Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jack Daniel's Barrel Proof Single Barrel Whiskey

I can't believe it's taken me this long to review a Jack Daniels whiskey! While I spent my early years in Memphis, becoming familiar with good ole Jack, I must confess it has never been something near and dear to my heart. When I heard Brown-Forman had plans to release a single barrel, barrel proof product, I was all in. 

Jack Daniels is labeled as a Tennessee whiskey, meaning it must be a straight bourbon whiskey produced in the State of Tennessee. What makes Jack Daniels unique (from most Kentucky bourbons) is the use of the Lincoln County process. This is a method by which the whiskey is filtered using columns of sugar maple charcoal. It gives Jack Daniels (and most other Tennessee whiskey) that unique, sweet, and almost artificial flavor.

No Age Statement
Barrel: 16-0486
132.7 proof
Price: $65

Nose: I'd never thought a 130+ proof whiskey could remind me of my childhood, but this is a walk down memory lane; it literally smells like Bubblicious gum and Coke! It's a very vibrant nose, packed with a heavy cola influence, artificial sugars, vanilla bean, caramel, sweet corn, and barrel char.

Taste: The soda influence dominates the palate.  Dr. Pepper spices, cherry syrup, and cola. Tons of sweetness; every flavor seems to have a sugar tinge added to it. The bubble gum note remains vibrant, and is followed by a a hot spice.

Finish: A very long finish full of sugar and barrel char. 

Conclusion: If you are a fan of Jack & Coke cocktails then will really enjoy drinking this neat. It's a super sweet whiskey with bold character. I'm personally not a huge Jack Daniels fan, but this is hands down their best whiskey to date. I will enjoy the bottle, but I won’t keep it stocked behind the bar.

My Rating:  B (Good)

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Maker's Mark 46 Cask Strength Bourbon

Maker's Mark 46 was the first bourbon I reviewed for The Blundon Bourbon Review! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was ecstatic when I heard they were making a cask strength version. This is currently only available in the Distillery gift shop, however, it will no doubt follow suit and get released nationally within the months to come. The process for 46 includes adding French oak staves into the barrel before aging for an additional 10x weeks. This is done only during the winter months (less interaction with the barrel), which adds a sweet complexity not found in the regular Maker's Mark bourbon.

Finished with Oak Staves
No Age Statement
110.8 proof
$40 / 375ml

Nose: Up front lays an intense, sweet spice. Red hot candies and cinnamon. It opens into waves of sweetness; lots of maple! Coffee ice cream, butter, and cherries combine for a mouthwatering aroma.

Taste: This first expresses itself as an extremely sweet bourbon with maple, butterscotch, and bubblegum...then comes the spice! The thick mouth feel prolongs bold flavors of tobacco, red hots, and cinnamon.

Finish: Long and complex with a nice balance of sweet and spice. Butterscotch, cinnamon, and tobacco linger for a delicious finish.

 Conclusion: Even as a cask strength expression, this is more robust than I anticipated. It has the most kick out of any Maker's Mark bourbons; while its more on the sweeter side, if you are a fan of the brand, you will enjoy this. I look forward to buying a 750ml when it's released nationally.

My Rating:  B+ (Very Good)

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