I bought a small bottle of regular JD today to see if I agreed with you, Gary.
Around a year or so ago, I found the JD Single Barrel to be an improved whiskey............and absent that off flavor that I had found to be objectionable in the past. Now, I find the same improvement in the regular 80 proof JD............no off notes, no banana. In fact, I get some very nice maple notes this time that seem in the past to be barely discernible. This came as a surprise to me as it did to you.
It is hard for me to believe that my palate has changed that much, but I guess that is certainly possible!
I must add that, like other 80 proof American whiskies, I must only drink it or drink it only with other 80 proofers........against a 90 or 100+ proof whiskey it, in my opinion, lacks character and depth.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas