Recently I bought in Ontario a bottle of JDSB bottled, according to the neck label, on February 1, 2008. It is from Barrel 8-0350 from Rick R-19.
The color is noticeably dark, I compared it side-by-side to a JDSB bottled last August and the summer bottling is paler by two shades at least.
I wonder if bottling in the cold of winter might impart to the unmingled whiskey a higher degree of wood gums and sugars (from contraction that occurs in this season) than bottling in warmer seasons. On the other hand, maybe the barrel from which the February '08 whiskey was drawn was particularly good...
The taste is soft, rich, silky and fairly full-bodied. There is good sweetness, pleasant barrel char and corn and rye flavors integrated in the whole. There is good medicinal-like complexity in the taste, too, which I never get in the regular JD. It manifests as a kind of cherry-like ("cough medicine") taste. In the aftertaste one may note some smoky maple notes - another JD signature.
This SB is very bourbon-like in fact - when bourbon is at its best. The regular Jack Daniel's has I find much more of the trademark ripe banana Old No. 7 taste and sometimes also an earthy taste I find off-putting. The SBs in general, but this February bottling in particular, offer in contrast a concentrated, complex, and elegant taste.
I bought two more bottles such is its quality. The only thing that could make it better perhaps is bottling at 100 proof but it is very fine as it is.
Brown-Forman can pull out the stops, clearly, of occasion for Jack Daniel's. Since B-F offers extra-fine products such as the OF Birthday series, maybe it has decided to put more focus on the Single Barrel bottlings of Jack Daniel's. Or maybe again this barrel was just particularly good.
I would think this barrel ended up only in Ontario but if anyone sees it elsewhere, I highly recommend you buy it, you will not be disappointed.