Jack Daniels Just announced the eighth and ninth entries for a distillery series of experimental whiskey: Toasted Maple Barrel Rye and Toasted Barrel Finished Rye. It’s available now, but only in Tennessee. Here’s everything you need to know about Interesting new entrants.
You already know that the Lynchburg, TN, distillery produces the most popular American whiskey on the planet. Old No. 7 with its classic black label in white lettering, and is instantly recognizable in bars and bottle shops from Nashville to Nairobi. However, the brand has been a victim of this unbridled success.
In an age when an increasing number of wine drinkers thirst for craftsmanship, some experts are quick to dismiss Jack Daniel’s as basic and generic. But those who do are deprive themselves of something truly special.
Over the past several years, Jack Daniel’s has been playing hard to strength with a parade of high-end bottles and limited edition bottles. Among them, the Distillery Series is a line of liquids dedicated exclusively to experimenting – showcasing bold-flavored whiskeys they’ve never done before and likely won’t do again.
The latest additions have tampered with roasting barrels in order to achieve this result. It makes sense, because the majority of the flavor in your favorite whiskey comes from the barrels it’s settled in. For American whiskey drinkers, that includes charred oak: Coopers burn the hell out of these suckers until the inside of the barrel turns black by midnight. However, these two new flavors are finished in casks that have only experienced roasting, allowing for more subtle flavors to emerge.
“At Jack Daniel’s, we pride ourselves in controlling every aspect of the whiskey making process, from growing our own yeast to making our own barrels,” explains lead distiller Chris Fletcher. “We take [our own] Coopage gives us an unparalleled ability to experiment with specs to see how different materials and technologies can impart new flavors and aromas.”
The roasted maple barrel was originally heated in March of 2017, then fed into highly roasted maple barrels four years later. Bottled at 101 proof, it confidently carries candy and savory to the palate. Perhaps the power of suggestibility, but the slightest hint of maple syrup seems to persist at the end.
Toasted Barrel Finished Rye was selected by Fletcher’s assistant assistant, Lexie Phillips (her husband, inner taster, Josh Phillips was actually responsible for choosing the former, #8). It was set in the summer of 2014 and reheated in toasted oak in the fall of 2019. It’s also packaged in 101 proofs, a sip spicier than its maple counterpart. The mouth is covered with rich molasses that mixes easily with Tennessee BBQ.
“[Both of] These rye whiskeys made from barrels are the result of experimentation,” Fletcher adds. “We believe they stand out as truly unique offerings that reflect the spirit of craftsmanship and innovation we bring here at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.”
This is exactly where you should go to get it.
In addition to a few select stores throughout the Volunteer State, nearly all of the stock will be sold out through the White Rabbit Bottle Shop, on-site in Lynchburg. These bottles sell for $42 each. Whether or not you’re headed here expressly to the Distillery series, you’ll want to plan a pilgrimage at some point. Any self-respecting American whiskey enthusiast owes this much to himself.
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