DSR – TN – 007: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Tennessee Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Location: Lynchburg, Tennessee
Mash Bill: 80% Corn, 8% rye, and 12% malted barley
Age Statement: No Age Statement
Proof/ABV: 131.1 Proof/65.55% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Deep auburn in color. Viscosity is thick as I tilt the glass to the side. Legs appear as tiny perforations on the viscous line, then gradually merge as a few develop and slowly teardrop down the tasting vessel.
Purchase Price: $69.95 from the NC ABC Store; 750 ml
Bottle Label Information:
“Rick No: R-11”
“Jeff Arnett – Master Distiller”
“Barrel No: 19-03641”
“Bottling Date: 6.4.19”
“Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Tennessee Whiskey”
“Uniquely Crafted | Handmade Barrels”
“From grain to barrel and straight to the bottle, our barrel proof Jack Daniel’s single barrel is made for those who appreciate a pure taste experience.”
“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 Mr. 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. Mr. Jack Daniel would eventually 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) & Nearest 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 (2008-2020)
- Chris Fletcher (2020-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. To this day, the spring is responsible for supplying the distillery with its water for whiskey production. The spring is always a cool 56 degrees and produces approximately 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, right on site at their Lynchburg distillery. They also make their sugar maple charcoal, char their own barrels, and own and operate many of the cooperages in the supply chain. As if all of this is not enough, the distillery still holds the title of the world’s biggest selling American whiskey around the world.
In addition to Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select for 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: January 6, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass
Christian: Before diving into this pour, I take a quick nose, straight from the bottle. Loads of dark brown sugar and a slight hint of the tell tale banana leap from the bottle. As I begin to nose the whiskey in my Glencairn glass, an expected (given the 131.1 proof) dose of ethanol leads the way. A quick and enthusiastic swirl of the glass brings forward the sweet aromas of brown sugar and toasted walnuts. As I continue to nose further, a complementary arrangement of vanilla beans, bananas, and oak barrel char join the pleasant aromas I’m sensing so far. Adding distilled water to this pour reduces the ethanol slightly, however, some remnant is still present. Brown sugar and maple really become the dominate aromas in the nose.
Mike: Pulling the cork and nosing the bottle’s neck, I pick up aromas of fresh brewed tea and molasses. Lifting the glass to my nose, a rich sweetness is detected. Sharp notes of modeling glue cut through the initial sweetness then subside to banana flavored candy. The richness of dark brown sugar and vanilla bean are subtle, reminiscent of banana bread baking at a distance from your favorite local bakery as you stroll around town. As I nose in deeper and pull back slowly, gently swirling the glass, I expose a pleasant bouquet of dark raw honey.
Christian: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof opens with a mouth feel that is thick and viscous, yet, velvety on the tongue. This pour packs a punch of rich flavors. Quickly, I pick up bananas, caramelized dark brown sugar, leather, allspice, and walnuts. A second pour brings an ever familiar Jack Daniels flavor to mind–the barrel char smell that is known in Jack Daniel’s Smoking Chips–floods my palate in taste. A flavor that brings comfort to my mind! Water allows the flavors to take on an even richer profile. Bananas, caramel syrup, and burnt brown sugar or maple syrup flavor really pick up.
Mike: Thick and oily, but also a gentle creaminess, coat the palate. I get a mildly dry mouthfeel and a rye spiciness on the lips with this pour. Aged leather and cured tobacco leaf expand mid-tongue followed by hints of caramel sauce, all settling in perfectly. A moderately bitter and oily coffee bean taste progress on the backend.
Christian: This pour comes with a long bold finish. It is spicy in the finish, but I really like it. A nice warming sensation builds on the lips and travels all the way down deep into the chest. Freshly baked banana bread, light leather, and a hint of fresh coffee beans really stand tall in the backend. As I continue to savor this pour, a slight hint of stone fruit (in this case peaches) pops up very late. After adding water, the finish still remains stout. I do notice a flavor that reminds me quickly of Tootsie Roll Chocolates – not overly sweet but pleasant.
Mike: I am getting a substantially long finish on this offering. Coffee flavors linger, with a kiss of bitter chocolate emerging. This is very spicy in the back of the throat with a persistent and increasing burn. The finish radiates in the lower throat down into the middle of my chest. Overall a comforting incendiary warmth.
Christian: If you know me, you know I really love Jack Daniel’s but OH MY WORD! This has the quality and flavors of the Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select but on steroids! This pour brings with it the quintessential Jack Daniel’s flavors of banana, brown sugar, nuts – think fresh banana bread – but on an entirely different level. Is this whiskey for everyone, probably not, as the proof point really makes this pour spicy and undoubtable hot. But for me, personally, I love it! If you have not tried this and are historically against Jack Daniel’s products, I would recommend giving this one a shot. It may surprise you! If you don’t want to try – no worries, more for my enjoyment because I can promise you, I will be keeping Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof around my house!
Rating: 4.25 Rickhouses
Mike: As expected, a splash of distilled water considerably opens up the nose. Gone is any hint of modeling glue, instead, brown sugar, vanilla, and honey dominate. The mouthfeel is softer and a touch thinner. The creaminess is minimally tamed and soft caramels present frontward. The leather and tobacco linger in the mouth and through the finish. Overall the finish becomes silkier but there is still an abundant cinder in the chest.
There is much to revere about this barrel proof offering and little to abhor. I can’t believe I’m typing this but it’s almost too robust for my palate at this proof. With that being said, I love the fact that I can proof this down to my liking. This is one of the key reasons I like higher proof/barrel proof expressions. I’m a little undecided on how to score this whiskey since I believe the addition of water largely revealed its drinkability, however, the price for this whiskey and the fact that it is bottled at barrel proof, makes it versatile and fundamentally economical.
Rating: 4.0 Rickhouses