Jack Daniel’s has been going through a renaissance over the past couple of years. The brand is known — and, let’s face it, ridiculed — for having the best-selling American whiskey in the whole world in Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. But to hate on Jack is to willfully ignore all the other expressions released under the brand’s umbrella from that cave-filled hollow in Tennessee. Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select is one of the better high-end bourbons on the market (that’s also actually widely available!); Jack 10-Year was the darling of last year’s best-of lists; their Single Barrel program is not only dialed in, but it’s also accessible worldwide. Hell, even their standard Tennessee Rye rules for its price and availability.
Now, Jack is about to add two more unique expressions to their core lineup and I’m here to tell you what’s in the bottle. Starting May 3rd, 2022, you’ll be able to buy two new Jack Daniel’s riffs. One is a bottled-in-bond Tennessee whiskey, which is basically their Traveler’s Exclusive finally coming home to American shelves and reworked for American palates. The other bottle is a bit of an outlier, even for big bourbon. It’s a blended American whiskey, or Triple Mash, which might help upend the “American blended whiskey” world from the depths of plastic bottles of Seagrams 7 to something bigger and better. It’s kind of exciting.
Below, I’m breaking down what’s in each bottle and what you can expect if you pick one up. You should be able to find these pretty easily for a pretty good price if you’re quick. Let’s get into it.
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Jack Daniel’s Bonded Tennessee Whiskey
Average Price: $35
This whiskey is from Jack’s bonded warehouse. The mash of 80 percent corn, 12 percent barley, and eight percent rye is twice distilled before it’s run through Jack’s very long Lincoln County process of sugar maple charcoal filtration. The spirit then goes into the barrel for at least four years — per bonded law — before it’s batched, cut down with that Jack Daniel’s limestone cave water, and bottled as-is.
Jack Daniel’s went old-school with these bottles. They’re a throwback to the 1895 bottles design, which predates the Bottled-in-Bond Act by two years. The label is fairly understated with the iconic black, white, and gold the brand is known for.
Vanilla comes through with a bold sense of the oil and beans in the pod as cherry Jolly Ranchers, a light touch of sweet oak, a hint of fresh leather, and an echo of orange peels round out the nose. Going back in on the nose after a minute or two, a sense of potting soil and maybe the vitamin aisle at a health food store alongside more of that fresh leather leads to a little bit of sweetgrass, apple blossoms, and a vanilla cookie with a touch of oat in the mix.
The palate is immediately sweet with apple fritters and maple bars next to brown sugar and vanilla cream. The mid-palate adds in a little winter spice with a lean toward cinnamon and clove and a dusting of nutmeg. The finish arrives with brown sugar and butter mixed into Cream of Wheat as a minor note of wood and apple cider kicks in late and lingers the longest on the end. Waiting a minute and tasting again, the end has a small note of cherry pie with white frosting by way of soft oak staves.
This is a super soft and silky experience from top to bottom. There are $50, $60, and even $100 whiskeys that aren’t this smooth. It feels like a $50 whiskey more than a $30 one. Still, I feel like this is more of a mixing whiskey that also works as a sipper on the rocks in a pinch. I think for this, Jack has a deep bench of stellar sipping whiskey to choose from whereas this is something I’d buy to mix killer cocktails with.
90/100 — This definitely punches above its weight/price class, and that gives it a little higher grade in my book.
Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash Blended Straight Whiskey
Average Price: $39
This is where things get interesting. Evidently Master Distiller Chris Fletcher and Assitant Distiller Lexi Phillips have been laying down barrels of American single malt on the side and not telling a soul. This expression, a “triple mash,” is comprised of 60 percent Jack’s Tennessee Rye, 20 percent Jack’s Tennessee Whiskey, and 20 percent of their new American malt. Once those bonded whiskeys are blended, they’re proofed down with that iconic cave water and bottled as-is.
This is also getting released in that throwback bottle. In this case, the label is a deep burgundy with white and gold lettering but still understated and succinct.
The nose opens with a hint of wet malts that leads into a big note of fresh honey with a hint of honeycomb. There’s a touch of vanilla on the nose alongside wet deck planks, a little bit of sweetgrass, a hint of potting soil, and big and plump dates with a very distant note of cream soda.
The palate is all about those wet malts with plenty of vanilla backbone — think full pods you pay $30 each for. The mid-palate is super soft with hints of nutmeg, buttery toffee covered in crushed almond, and that vitamin aisle again all leading to wet wicker, more of that vanilla, a whisper of applewood, and a super clear sense of rain-covered slate on the very backend.
This is really interesting and a bit of an outlier. There are hints that this is Tennessee whiskey but it’s so malty as well. It really feels like a whiskey that’s made for bourbon drinkers who aren’t quite sure about American single malt yet.
All of that said, this was pretty damn good for a $32 whiskey. Moreover, it’s really damn fine for an American blended whiskey. It’s complex and actually takes you on a journey. I wouldn’t just mix this with Coke. But I would put it in a cocktail before I sipped it over rocks.
88/100 — I think they’re onto something here. I’m curious to see how Fletcher and Phillips tinker with this as more barrels come of age. Will we see a Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt soon? Huge, if true. Overall, I’d pour and mix with the Bonded above before I’d reach for this again though.