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Roll out the (Single) Barrel, Jack!
Jack Daniels Single Barrel
Member Name: chrisandmark
Jack Daniels Single Barrel
Date: 07/11/12, updated on 07/11/12 (53 review reads)
Advantages: Wonderful mellow but strong flavour, an enjoyable and sophisticated drink
Disadvantages: Doesn't linger for long in my mouth after each sip
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...
Summary: A wonderful change from the original JD - and we also get our 5% back with this one!