By Elizabeth Emmons
Updated July 29, 2016
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is Lynchburg’s latest rye whiskey, and the third and final release in their current series of ryes. The Unaged Rye was released in 2012, and the Rested Rye in 2014. Based upon previous releases, this release is likely aged about 4 years. It is also the third offering in the Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection, which includes the Single Barrel Barrel Proof.
The mash bill is 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley, the distillery’s first new mash bill in a century. The Single Barrel is filtered using the Lincoln County Process, a signature of most Tennessee Whiskeys calling for sugar maple charcoal filtration of the new make whiskey. Jack Daniel’s uses this for all of their offerings. The rye is then aged in a charred, new white oak barrels, constructed at JD’s very own cooperage. From there it is bottled at 94 proof (47% ABV).
I was excited to do this review because Jack Daniel’s brings back many (clouded) memories of going out drinking in high school and ordering a torturously foul “Jack on the rocks”. (But seriously, for those working in law enforcement please note that all drinking occurred in the safety of my home with scrutinizing adult supervision). This review would force me to circle back to Jack after an additional 15 years of discriminating drinking under my belt, and to look at Jack with fresh eyes. It’s partly psychological, but I will not touch the original JD Old No. 7 with a ten foot pole, but their newest rye… now that’s another story!
In the glass, this rye is a beautiful dark ruby orange.
The nose burns a bit and has the typical reassuring Jack undertone of corn. The back-end of the nose smells like mouthwash with hints of marzipan and brown sugar.
The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly oily. The immediate taste when sipped is quite delicious, especially if you leave it in your mouth for 15 seconds or so, although once swallowed, there is a creeping metallic taste (corn again) as the finish continues and becomes dry. The tail end of the finish is extremely dry, a sign to keep the palette wet and keep drinking like old times, surely.
Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by this release. This rye not only stays true to the Jack Daniel’s flavor profile but is solid in its own right.
Addendum By Father John Rayls
The nose is faint, and you have to aggressively pursue it to identify it, and that played into my evaluation, as I spent the majority of my time with this rye repeatedly trying to find the aromas and label them. I found sweet cereal, very light oak, and some faint spice.
Fortunately, the flavors are fabulous and redeem the nose. Arnett has created another excellent tasting Tennessee Whiskey, which again makes me eat all of my nasty words spoken against Jack Daniel’s whiskey in the past. This is a very enjoyable, smooth rye whiskey. It provides a nice, light coating of the mouth, giving a terrific mouth feel. The rye spiciness drives the flavor profile, but it’s less cinnamon and more of a peppery experience. There is also a very light oak presence, with some faint fresh fruit overtones, and it leads to a long, spicy finish.
$50 for a 750 ml bottle.