bourbonv wrote:Most bourbons run about 400-600 parts while Jack runs about 1,400. Fusel oils are the other alcohols and compounds created by the yeast that can add flavor in small amounts, but be deadly in large amounts. Jack wants alot of fusel oil for flavor and a tell-tale sign of this is the cleaning fluid or varnish smell Chuck was describing.
It sounds like the high fusel oil content is a critical and very intentional part of the production strategy of at JD. I can almost picture executives walking along on the JD tour, hearing the folksy, down-home explanation of TN whiskey making and, all along, winking at eachother as if to say "it's all in the fusel oils!"
It really sounds like either you like the flavor a lot of fusel oils imparts or you don't. It also sounds like in this group I am in a VERY small minority. Tina and I almost always have a bottle of GJ, JD, and JD SB open. It sounds like most folks here will drink it only if offered JD or...nothing.
Yet the JD marketshare is huge. Why is this? Is it ALL marketing? Hard to believe that's the entire explanation, although the marketing is dang good. Or is it that most JD is probably consumed "mixed," and therefore the high fusel oil content that most people here hate when consumed neat somehow turns into a palatal plus when mixed?
I always assumed I liked GJ because of the double LCP and something it does to the whiskey. Is there a difference in the fusel oil content between GJ and standard JD?
Also, I assume that the folks at JD would claim that the "honey barrels" of JD (did I just hear Chuck, Linn and John laughing at that idea?) go into JD SB. Has anybody ever done a private SB tasting at JD or known anybody who has purchased their own barrel? Have retailers like Binny's or Sam's ever chosen their own JD SB? The reason I ask is that, as much as I like JD, I have felt that the JD SB IS marketing - ie, a nice presentation of JD at a higher proof, with slightly less water and 100% markup. Don't get me wrong, I like the SB a lot because the flavor is more intense. But it sure isn't a "Kentucky Spirit" of TN whiskey.
I hope this answered some of your questions.
As always, we appreciate your sharing your wealth of information!!!