DSR – TN – 009: Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Location: Lynchburg, Tennessee
Mash Bill: 80% Corn, 8% rye, and 12% malted barley
Age Statement: 10 Years Old
Proof/ABV: 97 Proof/48.5% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Jack Daniel’s 10 Years is tawny in color. This whiskey produces a medium thick viscous line with an abundance of speedy legs that rapidly race down the sides of the tasting vessel.
Purchase Price: $69.95 from the NC ABC Store; 750 ml
Bottle Label Information:
“Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey”
“Distilled and Bottled by Jack Daniel Distillery”
“Lynchburg, Tennessee, USA”
“Est. & Reg. in 1866”
“Aged 10 Years”
“Maturing whiskey for more than 150 years gives us the knowledge necessary to slowly rest our Tennessee Whiskey through 10 summers. We think you’ll agree, it’s worth the wait.”
“Batch No. 10-001”
“Chris Fletcher – Master Distiller”
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 U.S. 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, in a moment of anger, Mr. Jack Daniel 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 personally 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, 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 the world’s biggest selling American whiskey around the world.
In addition to Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey Limited Release for this review, the 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 for 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, and it’s 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)
Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey
Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey is the first age stated whiskey released by the distillery in over 100 years. This whiskey was aged in barrels located in the “Buzzard’s Roost” section of their rickhouses, then rotated to the lower levels in order to allow it to age properly to 10 years old. In producing this variation of their standard Jack Daniel’s offering, the distillery set out to make an intensified whiskey tasting experience.
Tasting Date/Vessel: October 21, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Then with a splash of distilled water.
Mike and I would like to give a special thanks to the Production Manager Phil Perry, part of our very own Barrel Proof Provisions, for cracking open his bottle of Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey for this review. It was a pleasure sippin’ on this Tennessee Whiskey with you, Phil. Thanks again for your unwavering support of Rickhouse Ramblings!
Christian: In the bottle, Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey offers a traditional Jack Daniel’s aroma profile. Notes of oak and freshly cut leaf tobacco lead the way early. A second pass of the bottle allows a hint of dark brown sugar and simple syrup to join the party. In my Glencairn glass, the whiskey is sweet and delicate. My first nosing of the glass brings forth rich caramel, very light banana, and a slight tinge of floral notes. A gentle swirl of the glass unleashes a punch of bananas, vanilla pudding, and Nilla Wafers…banana pudding in a glass, if you will. This is very much a traditional Jack Daniel’s, but it comes with a much more aromatic nose. The addition of distilled water ramps up the sweetness by a good bit. Rich caramels, burned with a torch, on top of crème brulee take the lead. This is accompanied by loads of vanilla bean extract and fresh pie crust.
Mike: From the bottle, this 10 year old offering from Jack Daniel’s offers soft notes of oak and tobacco followed by brown sugar and freshly brewed tea. As I nose this whiskey from the glass, the nose is flooded with rich aromas of homemade baked banana pudding with mounds of fresh whipped cream. The nose transitions slightly to vanilla wafers and vanilla bean extract with a swirl of the tasting vessel. As it settles, I notice a wonderful bouquet of honey suckle and Stroopwafels.
Christian: This newest Jack Daniel whiskey has a mouth that is soft and gentle, with just a touch of oiliness. On the tip of my tongue, this whiskey isn’t nearly as sweet as I had expected, based solely on the aromas from the nose. Oak barrel char leads the way with hints of brown sugar, dried raisins, and vanilla following gently behind. A second taste offers additional notes of leather, the ever present but very light banana, and walnuts. The higher proof point really allows the flavors to take on a richer more accentuated posture than on the standard No. 7 bottling. The addition of distilled water allows for burnt brown sugar and oak barrel char to stand out strong. Caramel drizzle and banana pudding remain present, however it’s much more muted.
Mike: This whiskey hits the palate with a dry mouth feel and is extremely leather forward. A mild black pepper spiciness moves front to back as a dry cinnamon flavor emerges late. Flavors of caramels and tea sweetened with dark honey, unite and mount a charge for control of the palate. Leather and moderately bitter oak char settle at the back of the tongue.
Christian: Boom! Man does the finish have some pop to it! This whiskey presents with a medium to long finish that is both much hotter and rather dry than I had originally anticipated. Oak char is very strong here with touches of leather trying to pull through. The rye kick is so evident in the back of this pour. Arriving late to this flavor party is the taste of cinnamon disc candy (sweet with kick of artificial cinnamon flavoring). This is joined by a lingering jolt of black pepper spice. In the end, well after the spirit is swallowed, hints of homemade biscuits, toasted almonds, and grilled corn remain strong on the palate. The added water surprisingly doesn’t reduce the heat in this pour nor does it help the dryness. Oak barrel, cinnamon baking spice, and a touch of earthy hay dominate the finish. Long after the spirit is consumed, the dryness remains with just a touch of maple charcoal sweetness and roasted walnuts hanging around on the palate.
Mike: Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Whiskey presents a medium to long finish. There is a fantastic and persistent cinder that ignites into the chest then warms down the back of the throat. This whiskey offers a tactful and focused heat. Gentle suggestions of old fashioned caramel crème candies linger on the palate after the whiskey has been consumed.
Christian: As I have done in all of our previous Jack Daniel’s reviews, I must confess ahead of time that I have been a fan for quite some time. I was ecstatic to secure a bottle of this 10 year offering and give it a try. I’m happy to report that this offering did not disappoint me. Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey has those familiar Old No. 7 flavors, but cranked up to 10 and on a dose of steroids. Flavor is the word of the day! The additional time in the barrel has absolutely allowed those undoubtable Jack Daniel’s flavors to intensify and stand out strong in this whiskey. A surprisingly robust and strong finish is welcomed and appreciated. This 10 year offering takes everything I have always loved about No. 7 and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select and intensified it. While it doesn’t offer the sweetness I love in the Single Barrel Barrel Proof offering, there is no doubt this 10 year version is more approachable. At $70 a bottle, this offering falls in line with the distillery’s Limited Release offerings, and is comparable to the other premium offerings, not including Sinatra and No. 27 Maple. To say I’m excited that I not only got to purchase a bottle but I also got to taste it, is quite an understatement. If you love Jack, you’ll be pleased with this 10 year offering. Cheers!
Rating: 3.75 Rickhouses
Mike: I was excited to try this Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Tennessee Whiskey Limited Release, as I am a big fan of their single barrel whiskey. The nose is typical in character for this Tennessee Whiskey, with impressive aromas of all things banana. Pick your favorite banana dessert or banana pairing and you’ll find it in this pour. The mouth, quite honestly, left me wanting something a little sweeter. This offering is substantially leather forward and closes with another wave of leather. The finish is textbook for my taste. There’s just enough heat and spice to know you’re drinking a good whiskey, but the caramel crème candy close was an unexpected delight.
This offering from Jack Daniel’s is very good overall but as I mentioned above, I was a little underwhelmed with the mouth. However, the biggest criticism I have is the $70 price tag! This is not a $70 whiskey to me, especially when their single barrel is approximately $10 to $15 cheaper and more robust in every facet.
Rating: 3.25 Rickhouses