When it comes to Tennessee whiskey (and American whiskey, in general), there are few names bigger than Jack Daniel’s. The classic Old No. 7 with its sour mash recipe is an American institution. There’s a reason it’s a staple of every home bar and bar cart from Tullahoma to Tacoma. It’s sweet, complex, and always reasonably inexpensive. It’s a perfect whiskey and one that doesn’t need an upgrade. Or does it?
If you think Old No.7 could do for a bit of a makeover, you’re in luck. Fear not — the brand isn’t changing the classic recipe or anything. It’s simply releasing a new addition to its popular Distillery Series.
Called Jack Daniel’s Distillery Series: Selection #12, this expression is made using the same recipe as the original Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey we all know and love. It’s just that after it completes its journey, instead of being bottled, it spends another three years in Oloroso sherry barrels.
There are a few things we love about the newest release from Jack Daniel’s and one we don’t. Keep scrolling to see them all.
While we love the sweet corn, caramel, vanilla, and oak flavor of the classic Old No.7, we really love the idea that the distillers made the traditional recipe using 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye and charcoal mellowed it and matured it in charred American white oak barrels for five to six years. But instead of calling it good and bottling it, they matured it for another three years in casks that formerly held Oloroso sherry casks.
If you’re a fan of single malt Scotch whisky, you’re already well aware of the use of sherry casks in Scotland. Myriad well-known brands aged or rest their whiskies in Pedro Ximenez, Oloroso, and sherry-seasoned barrels. Some of the most popular are GlenDronach, The Macallan, the Balvenie, and Aberlour. It imparts flavors like dried cherries, raisins, figs, and a nutty sweetness. It only makes sense for American brands to get on the sherry bandwagon. There are some sherry-finished and sherry-matured whiskeys on the U.S. market, but it’s nice to see Jack Daniel’s getting in on it as well.
While we haven’t had a chance to try this epic whiskey yet, according to the brand, Distillery Series: Selection #12 has a complex flavor profile centered on notes of caramel, nutmeg, baking spices, and candied orange peels. The finish is warming and fruity, and it lingers pleasantly. It’s 90-proof whiskey, so it’s a little higher in alcohol content than many other whiskeys on the market.
While not cheap by most standards, $42 for a 375 ml bottle isn’t ridiculously expensive for a limited-edition expression like Jack Daniel’s Distillery Series: Selection #12. For the sherry aging alone, we’d be willing to pay twice that (don’t tell the folks at Jack Daniel’s we said that).
Sadly, this limited-released whiskey is just that: a limited release. It’s only available in Tennessee at The White Rabbit Bottle Shop at the Jack Daniel Distillery and select stores in the Volunteer State. If you don’t happen to live near Lynchburg, you better take a road trip or you’ll miss out on this exciting whiskey.
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