Bottle: classic recognizable square bottle style that screams jack daniels even if it didn’t have a label attached.
Huge nose of corn and wood backed with toffee and some sort of candy shop sort of quality. Not as thick as a typical bourbon, but still complex and shooting in different directions. Hay, corncobs, lacquer, honeycomb and fresh spearmint. A smattering of charred bbq sauce and heavily charred oak. Red licorice is hiding far in the back, beside some sourness of spoiled dairy. As opposed to most thick, chunky bourbons, this is a little bit vacuous.
Once again, light and thinner than expected. Lots of brown sugar and that wonderful candy store. Juicy fruit, licorice and foamy bananas. Unmistakable heavy charred wood and corn. Toffee and caramel are balanced out with a finish of toasted bread and easy on the pepper.
This starts with 100% grade A yellow dent corn. After milling, this is cooked in iron free cave water that runs just beside the distillery itself. After the corn whiskey is cooked, the blender adds the rye and barley and continues to cook at a lower temperature, which is more accommodating to their specific grains. The actual mash bill is said to be 80% corn, 8% rye and 12% malted barley, which keeps this whiskey a bit sweeter than most. All these grains are procured through farms in the American Midwest.
The yeast used to convert all these sugars into alcohol is actually a strain created before prohibition and is kept on three different properties and watched by a microbiologist to ensure the health and quality of the strain. This mix is fermented from four to six days before being pumped into column stills and brought up to 70% alcohol. It is then filtered through maple charcoal and placed in heavily charred barrels used for their first time.
Those barrels enter one of 81 warehouses and will sit undisturbed four at least four years, until deemed ready to be poured and blended to taste. There is no climate control in these warehouses. Mother nature controls the wood/grain interaction, naturally. Each barrel holds roughly 240 bottles per, and the current inventory sits just under 2 million barrels. Brown-forman has their own plot of land to grow their white oak and they own their own cooperage to make the barrels. Brown-forman controls almost every step taken place in a bottle of jack daniels.
Overall score: 89
This is just as fine a sipper as a mixer. Holds well with an ice cube.