Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt Review

By Kenrick Thurston-Wilcox

Rating: B-

Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt
(Credit: Brown-Forman)

With American Single Malt most likely becoming a legally recognized category, it seems Jack Daniel’s is trying to cash in on the hype. Tennessee whiskey is bourbon but with an extra filtration step added before barreling: the white dog is filtered through Maple Charcoal, the charcoal pulling out impurities similar to chill-filtration, and the maple imparting sweetness to the liquid. Jack Daniel’s calls this ‘mellowing’ the whiskey, but officially it is known as the Lincoln County Process (LCP). For most of its history, Jack Daniel’s has focused entirely on this type of whiskey, but in recent years they have diversified, first into rye and now malt whiskey.

This release largely follows the same process as their other whiskeys. Once the single malt has been put through the LCP, it is then aged a minimum of 4 years in new charred American white oak barrels. Afterwards, the whiskey is transferred to Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks, and aged for another 2 years, hence the ‘Twice Barreled’ label. After aging for a total of 6 years the whiskey is then bottled between 105.7-107.8 proof. 

The Single Malt
You can smell the whiskey as soon as the lid comes off. That 52.85% ABV is really making itself known. The liquid has a nice deep brown color, with some red undertones. On the nose, very pronounced, some nice coffee coming through, along with maple and a supporting grainy note. Even though this is a single malt, it still smells similar to regular Jack. The mellowing stage seems to cut through no matter what the mashbilll seems to be.

The first sip is a little sharp, thanks to the higher proof. Again the maple charcoal makes itself known, unfortunately a little too much. There are notes of coffee and chocolate on the tongue, but not as prevalent as they should be for having sat in a sherry cask for so long. The virgin oak comes out ahead of the sherry as well, and then some fruity notes trail along in the back. The finish is more harsh then i’d like it to be, though it does have some nice cacao notes. It fades away entirely too quickly. 

With a couple drops of water, the sherry cask starts to come out on the nose. The palate is dominated by the virgin oak and vanilla flavors, with the sherry cask being almost nonexistent. The finish is smoother, yet still too short and boring.

Putting a whiskey in a sherry cask (which typically makes whiskey more sweet or dessert-like), that also has been through the Lincoln County Process (which also adds sweetness) sounded like it could be an overly sweet nightmare, or could make for a Tennessee whiskey that is considered more of a dessert drink rather than an everyday sipper. I was hoping for something that would lean more into what the barrel has to offer, but unfortunately that is not the case. The nose is promising, with some decent complexity, yet is let down on the palate, being dominated not only by the virgin white oak, but also the maple charcoal. Water does improve the experience, leaning more towards what I would have liked the whiskey to have accomplished, but not enough to make it great.

The Price
Jack Daniel’s states that you can pick up a bottle of the new single malt for $70, though it comes in a slightly smaller 700ml bottle, as opposed to the traditional 750ml that Americans are accustomed to. 

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