The consistently best-selling Tennessee whiskey Jack Daniel’s does not always command a ton of respect from spirits aficionados, even though it’s been a favorite of celebrities and rockstars for decades. But Jack has been branching out in recent years, exploring territory well beyond its flagship Old No. 7 and Gentleman Jack with some very good expressions that are receiving deserved accolades. Tennessee Rye was introduced a few years ago with a mash bill of 70% rye that provides some spice but retains the signature sweet banana Jack flavor. Single Barrel releases of both rye and Tennessee whiskey have been around for a while now, and are often quite good. And this fall marks the return of the lauded Single Barrel Heritage Barrel, a limited-edition single that comes from just under 200 barrels.
Heritage Barrel was first released last year. The idea was to pay tribute to the history of Jack Daniel’s and replicate the flavor derived from barrels that were used 150 years ago. To that end, the Heritage Barrels are heavily toasted and lightly charred, and aged in the highest level of the Jack Daniel’s warehouses for about a year more than regular Jack (there is no age statement, however). This gives the whiskey a richer and more complex flavor than Old No. 7, with notes of oak, cherry, vanilla, and dark fruit. It’s also bottled at 100 proof, which provides extra heat and flavor.
If last year is any indicator, this year’s Heritage Barrel release will be hard to get your hands on, but it’s worth it if you can. Also, according to master distiller Jeff Arnett, there are currently no more Heritage Barrels maturing at the distillery, so this will be the last release for the foreseeable future.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Heritage Barrel is a limited release, available now for $65.
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