Editor’s Note: This whisk(e)y 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 towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Jack, Old No. 7, Black Label, whatever you call it, Jack Daniel’s is an iconic American whiskey. Whether you’re a fan or not, you know the shape of the bottle and the color of the label. In recent years there has been a “revival” in the legendary distillery.
I once had a discussion with a friend who, at the time, was a master brewer at a small brewery in Portland, Oregon. Over a pint I asked him, “who’s the best brewer in the country.” Without hesitation he responded, “whoever brews Budweiser. They can make the exact same beer, year over year, bottle over bottle, millions of times a year. No one else is that consistent.” Now we both may disagree with the definition of “best,” but I believe he has a point.
Who is the best distiller in the country? By my friend’s logic it may just be Chris Fletcher with Jack Daniel’s. However, Mr. Fletcher does not appear to accept diversified interpretations of “best” and has started releasing innovative whiskey (for Jack Daniel’s) to prove he is the best in the business.
In recent years Jack Daniel’s has released the Triple Mash, Bonded, limited edition barrel strength ryes, and barrel strength expressions of their Old No. 7 among other specialty releases. Now we have the Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled Special Release American Single Malt finished in Oloroso Sherry Cask. Which is a mouthful. Made from 100% malted barley this is Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt. The “twice barreled” comes from an original 4-year barreling in American white oak and finishing for two years in Spanish Oloroso sherry cask, from the Antonio Paez Lobato Cooperage. Thereafter bottling at cask strength.
“Our Special Release series highlights our ongoing innovations and exceptional whiskeys from the Jack Daniel Distillery, and I’m excited to share this expression as our team set out to craft an American Single Malt that’s uniquely Jack Daniel’s,” says Chris Fletcher. “The combination of maturing in oak barrels and finishing in sherry casks produces incredible complexity and provides a full-bodied and sophisticated whiskey experience. We’ve never crafted a whiskey like this in Lynchburg and can’t wait to share it with our friends.”
American Single Malt is not an officially recognized “style” of whiskey, yet. In July of 2022 the Trade and Tax Bureau published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would give American Single Malt a formal legal definition in American whiskey. I imagine it is only a matter of time before it is officially recognized. However, in the most American way possible, the lack of legal definition has not stopped a number of distilleries from trying their hand at it. When the definition becomes law, we very well may find this bottle of Jack Daniel’s is a regular on shelves.
With that, we turn to the glass.
Tasting Notes: Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt
Vital Stats: 100% Malted Barley. 106.1-107.8% ABV. $70.00 MSRP for 700ml.
Appearance: Redwood bark, with even smooth legs on the glass.
Nose: Mellow with dark sweet flavors; this nose is a delight. Right out of the gate you are hit with a creamy richness from the sherry and whiskey, you get flavors of light fruit like pear, followed by sweet green apples. The diverse oak type gives way to their complex dark sugars with a whiff of cherry cola. Despite the abv there was very little alcohol.
Taste: For only six years old, this has matured well. Very dry on the tongue, like a sponge, it sucks the moisture out of your moth on the first sip. There is a nice cloying feeling on the teeth. The second sip delivers more of the nose. Dark notes like oak, pipe tobacco, warm leather. The sweetness has matured into the darker notes, but they aren’t overpowering. I sense something a little tannic as the flavor transitions over the mid-palate, but only momentarily.
The finish comes slowly, at first you don’t appreciate it’s even there. However, as your breath warms the whiskey on the tongue it shows off the oak and sherry. It lingers extremely evenly and holds to the tongue.
Whiskey Review: Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt
I like this. It is good whiskey. I don’t know how the government is going to decide what the definition is for “American Single Malt” but I hope they look to this to help gauge. There are a lot of components that are great with this, and some I wish it did better. The nose is dark, sweet, mature, but the palate doesn’t have as big a range as I’d like for maturing in sherry wine cask. The same can be said for the finish, it’s good but the taste doesn’t mature and evolve throughout the finish.
For me this is good to great whiskey, it’s not exceptional.
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Charles Steele is a Portland area attorney, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His legal education affords him an analytical approach to understanding whiskey and other aged spirits. Traditionally a legal writer, freelancing for The Whiskey Wash will prove a unique opportunity to flex his writing skills. Although he...