So you’ve had the last two weeks to mull over the lower rungs of the Jack Daniels line, but here we come to the top of the top for JD’s take on Tennessee Whiskey. There are very few American whiskies that we’ve enjoyed tasting more than Single Barrel and while it’s not perfect it’s a fantastic whiskey.
So for those unfamiliar with our feelings on the JD Line (aka living in a rock for the past 2 weeks) JD comes in four varieties. There is JD Black Label their signature and standard product – a distinctive whiskey with a bit of sweetness but overall average. Then comes the Green Label which is deemed worthy of sale but not the Black Label name. Here we have a risky venture, Green tends to be a bit sweeter and mellower than Black label (not to mention cheaper), but it can vary between bottles. Then we have Gentlemen Jack a great whiskey at which doesn’t taste as good as Single Barrel in terms of taste, but makes up for this in other ways.
Now unfortunately Single Barrel wows you initially, but the cheaper Gentlemen outshines in it aftertaste. To but it bluntly Single Barrel goes down like Black Label despite giving you that great first sip, and Gentlemen goes down almost like a nice scotch. Make no mistake here though, this mixes well on ice removing that aftertaste, and once there it becomes a very well done sipping whiskey.
It is said that Single Barrel shares a lot of the same procedure with Black Label but is placed in a different section of the distillery and that contributes greatly to the taste. Comparing to the Standard product it’s immediately apparent that this is true. The presentation here is superb, I mean look at their bottle and you just wish it was a decanter in your house. It’s not like theirs and JD wank over it either, you have to look to the cork to find a few words simply stating it’s placement in the distillery.
What they say: “Rack No R-25, Barrel No. 11-1902 Bottling Date 4-15-11″
So since they have nothing to say about their whiskey allow us to fill in the blanks with a look through our metrics.
Taste: 8.25 – It’s got that thick smoky flavor. It’s a great initial taste, and we love it.
Aftertaste: 5.5 – It just kind of dissipates, it doesn’t stick around for long and that’s kind of disappointing. It’s merely a split second of niceness and then just and off and disparaging taste.
Burn/Smooth: 7.13 – Little bit of punch as it goes down, but for an American whisky, that’s great. And there’s a nice warming.
Aroma: 7.83 – A much sweeter JD smell, and there’s no kick to your nose. Much preferred to Black Label.
Honesty: 8.5 – It’s actually weird here because it’s so classy that it seems in dissonance with the Jack Daniels Name. the bottle just exudes class, and we kind of wish that the bottle didn’t have raised lettering so we could use it as a decanter. Whereas Gentlemen Jack exude a southern gentlemen kind of feel, here you get the ruminations of a classy New Yorker, which we like, but again it isn’t very Jack Daniels like.
w/ Rocks: 8.25 – God damn that’s good. It stays with you longer on ice, and is the only way you’d every want to drink Single Barrel
w/ Coke: 7.33 – WillIV finds it underwhelming, but the Buffalo and DJ_LVL feel it’s really good, because they combine quite well.
Value: 5.5 – You’re happy with the purchase but it’s not blowing you out of the water.
Google Shop Average: $42
William Henri Neve the IV: 8
Metric Score: 50.50/70 |+| Metric Average: 7.21 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.38
It’s the best Jack, but you’re going to pay for it. Personally though for the price Gentlemen Jack is nice as well and better priced. At this kind of money you’d be smarter to spend a bit more and either grab Maker’s 46 or if your like most of us in the Lounge you’d grab a nice scotch. As far as American whiskies go though this is up there, and most importantly you want that bottle to hang around in your bar for the fantastic look and presentation alone.