The Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye review
Company: Jack Daniel’s
Classification: Tennessee Rye Single Barrel Whiskey
Breakdown: 70% rye, 18% corn, 12% malted barley
Price: c. £55
We are certain that you don’t need the Gents to introduce you to the iconic brand that is Jack Daniel’s. It continues year on year to be the best-selling American whiskey in the world and has probably one of the most iconic bottles in the alcohol world. However, If you do want to read a short introduction to the story of Mr D, then visit our first Jack Daniel’s review of their Single Barrel Select offering.
As we have already reviewed their standard mash bill Single Barrel, we thought it only fair and fitting to look at their Single Barrel Rye too. There is no doubt that if the most famous whiskey brand in the world latches on to release a rye whiskey then there is a damn good reason for it. The phenomenal increased popularity of rye whiskey has made all the big boys think about such a bold move. Investing in creating their first new mash bill in 150 years shows that they are not in it for the short term. The Single Barrel offering is their 3rd rye release, following Un-aged Rye (2012) and Rested Rye (2014).
The folks from Lynchburg, Tennessee currently have two rye expressions available for your tasting pleasure (or not, only you can make that call). There is the standard 45% ABV Tennessee straight rye whiskey with no age statement (so it must be at least 4 years old) alongside the Single Barrel Rye. Both ryes’ are filtered using the Lincoln County process, in other words filtered through approximately 10 feet of maple sugar charcoal before ageing. So, without further ado, here are our thoughts.
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass.
What we got – Not a typical rye forward nose immediately and has almost zero banana notes. You can pick up some Christmas cake nuts, perhaps almonds? (Mr Pie) along with cherries
What they say we should get - Hazelnut and almond, spicy grain and an underlying hint of corn.
What we got – Burst of heat with loads of banana (no really loads of banana), oak and caramel which can sometimes be surprising for a rye. Heaps of brown sugar and sweet fruits. Mid palate of creamy oak and ends with a great spicy kick.
What they say we should get – Light oak spices develop first, alongside another helping of corn sweetness. Ripe apricot and orange
What we got – Medium length with a very dry oaky and peppery finish.
What they say we should get – Lingering peppery warmth
Another Rye Whiskey review has sneaked onto the Bourbon Gents website and this one may have the blessing of both Gents. Over time your instinct when reviewing any Jack Daniel’s product is an expectation of banana notes from the offset and many reviewers claim to find this immediately on the nose. The Gents disagree. For us, those distinct banana notes are hidden from the nose but are unleashed like a banana bomb on the palate. If you are not a fan of bananas, then step away from this whiskey now. There is that spicy kick in the mix, but it might not be as spice forward as you would expect from a 70% rye grain mash bill, but it has tons of brown sugar and sweet fruits throughout.
The UK version of this rye whiskey is for some reason 2% lower in strength than its American cousin as is the regular Jack Daniels Single Barrel. Price-wise, in our opinion it is a little overpriced and should probably be a sub £50 bottle.
Mav has officially declared that this whiskey could be his favourite ever rye (spoiler alert for the scores below). We could of course have been lucky with this bottle as the very nature of a single barrel is its uniqueness (well apart from the other 199 bottles or so), but we were very impressed Mr D, keep up the great work!
8 out of 10 - Mav
8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie