Jack Daniel’s single barrel rye (45% ABV)
Star rating: 4/5
Jack Daniel’s is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable whiskey brands in the world. The distillery’s origin has an uncomfortable story to tell, with Jasper ‘Jack’ Newton Daniel learning in 1864 how to make whiskey from an enslaved man by the name of Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green.
Two years later the now famous Jack Daniel Distillery became the first registered distillery in the US, with the plant opening shortly after near Cave Spring Hollow.
Fast forward to the 20th century and Jack Daniel wins a gold medal at the 1904 World’s Fair for his now famous Old No.7 whiskey.
He wasn’t able to enjoy his success for long though. Two years later, Jack booted his safe in frustration, broke his toe and died a year later as the injury worsened. That’s right, the Jack Daniel died of a broken toe.
Inevitably, prohibition hit the company hard. Whiskey was stored in warehouses across the country until the law was repealed in 1933.
Production didn’t resume immediately as the nation scrambled and fought over the finest ingredients available for distillation – Jack Daniel’s didn’t want to compromise.
The second shutdown of production came during World War Two. With the conflict reaching its peak in 1944, the distillery halted production in order to redirect supplies to the war effort.
It was post war that the distillery began its coming of age, when Jack Daniel’s started being associated with the movers and shakers of music.
Frank Sinatra was first introduced to the whiskey in 1947 in a bar in New York, in the decades afterwards more and more musicians would be pictured with a bottle on stage, JD was the libation loosening the lips of some of the most famous rock stars of the day.
With Jack Daniel’s’ reputation firmly established, the brand are now free to have fun and experiment. The distillery hosts an annual barbecue competition – if that’s not kicking back and enjoying the spoils of victory, then what is?
The distillery’s single barrel rye expression has a nose bursting with buttered bananas, cracked black pepper and dripping caramel.
The palate is nutty, reintroducing bananas alongside citrus fruits and a whisper of fresh popcorn, rye spice looms in the background with cinnamon and oak.
The finish is simple, long and peppery, fading out gently and encouraging another glass.
The perfect pour
The Jack Daniel’s single barrel rye is a delight to sip on the rocks and makes an interesting old fashioned owing to its favouring of fruit over pepper.
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This review was last updated in June 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.