DSR – TN – 003: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select
Company/Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Location: Lynchburg, TN
Mash Bill: 80% Corn, 12% Barley, and 8% Rye
Age Statement: No Age Statement (Believed to be 5-7 years)
Proof/ABV: 94 Proof/ 47% ABV
Color: Light copper with golden honey hue
Purchase Price: $29.95 for 375 ml; $56.95 for 750 ml at NC ABC Stores
Bottle Label Information:
Neck Label: “SELECT”
“Barrel No. 18-9219 – Bottling Date 12.4.18 – Rick No. L-5”
“Jeff Arnett, Master Distller”
Front Label: “Jack Daniel’s”
“Uniquely Crafted, Handmade Barrels”
“Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey”
Back Label: “Distilled & Bottled by Jack Daniel Distillery, Lynchburg, TENN, U.S.A.”
Jack Daniel Distillery
The year was around 1864, the town was Lynchburg, TN. A young man by the name of Jasper “Jack” Newton Daniel would break out on his own and subsequently meet a preacher by the name of Dan Call. Reverend Call ran a small distillery on his property and would eventually teach Daniel how to make whiskey. All of this would be accomplished with the help of enslaved craftsman Nathan “Nearest” Green. Just a few years later in 1866, Mr. Daniel would establish the first US registered distillery known as the Jack Daniel Distillery. Jack Daniel would go on to lead the distillery with the assistance of his dear friend and head distiller, Nearest Green. In October 1911, Mr. Daniel, in a moment of anger, kicked his safe and sustained an injury that would eventually take his life due to gangrene.
In 156 years of production, the distillery has been lead by only 8 different Master Distillers:
- Jack Daniel (1866-1911) & Nearst Green (1870s-1881)
- Jess Motlow (1911-1941)
- Lem Tolley (1941-1964)
- Jess Gamble (1964-1966)
- Frank Bobo (1966-1988)
- Jimmy Bedford (1988-2007)
- Jeff Arnett (2008-Present)
Jack Daniel moved his distillery to its current location, Cave Spring Hollow, in Lynchburg, TN after purchasing the property for $2,148. This property drew Jack in due to its natural limestone spring. This spring is still responsible for supplying the distillery with its water for whiskey production. The spring is always 56 degrees and produces 800 gallons of water every minute.
Jack Daniel Distillery prides itself on quality craftsmanship – much of which happens right in Lynchburg, TN. For a distillery the size of Jack Daniel, it is with great pride that they make every single drop of the world’s Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey at the Lynchburg distillery. They also make their sugar maple charcoal, char their own barrels, as well as owning and operating many of the cooperages in the supply chain. As if all of this is not enough, the distillery still holds the title of world’s biggest selling american whiskey around the world.
In addition to Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select of this review, Jack Daniel Distillery also offers its Old No. 7 recipe (also know as “Black Label”), Tennessee Apple, Tennessee Rye, Tennessee Honey, Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Sinatra Select, Single Barrel 100 Proof, Single Barrel Rye, Single Barrel Barrel Proof, No. 27 Gold, and many specialty releases.
To read more about the unique history of Jack Daniel and his distillery, visit Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Lincoln County Process
The Lincoln County Process, also known as charcoal mellowing or “The Extra Blessing,” is an important part of the process of making Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. It is believed that this process was taught to Jack by Nearest Green early in his life when he worked at the Call distillery. Jack continued the technique as taught by Nearest Green. This is still an intricate part of the process at Jack Daniel’s today.
Seeing the charcoal mellowing firsthand is really an amazing process to behold. Jack Daniel Distillery takes sugar maple and slowly burns it down to the charcoal that is later used in the mellowing process. The homemade charcoal is placed into large wooden vats that are 10 feet deep. The white dog whiskey then painstakingly drips for 3-5 days through the 10 feet of charcoal where it is given its patented mellow characteristics. (Source)
Tasting Date/Vessel: May 25, 2020 – Neat in Glencairn Glass
Christian: Wow! What a nose this pour has on it. Sweet and fruity aromas. Bananas, vanilla, and caramel all immediately announce their presence. Hints of cinnamon and brown sugar are also prevalent. Think of the smell of freshly baked banana bread coming out of the oven. Water brings out a nice butterscotch nose along with the sustaining banana aroma. Sweetness ramps up nicely.
Mike: With a characteristic that seems to be unique to Jack Daniel’s, I immediately pick up on the subtle banana aroma. Very pleasant and intriguing. Nosing in deeper gives slight traces of ethanol with heavy cinnamon notes and honey sweetness with warm vanilla on the back end. The nose is incredibly balanced and it’s as if I have a bowl of bananas foster sitting in front of me.
Christian: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel brings a syrupy mouth feel. Sweet on the tongue with hints of toasted brown sugar, vanilla bean, and oatmeal. Sip brings a spicy kick along with it as the whiskey really announces its arrival. Deep rich flavor profile. Adding water smooths out the mouth feel to a more delicate and creamy texture. Corn and caramel move to the forefront, bringing almost a caramel corn flavor.
Mike: The sip is thick on the tongue with a quick bite of black pepper that succumbs to a fruity sweetness on the back end that reveals flavors of fresh mango slices. Allspice consumes my mouth as it slides down my throat. Overall the mouth has a lot of depth.
Christian: Relatively long but smooth finish. This whiskey drinks a little hotter than its 94 proof. Nice warm feeling as it moves from your palate down your throat. Black pepper and cinnamon are present in the finish with a hint of mango tea and granola on the very back end, as the flavor lingers. Adding water had little impact on the finish. It remains hot with black pepper and cinnamon. Mango tea flavor does seem to disappear a bit.
Mike: The finish is very long. There is a satisfying and intense burn from the back of my mouth all the way down my throat and into my chest. It is very smooth overall and opens with a smack of cinnamon and closes with a rich caramel taste.
Christian: I’m going to be totally transparent – I am an unapologetic fan of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and their various offerings. I had the opportunity to visit the Jack Daniel Distillery a few years ago and the facility, production, and people are amazing. This particular bottling, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select, is truly a fantastic pour! The flavor profile in both the nose and mouth are pleasant, the finish is bold and pronounced, and the price is right. This product has a permanent home on my bar. I recommend if you have not done so yet, run out and grab a bottle of your own. Then I recommend sitting on your back porch, setting aside your preconceived notions, and enjoy the pour. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Rating: 4.0 Rickhouses
Mike: This is a very enjoyable pour! This is not my first experience with Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select, but it is my first time reviewing it and being able to really appreciate what an excellent product Jack Daniel Distillery puts out. If you are judging Jack Daniel’s by the standard black label offering, you are missing out and I’m okay with that because that just leaves more of their single barrel offerings for me.
Seriously though, if you have never had Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select, drive to your nearest liquor store and find you a bottle. If you’re disappointed in it, message us at Rickhouse Ramblings and we’ll make arrangements to take the bottle off your hands. We both feel that passionately about this product!
A special shout out to my Rickhouse Ramblings partner and co-founder Christian who has never wavered in his love of all things Jack Daniel’s! You’re turning me into a Jack Man!
Rating: 4.0 Rickhouses
Conclusion: Jack Daniel’s is one of those products that seems to either have its cult following who love and adore the product or those who had a bad experience (or several) in college and swear off of it for life. It is judged, in our estimation, unfairly by the whiskey community in general for many different reasons. The reality, however, is that Jack Daniel makes a damn good whiskey. This single barrel offering is pleasant, approachable, and affordable. It brings a feeling of home at the holidays with its fresh baked banana bread aromas and warm yet smooth finish. Don’t let whiskey snobs, or dare we say bourbon snobs, sway you from giving this product a shot. We think if you approach it with an open-mind you will find, like many, that this is a whiskey worth keeping around.