Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
They’re serious about Tennessee whiskey in the Volunteer State. It’s written into state law that Tennessee whiskey is bourbon that has been filtered through charcoal, a requirement intended to give home-state brands like Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel and Uncle Nearest a distinctiveness from bourbons made in neighboring Kentucky and elsewhere.
Bib & Tucker, which is part of the Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits portfolio along with Redemption Rye and Masterson’s Rye, is a sourced bourbon that leans hard into the Tennessee whiskey ethos. The name refers to 19th Century slang for your fancy clothes, and the bottles resemble amber flask-shaped bottles of the mid- to late-1800s.
Bib & Tucker has a 6-year and a 10-year bourbon already on the market, and in August debuted its 6-year Double Char Bourbon. The brand said the new whiskey is “inspired by the turn of the century, when food was cooked on an open flame.” It’s aged for six years in new American oak, then at least five more months in a second, heavily charred and smoked barrel.
The “Lincoln County process” that Tennessee whiskeys are known for involves filtering through sugar maple charcoal, specifically. In the case of the Double Char, Bib & Tucker smoked the second barrel with sugar maple before adding the 6-year-old bourbon for finishing,
Tasting Notes: Bib & Tucker Double Char
Vital Stats: Mash bill undisclosed, but Bib & Tucker says its sourced from a distillery in Tennessee (Dickel?); 88 proof/44% alcohol by volume; available nationally; MSRP of $54.99.
Appearance: Coppery colored, like a penny.
Nose: Smells like a crisp fall day. I get pie spice, sap, and pine cones. It’s less sweet on the nose than many bourbons, but I didn’t find a particular smoky scent, either.
Palate: This is a mellow whiskey, first and foremost. The relatively low alcohol content probably contributes to that sense, with a general lack of ethanol up front. I taste smoked or cured meat, brown sugar, and savory potato chips. More of the traditional bourbon flavors, like caramel and vanilla, reveal themselves in the relatively long finish. Bib & Tucker drinks fine straight, but opens up nicely with a little bit of water.
Whiskey Review: Bib & Tucker Double Char
Tennessee whiskey aficionados claim that charcoal filtering leads to mellower whiskeys. I’m not going to take a position the extent to which that might or might not be true. But in the case of Bib & Tucker Double Char, it certainly is. This is a relaxed, easygoing whiskey. And at $54.99, it’s a good value, too.
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Scott Bernard Nelson
Scott Bernard Nelson is a writer, actor and whiskey reviewer in Portland, Ore. Scott works in higher education these days, but he previously spent 22 years as a journalist, covering 9/11 in Manhattan, crossing into Iraq with U.S. Marines and contributing to The Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of sexual...