Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof Whiskey Review
An absolute flavor bomb that packs a punch. Shockingly good.
Type: Tennessee Whiskey
Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Retail: I paid $69.99
*Note: This is a single barrel whiskey, so each batch is different. My bottle is barrel 18-7784, rickhouse R-20, bottled 10-22-18.
This one is dark. It almost has a reddish tint, which is unusual, but the gold label may be playing with my eyes. It's mahogany in appearance, which is the first time I've ever thought that on a whiskey.
Sweet and heavy, with a pretty hefty ethanol burn. I get brown sugar first, then caramel and oak. There's a bit of a nut undertone as well. This nose has me excited to dive in and see what this stuff has to offer.
The first thing that comes to mind is "wow"! There are a LOT of big, bold flavors going on here. It's not often that a whiskey causes me to do a double-take, but this one did. The brown sugar from the nose shows up here as well, followed by a nutmeg and cinnamon. This is smooth enough to be enjoyed neat, but I think it opens up and becomes more approachable with a splash of water. The water helps bring out the nutty flavor and more of the sweetness. Now I'm getting a bit of a pecan praline vibe. At the tail end, the oak comes through. There are more nuanced flavors than I'm capable of describing, but I suspect this is one that may take on new characteristics each time you go back to it.
The finish is bold and long. This gives as much of a tingle as any whiskey I've had in a long time. If you aren't accustomed to barrel proof pours and don't add water, you probably want to give this one some time in the glass. There's more oak on the finish than the palate, as well as some vanilla and burnt sugar.
If I'm being completely honest, I passed by this bottle for years. Like many people, Jack and Coke was my introduction to whiskey and Jack was what I drank for years when price per ounce was my most important consideration. I never disliked it, but with so many options on the bourbon aisle these days, I just didn't expect to like it enough to warrant a purchase.
Well, what a fool I was. This stuff surprised me as much as any bottle I can remember relative to expectations. It's full of big, bold flavors and truly stands out even among other barrel proof options. If this had a few more years in a barrel, I'm confident you could convince people it was a much, much more expensive and rare bottle. I'm already planning some blind tastings against other barrel proof options. As is, it's one of the rare bottles over $60 that justifies every penny. This is right up there with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof on my list of favorite, accessible barrel proof drinkers. Do yourself a favor and go grab a bottle.