A Superlative Bottling of Jack Daniel Single Barrel

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A Superlative Bottling of Jack Daniel Single Barrel

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:32 pm

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.

Gary
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Unread postby bunghole » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:04 pm

Gary,

I bought myself a bottle of Jack Daniel's Single Barrel for Christmas, and I must concur with your observations. It was darker and thus more mature than any previous I have sampled. Exemplary of the brand and superlative in every way.

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Re: A Superlative Bottling of Jack Daniel Single Barrel

Unread postby Mike » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:19 pm

Gary, in looking over some of the old posts, I came across this one of yours from March. The JDSB bottle I reviewed a week or so ago falls into the superlative category too. It went into the bottle in October of this year. I immediately returned and bought two more bottles from the same barrel. I sent one off to brother Spencer, who is quite a JDSB lover.........maybe he will grace us with his opinions on this barrel.

I did not note the banana and overly charred tastes that I have found somewhat objectionable in the past. In fact, this whiskey is very well balanced in nose and taste. The opening gambit is almost sly, but persistent, in its richness. The spice comes on quite noticably at mid-mouth and provides a nice warming effect that does not overwhelm the sweetness. The corn sweetness is softened and extended with a touch of vanilla, caramel, and just a wee nint of nutmeg. The char is in the background keeping things honest.

I have been enjoying a tipple of this whiskey (very bourbon-like as you noted) most every night since I bought it. It opens with an overture of soft subtleness that breaks into a controlled spicy crescendo! A superb bottling indeed!
Last edited by Mike on Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Superlative Bottling of Jack Daniel Single Barrel

Unread postby gillmang » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:43 am

Mike, your notes (as usual) are excellent. My latest bottle is an August, 2008 bottling, Rick L-18. It is superb, so I might not be right about "winter" bottlings being better, and your's is from October. JDSB has improved significantly in the last couple of years IMO. This is interesting since it seems more available (e.g., in restaurants and bars) than ever before. Sometimes increased availability connotes a decline in quality; here the reverse seems true. JDSB is actually one of my favorite whiskeys today and I could not have said that before.

In the past, I have vatted different Jack Daniels brands to get the kind of complexity and subtle richness we are getting from the SB now. So it won't be necessary likely to do it any longer, although the recent blending I did of Gentleman Jack and 3 JDSBs is really good and an interesting form of Jack Daniels IMO.

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