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.
Who among us never had a moment in our lives where our flirtation with Jack Daniel’s didn’t evolve (or devolve) into something a little more devoted and perhaps even…ahem, toxic? From country tinged jukebox hymns to urban legends about Old Blue Eyes himself’s fondness for the dram, to one of the greatest horror movies of all-time , to regular old Americans getting a little too worked up and conflating badassery with intolerance, there is something about the Old Number 7 that has become inextricably woven into the fabric of Americana.
This has been the case so much so that, despite branching out in recent years with new products, some genuinely interesting and others mere gimmicks, when one hears the name Jack Daniel’s it’s still the Old Number 7 we see in our mind’s eye.
But now, after decades of relying on that iconic black & white labeled bottle as practically the sole face associated with the signature name (aside from a few strategically employed global marketing schemes), Jack Daniel’s has, for the second consecutive year, released a 10-year-aged Tennessee Whiskey.
After the success of last year’s release, dubbed ‘Batch 01’, which itself was the first age-statement release since old Jack himself was alive, the company doubled down and released both their ‘Batch 02’ 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey and a new 12-Year-Old Whiskey to boot (which we will review separately.)
As for ‘Batch 02’ of the 10-Year-Old, it is, dare I say it, pretty good. It’s still a bold, sweet, corn-forward sipper but doesn’t come with any of the cloying, artificial unctuousness that has plagued the flagship expression for some years now.
I tried the initial 10-year-old offering they released last year as Batch 01 and, though I did not do so under the auspices of a review, I recall it being a relatively similar expression. Though they were both bottled at 97 proof, I found Batch 01 to have more dried fruit/raisin character, and this expression to be more dark cherry influenced. What they both benefitted greatly from is the genuine addition of real oak aging characteristic. All of their releases still rely on the same classic mash bill of 80% Corn, 12 % Malted barley, and 8% Rye.
Tasting Notes: Jack Daniel’s 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey (Batch 02)
Vital Stats: 97 proof (48.5% ABV); 10 years old; mash bill of 80 % corn, 12% malted barley, 8% rye; 700ml; $70.
Appearance: Burnt amber to semi-dark leather.
Nose: Banana and the deep caramel and vanilla notes for which JD is known blast you up front along with some cherry cola and hints of cinnamon. Secondary notes of toasted oak and a touch of leather. Unmistakable Jack Daniel’s, but with an authentic oak note missing from the Old No. 7.
Palate: This pounces on you with lots of dark cherry and oak up front, some dark plum notes as well. Underlying semi-sweet chocolate elements round out to dry slightly smoky finish.
Whiskey Review: Jack Daniel's 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey (Batch 02)
Iconic brands have certain ‘house rules’ from which they simply cannot deviate, and for Jack Daniel’s, two of those rules are that corn heavy mash bill and the charcoal filtration. The drawback here is that even with 10 years aging, the latter strips too much of the flavor and body out of the former. This is a decent whiskey, the original recipe enhanced greatly by the extra time in wood. but it will likely be most appreciated by those who are simply already Jack Daniel’s devotees.
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Jason McBeth is a hospitality professional and consultant with nearly 15 years experience in fine dining beverage programs, including six different Michelin Star and/or James Beard award-winning restaurants. As a consultant he has developed and set up unique cocktail programs in markets from Los Angeles, to Lincoln, NE to Richmond,...