of lime, but I have to dig for it.
Palate: Medium mouthfeel. Dried pomegranate/blackberry meet a molasses-forward oak note. Has a sweet, damp earthiness to it, like having old sweets outside on a rainy day. Chalkiness on the back akin to mocha, but with a light herbal breeze and mild lemon/lime essence to offset it. Medicinal fruit quality wavers throughout.
Finish: Respectable length. Cherry and citrus residuals set the stage before a restrained pepper spice kicks in. Traces of vanilla extract with melting chocolate close the experience out.
I’ll come out and say it: If this is an indication of what the aforementioned Barrel Proof Rye was like, then add me to the list of people begging Jack Daniel’s to make it a permanent addition to their portfolio. The whiskey itself is quite solid and reveals itself as a versatile pour thanks to the balance of age and grain. A nice hit of dried fruits and discrete rye spices turn out a pour that’s just as easy to enjoy as it is to pick out in a side-by-side tasting. It took me a little over a month to finish my 375ml bottle, which is fast by my standards. It’s also a testament to just how fun this whiskey is to drink. And at the end of the day, what more can you ask for?