Later this summer, Jack Daniel’s is adding a new permanent expression to its line with the introduction of a 100-proof (50 percent alcohol by volume) bottled-in-bond Tennessee whiskey. This expression is 10 proof higher than the previous iterations of the original Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, which was bottled at 90 proof until the late 1980s, then 86 proof from 1987 to 2002, when it was reduced to the current 80 proof.
To be a Bottled-in-Bond whiskey, the spirit must adhere to a certain set of rules, known as the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 (which happened two years after Jack Daniel’s began bottling what we’ve come to know and love). To be called bottled-in-bond, a whiskey must:
- Be the product of one distillation season.
- Be made by one distiller.
- Be aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years.
- Be bottled at 100 proof.
- Have a label that identifies the distillery where the whiskey was distilled and also where it was bottled.
In addition, only whiskeys made in the U.S. are allowed to qualify for bottled-in-bond status. The act itself was the product of a time when crappy whiskey was the norm and more often than not people adulterated whiskey between the time it was distilled and the time it was consumed.
“Whiskey-making in the 1800’s too often produced a hodge-podge of sub-par, counterfeit, and even dangerous spirits. Whiskey drinkers at times weren’t sure of what exactly they were drinking or being served,” Jack Daniel’s master distiller, Jeff Arnett, said in a statement.
As for the profile of the whiskey, you can expect caramel, toasted oak, and vanilla on the nose and a rich, creamy mouthfeel that exhibits more of those characteristics in addition to the slightly smoky flavor imparted by the charcoal mellowing process (the Lincoln County Process) needed to be called Tennessee whiskey.
If you’re eagerly awaiting this whiskey to hit your local liquor store shelves, you’re going to be disappointed. For now (hopefully just for now), Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond Tennessee Whiskey will only be available as a global travel retail exclusive — as in, you’re going to have to do some traveling to pick up a bottle. Backup plan: get a friend who is traveling to pick it up for you.
(Still looking for a place to go this summer? Why not check out Turkey? You might get lucky and come across a bottle in one of the airports you’ll be traveling through.)
Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond Tennessee Whiskey will be sold in 1-liter bottles and retail for around $38.