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Jack Daniel's Single Barrel is the only whiskey that I will drink straight, since it is so delicious. I've purchased four bottles over the past few years, and only one was average. I learned that the older the bottle is, the more complex the whiskey is, so go for the older bottles. Each bottle has a datestamp, barrel number and rick stamp, to identify where it came from. Each barrel has its own distinctive flavor, so if you find a bottle of it you really like, buy another one to keep around. When I bought it at the store there were a total of four bottles with the same information (barrel number, bottling date, etc.).
The whiskey itself is so clean and crisp. You can easily tell the difference between the lower end black bottle and the mid-level gentleman's jack. However, that difference comes at a price. The Single Barrel Jack is almost twice as much as the Gentleman's Jack. In my opinion, the two can't compare, and the taste of the Single Barrel is worth it.
When you find an older bottle, it has time to age, and takes on more of an oak taste. The body becomes more pronounced, and you can taste very complex flavors on your tongue. Also, you will get more of an earthy aroma. The whiskey is so smooth and drinkable that you can enjoy it straight or with a couple of ice cubes.
My one bad experience with the Single barrel was when I bought a bottle that wasn't aged very long. The body was on the thinner side, the color a little lighter, and the aroma weak. I'm not sure if it was the aging or the barrel itself, but it wasn't as good as the first bottle, or any bottle after.
If you're a casual whiskey drinker, you might not notice the difference, but if you enjoy a great whiskey, this bottle is for you. It's worth the extra money to enjoy a superior whiskey.
You don't know Jack!
I have a long time acquaintance with Mr Jack. One that's lasted many years. I've been there and I have literally got the T-shirt. I've always found all but the best single malt Scottish/Irish whiskeys to be harsh and sour. But bourbon is my reliable go-to spirit, and one I enjoy neat.
Roll out the barrel
One day, I was shopping in Waitrose and came across a great deal on this single barrel bourbon. It still wasn't cheap, but was as good an impulse buy as I've ever made.
Bourbon tends to be blended, like most lower end whiskey. The idea is to get a uniform colour and taste so that every bottle of JD tastes like every other. A more expensive option, and the one on the table here, is to have a bottle that comes from just the one barrel. The question would be: why?
Not only do you get a unique taste from barrel to barrel, based on a number of factors, the premium price tag means that them folks down in Tennesee will be extra careful that the finished product is that much better than baseline. And it is.
There's whiskey in the jar-o
So, what does it taste like? Well, the caramel finish that characterises JD is present and correct. Unlike many other bourbons, Jack Daniel's whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before aging. The charred oak barrels that they age in are sought after by many rum producers, who buy them afterwards to lend their own spirit a touch more flavour.
The heat that follows is pleasant, lingering. It's not an explosion of fire, but something a little smokier. It's about now that you realise that the smell is also lingering, almost like perfume. This is definitely a sippin' whiskey. You could mix it with coke, ice and a slice, but it would be almost a crime to do so. Like using an expensive wine as base for sangria.
The bottle is not as ostentatious as some, but it is nicely finished and something you'd be tempted to keep around as a decanter for other, cheaper bourbons. At 45% alcohol by volume, it is deceptively powerful. Sooner than expected, you can find yourself as toasted as the barrel it came from.
You can pick one of these "hand selected" single barrel bourbons for £35. (I got mine for £28) At around twice the price of a standard bottle, it's a treat that is worth picking up to mark a special occasion.
Jack Daniels is the Jaffa Cake of the spirits world, except with JD the debate is of the 'it's a bourbon you pleb!' and 'don't talk thick - it's whiskey, it even says so on the bottle' variety. I always think of it as a bourbon personally simply because it's more like Wild Turkey than Glenfiddich, but it is in fact categorised as an American Whiskey to enable Jack Daniels to circumvent various regulations that are applicable only to true bourbons. It doesn't stop it tasting and acting like a bourbon, it just has to call itself a whiskey.
I adore it. It's been my favourite alcoholic beverage from before I was anywhere near old enough to legally be drinking it, the flavour is absolutely amazing and there really is no other whiskey/bourbon like it. It's so smooth and mellow, pretentious types like to look down their noses at any kind of mixer being used with Jack Daniels but I say drink it however you please - over the years I've tried it will all sorts of mixers from water to Fanta to milk and it holds it's own against everything, although I must admit my favourite way to drink JD is straight over lots of ice. This allows the true deliciousness of the whiskey to come through, mixers will compliment the flavour but they don't particularly bring out anything more as you're drinking so I like to sit back and enjoy an unadulterated glass of JD - in particular this wondrous Jack Daniels Single Barrel offering.
The flavour is reasonably strong despite the fact that this is such a mellow drink; it's smokey with a sweetness that is usually more apparent in bourbon that a whiskey, I find it can get a little sickly if drunk with a sweet or syrupy mixer and for this reason I don't really ever appreciate its addition to cocktails even though I enjoy a whiskey based cocktail as a rule. Unfortunately it never becomes sickly when drunk neat and at 45% ABV it has the ability to quickly get me as pissed as the proverbial fart if (and when) I find myself addicted to the taste and drink too much! You see, Jack Daniels have disclaimer-ed themselves by calling this a 'sippin' whiskey' - it's to be sipped and savoured according to them, but if this is the case I simply cannot understand why they made it so incredibly tasty! It's not exactly gulpable as JD has a sharp alcoholic burn if drunk too quickly, but by taking the small sips recommended I find myself able to consume copious amounts in relatively short spaces of time - which isn't good!
My only complaint really is that JD Single Barrel doesn't linger long in the mouth after I take a sip, I tend to roll the liquor around my mouth to get a good hit on all of my taste-buds but this doesn't make the flavour any more long lasting. This is a shame as it sits so beautifully while I'm actually drinking, although I've found if mixed with an equal measure of Coca Cola (being brand specific as it DOES have to be Coca Cola) this helps a slightly weakened version of the Jack Daniels to linger better. Of course you can also use Coca Cola to make a long drink of your whiskey, this is the more sensible way to drink JD in my opinion and the spirit is definitely robust enough to hold it's own against any carbonated drink. I like it mixed with Welch's Grape juice or POM pomegranate juice as both of these work amazingly with the smokey flavour of the whiskey, the delicacy of the fruit enhancing the bite with neither of them being sweet enough to make the drink sickly. An odd combination I went through a fad of was JD (the original one) and Dr Pepper, it had to be the full sugar pop and together they have an almost barbecued flavour which is delicious and strangely addictive.
I recommend Jack Daniels to anyone who likes a tot of whiskey - it's easy to drink, flavoursome and feels like a real treat. I enjoy a slug of JD in a coffee or hot chocolate in place of Irish whiskey, the fact that this has such a unique flavour means I end up with a hot toddy that tastes quite unlike anything else - for a warming drink in this awful cold weather I find myself being pretty generous with the booze but it never seems to completely overwhelm the comforting flavour of coffee or chocolate.
A 700ml bottle of Jack Daniels costs around the £40 mark, which is admittedly expensive but not too bad in my opinion, however this can be pathetically expensive in pubs and bars. For me it's not a particularly safe drink to quaff outside of the house, I get too giggly and loud (not to mention just a little bit insulting) when I've had the requisite 'too much' and for this reason it's much better for me to drink the bottle Mark occasionally buys for me inside - where the only person I can annoy is him. No wonder he doesn't buy it very often, now I think about it...
***Whiskey / Bourbon?
Many people debate the need to label this spirit either as a whiskey or a bourbon and in fact Jack Daniels themselves say it isn't either it's just "Jack Daniels" and this is my experience, I am not sure that I have actually tasted a drink that is even close to the Single Barrel.
This alcoholic beverage is an American brand that is a bit more expensive than your usual brands of whiskey and sits in and around the malt Whiskeys. It can be found in supermarkets but not often although online it ranges from £37.75 up to £42.55 (at time of writing) . This does of course depend where you go and some retailers do take advantage of the fact that only a certain amount of bottles can be filled from the single barrel (about 240 bottles) .
Its individuality comes from the way that the "Single Barrel is matured in the highest reaches of our barrelhouse, where the dramatic changes in temperature cause its colour and taste to deepen further." (jack Daniels website)
The contents for the "single barrel bottle" are hand selected at, Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of the "Jack". By signing up to their emails and information service you are regularly updated with news from the distillery and also sent small items in the post, over the years I have had a passport wallet, card holder, ice cube maker etc.
I am a collector of Jack Daniels bottles and as such took the opportunity to purchase two bottles when I came back from Dubai earlier in the year. I did not get the chance to taste it until a recent gathering that we had around the house.
The single barrel is made from corn malted barley and Rye, barrels are crafted using cave spring water and all of this (and a traditional process) is overseen by the master distiller in the distillery. I do not get the strong whiskey taste that I have tasted from many single malts and there is only a little after burn. I also drink mine the recommended way and that is just with ice and nothing else. This allows a small amount of water to enter the spirit and provide a cooler taste.
However Jack Daniels is not just the drink it is the experience, the company promote that family feel and I have a sense of belonging to that family by choosing this as my preferred drink. I do not have any American connections and have never visited that side of the pond but for some reason I associate myself with the ethos of this drink. It is rugged, hometown, unlike anything else you are likely to drink and something with that little bit of difference.
Jack also have several limited edition bottles - of which I have a couple and they allow you to register those bottles on line. Again this is a buy in to you as a consumer but personally I like this and it makes it more than a transaction of money for alcohol.
A very good drink which is best served without any mixer save some ice as required. It is good as a "sit around and have a drink with friends drink" rather than "let's get hammered drink" although there would be nothing to stop you doing either. For me - and I am bias - it's a must have not just for collecting but also for drinking.
Jack Daniels is one of the worlds best selling whiskeys, there are several varietys, including Gentleman Jack, Silver Label and this one, Single Barrel.
The whiskey is hand-bottled one barrel at a time, and never mixes with any whiskey from other barrels. With its dark rich colour, it has a smooth and robust flavour, in my opinion much nicer than the original No.7 bottles, which are mixed in various barrels instead of one single barrel.
It's quite pricey, my boyfriend purchased a bottle from Harvey Nichols in Manchester for £54, you can buy it online for a little cheaper, but it was worth every penny. It's perfect served over ice, or with a dash of coke.
Each bottle is individually selected, bottled and labeled for unique character. They're marked with a rick number, barrel number and date of bottling.
It's alcohol by volume is 45%, so a little stronger than No.7, but its taste is so much richer, its not at all harsh.
Recommended for true fans of Jack Daniels.
Jack Daniels Single Barrel, this is in my opinion a very fine bottle of whiskey. I am very paticular when it comes to whiskey and there aren't many I like. But the single barrel is one of the few! The Single Barrel is slightly stronger than the normal No.7 which is normall 40% and the single barrel is 45% so it's not going to `blow you mind, or fry your taste buds' which I think is lovely becuase it taste's great!!! Jack Daniels only makes a limited Number of bottles each year (so if you can lay your hands on a bottle count yourself lucky!) and each bottle has a Rick number, Barrel number and the date of bottling printed on the lable. It just add's to the effect. This is not one of the cheapest drinks I have bought, but not more than I would expect to pay for a drink of this quiality.