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Friday, May 26, 2023

BARD Friday: Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof, 65.65%abv batch

Though I am aware that many of these Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof barrel barrels have approached, and occasionally exceeded, 140 US proof, I have very little interest in that level of abuse. Plus I couldn't source any them.

Instead, this 131.3 proof bottling will be my ethanol apex this week. Like Monday's meh barrel barrel and Wednesday's nicely nicely barrel barrel, I'm going to try this JDSBBP at four alcohol levels to see what develops with increasing dilution. So far the quality and style variance has been very broad. Will that continue here?

Brand: Jack Daniel's
Ownership: Brown-Forman Corporation
Region: Lynchburg, TN
Mashbill: 80% corn, 12% malted barley, 8% rye
Age: ?
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 65.65%
(from a bottle split)

Full Strength
Diluted to 50%abvDiluted to 46%abvDiluted to 43%abv
On one level the nose shows Luxardo cherries, orange peel, milk chocolate and caramel chews. But there's also plenty of nail polish remover and perfume present. It trends towards vanilla and banana peel after some time in the glass.A big shift in the nose. Think pear-infused mead up front, vanilla and Luxardo cherries in the middle, and cologne in the background.The nose has simplified and focused on vanilla frosting, caramel chews, and menthol.Hmmm. Wet cardboard, sawdust, perfume in the nose's foreground. Vanilla, bananas, and black cherry soda in the back.
The palate is really hot, nearly unapproachably so. Barrel char, salt, vanilla syrup, limes, and tannins remain behind the fire.Nice. The palate is loaded with oranges and coated with honey. A little bit of vanilla here, some cracked pepper there.Like the nose, the palate has simplified. It's sweet and salty, with a menthol rinse and some drying tannins.The palate is sweet, very oaky, with minor notes of pineapple and bitterness.
Once the burn subsides, one may find barrel char and peppercorns in the finish. Some savory smoke too, though that may be a cooked palate.It finishes very sweetly, with a little bit of lemon and barrel char.It finishes sweet, salty, and tannic.The sweet and tannic finish doesn't last long.
Not a fan. Reminds me of the early batches of Stagg Junior, with two dimensions (raw ethyl and raw oak) destroying everything else.
What a change! I'd be happy to drink this again, at 50%abv. The honey + fruit is a nice combo.
I appreciate this spartan style. It ain't deep, but it is drinkable.
Again, the whiskey fell apart at this strength, collapsing into a thin mush.


One can see via Wednesday's and today's barrel barrels why the standard 40%abv JD bottling is so disappointing. It's a drowning of potentially interesting and characterful whiskey. Though it could be argued that may be a flaw in the whiskey itself, I'm not sure what's to blame. In scotch, aggressive chillfiltration can be such a culprit, so perhaps the Lincoln County process could play a role?

These three JDSBBPs were never boring, and never sunk as low as the aforementioned Old No. 7. But due to the varying qualities between the JDSBBPs, I'm not going to buy one blindly. Also, these whiskies run VERY hot at full strength, so perhaps JD's Bonded whiskey may fit my palate best. I will report back if I buy a bottle.

Availability - Many batches/barrels around
Pricing - $55 - $85
Rating - 81 (carefully diluted)