By Richard Thomas
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery Series, formerly known as the Tennessee Taster’s, has become quite a deep-run thing. Only in the last several days, the tenth installment in the series was announced. With that in mind, I’m looking back on the ninth release, a rye whiskey finished in highly toasted oak barrels.
The series is an experimental one, and very similar to the long running, distillery only experimental line going on with their Brown-Forman cousins at Woodford Reserve. This particular example draws on Jack Daniel’s Rye, itself celebrated as the first new mash bill that Lynchburg has put into regular production since the early 20th Century. That rye was given the Lincoln County Process and barreled in summer 2014. It was then dumped in October 2019 and entered again into high toast, no char white oak barrels, thus receiving the double new oak treatment. The release was overseen by Assistant Distiller Lexie Phillips, and she bottled it at 101 proof.
The look of this pour has a reddened amber cast to it. The scent is like having a slice of warm coffee cake and a cinnamon bun on the same plate, if that platter were also warmed up and made of green oak.
The double new oak treatment usually results in a deepening of the vanilla flavors imparted by maturing in white oak, and that was certainly the case here. The mellow JD style rye comes across here as a thick, cake-like layer, encased in a vanilla-rich icing. The finish is absolutely the best part, running long and wide with equal currents of sweetness and spiciness.
The price on this 375ml, half-sized bottle is $42.