So when I was in Chicago last year I missed out on grabbing a few American whiskies I had my eyes on in favour of some clearance deals at Binny’s, which in hindsight was probably a mistake. One of those whiskies was a Binny’s pick of Jack Daniels Barrel Strength Single Barrel, a whiskey that I’ve heard great things about even with the reputation Jack Daniels has among the American Whiskey drinking community. They’re basically one of the biggest producers of whiskey in the United States and their distillery in Lynchburg is a powerhouse selling something to the stretch of 150 million bottles of Jack Daniels whiskies per year. Most of the stuff they do is seen as very “basic” or even outright bad (looking at you Winter Jack and Red Stag) but yet they now put stuff out at barrel proof…and it’s getting great responses back from even seasoned /r/bourbon reviewers. So when the LCBO put out a few barrels at around $75 CAD a pop I just had to pick a few up to see how they turned out.
This barrel proof single barrel came from Rick L-17 and barrel code 18-2746 and is bottled at a staggering 64.5% ABV. So let’s see if the hype for this potential new star of inexpensive cask strength American whiskey is for real…
Cask Type(s): American White Oak
No. of Bottles: Not Available
Maturation Time: Bottled Aug. 2018
- Color: Dark Amber
- Nose: Very creamy and floral, lots of shea and almond butters, cream corn, green candy apple, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salted toffee and some always present-in-a-JD baked banana in the back
- Taste: Lots of spice and zest! Freshly baked banana bread, more candy apple, butterscotch, some more floral and herbaceous notes, white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, toasted walnuts and cherry cordial
- Finish: Medium with toasted caramels, a touch of kosher salt and roasted banana peel
Yep this is way better then any other Jack Daniel’s I’ve had. I’ve tried the single barrel a long time ago and thought it was just okay, but that recipe at barrel proof is like a whole different ballpark! Like with most Jack Daniels there’s banana, but unlike with the usual JD, this banana doesn’t feel anywhere as artificial tasting or offensive. It’s not super complex however, and the heat from the alcohol can bring it down a bit, but for the price it’s absolutely worth a buy.