Jack Daniels: Single Barrel (USA Tennessee Whiskey: 45% ABV)
Visual: Burnished red to bronze.
Viscosity: A few thick steaks but mainly slow and thin.
Nose: Smooth, but hints of alcohol. Rye crackers. Subtle orange liqueurs. Honey. With water becomes more caramel like.
Body: Very smooth but warming. Charcoal touch. Orange crème. Oak. White chocolate. Shreddies. Caramel. Liquorice. Water makes more smooth and enhances white chocolate, brings out coca dust and vanilla toffee.
Finish: Slick feel. Wholemeal flakes. Oatmeal biscuits. Orange crème. Slight alcohol at the back of the throat. Water adds milk chocolate and white chocolate mixed with cocoa dust.
Conclusion: It is interesting coming to this after Gentleman Jack. Like the gentleman it is smooth – very much so with even a little water. Unlike gentleman it never feels light. In fact the extra abv lets it define its characteristics so much better.
I’m not sure that the whisky is significantly more complex, or if it just seems so because each element is better defined. Either way it is definitely the top of the three easy to get hold of Jack Daniels products. It has been years since I tried one of the Master’s series, so I can’t do any real comparison to that.
The standard JD notes are there – oak, orange crème, toffee and charcoal. The extra abv doesn’t seem to increase the burn, it just seems to give more grip – so comes in caramel like and the better defined sweetness comes across as white chocolate alongside the expected vanilla.
It definitely is still identifiably JD, but feels much more satisfying. The more base notes such as the rye crackers style, are lessened; It becomes more like oatmeal biscuits drizzled in honey. Smoother. Still a good texture but sweeter. Warning – it is much sweeter, not sickly, but if you don’t like sweet bourbon (ok,ok ,Tennessee whiskey) this is not for you.
So, a genuinely solid JD. One that is not an all time great, but still one I can recommend.
Or at least this barrel is. I can’t speak for any other.
Background: This may be my most pointless set of notes ever. A single barrel bourbon/ Tennessee Whiskey, with no batch number listed. So it may be completely different from whatever you encounter if you buy the same product. Ah well. Anyway. Grabbed this from Independent Spirit to continue my rampage of trying miniatures. Drunk while listing to Radiohead: Ok Computer. An old album but a good ‘un.