We know what you’re thinking: Jack Daniel’s? Really? Jack freaking Daniel’s? From the guys who’ve reviewed whiskey snob whiskies like Stagg Jr., Willet 2-Year Rye, and High West Double Rye? Well, yes. There’s a reason why this whiskey is a legend. Read on for our full review.
Jack Daniel’s: A Legendary Whiskey
Let’s start with a definition:
leg·end \ ‘le-jənd
1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated
The thing about legends is that sometimes searching for truth and accuracy can be elusive. It’s kind of what gives the legendary thing a bit of its mystique and je ne sais quoi. One of the many Jack Daniel’s legends include the “Old No. 7” brand itself. Was it a government registration number? Something to do with the recipe? Nobody really knows and it was a question that couldn’t be answered on the distillery tour. Jack Daniel’s actual birthdate and cause of death are debated though there is an oft-told tale of Jack kicking a safe in the distillery, which led to a toe infection that eventually killed him.
Jack Daniel was orphaned at a young age and taken in by a preacher/moonshiner – what a combo – from whom he would learn the craft and start his own distilling. (N.B. By the way, what is it with preachers and monks making alcohol?) That his life story is somewhat vague only adds to the legend.
What is a Tennessee Whiskey?
There is one thing sets Tennessee whiskey apart from bourbon: a sugar maple charcoal filtering process known as the “Lincoln County Process.” The charcoal filtering is a mellowing process, which was first used at the original Jack Daniel’s distillery location in Lincoln County, Tennessee.
“The Nectar of the Gods, Baby!”
Whether these famous words spoken by Frank Sinatra or images of Van Halen on stage or John Belushi in a COLLEGE sweatshirt chugging the famous spirit, Jack Daniel’s is part of the fabric of American culture. Beyond the States, Jack has even been associated with one of the most gentlemanly of gentlemen, James Bond. Bond drinks Jack Daniel’s in several of Ian Fleming’s novels as well as in the movie Golden Eye.
Jack Daniel’s is a smooth, easy-drinking whiskey. There’s a characteristic vanilla flavor with underpinnings of cocoa on the finish. Brian considers it to have a bit of a “sourness” on the front end and perhaps even a touch of peanut butter on the finish occasionally.
What are your thoughts on Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7?
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