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jeff
08-14-2008, 16:30
This is a tasting I promised to do months ago after Gary generously gave me a bottle during the Sampler that he thought interesting. I'll have to let him chime in on the specifics if he remembers, as the writing on the neck label has completely faded away, except to note that this particular barrel was aged in rick R-19.

Color: Deep amber in the bottle that lightens to a brilliant orange-sunset in the glass. Legs are pronounced.

Aroma: First pass reveals some alcohol with notes of leather, wood and dried fruit. A second pass, from slightly further away, uncovers a nice cherry tone with hints of cinnamon. Maybe a little vanilla as a backdrop.

Taste: Slight alcohol burn on the tip of the tongue, followed by a nice dose of vanilla, honey and leather. Wood and an almost minty cinnamon flavor are pronounced on the second sip. A little bit of the cherry carries over from the nose.

Finish: A short burn on the back of the throat fades quickly, leaving a subtle, lingering cinnamon aftertaste.

Overall: I'll admit that I have never been much of a JD fan, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The banana character that I have come to associate with JD was noticeably absent from this bottle, and for me that's a good thing.

Thanks again Gary! :toast:

Gillman
08-14-2008, 16:46
Thank you Jeff, excellent notes.

Your bottle, which is identical to the one before me, is indeed from Rick No. R-19, it was from barrel no. 8-0350 bottled on 2-1-2008.

It is the best JD I've had, the second-best was a 30 year old bottle Mike Veach gave me a taste from.

I have a feeling (but can't prove it) that the absence of banana character in this bottling derives from winter dumping.

Gary

SBOmarc
08-14-2008, 19:11
This is becoming more and more available in most bars I get to, along with the Gentleman Jack.

I am not sure about the Gentlemen Jack, but the SB I find to be clearly high quality whisky. No bananas, but the cherry and vanilla are there for sure.

spun_cookie
08-14-2008, 20:03
If you keep it around too long you will get the banana in the SB as well.

I would bet a wooden nickel that it will be there in 6-9 months

Gillman
08-14-2008, 20:26
Why do you say that, Emerald?

Gary

cowdery
08-15-2008, 20:50
If you keep it around too long you will get the banana in the SB as well.

I would bet a wooden nickel that it will be there in 6-9 months

Funny you should say that. I recently finished a bottle of Silver Select (essentially the same as single barrel) that had been open for maybe 16 months. In that last drink, I got some banana. Not a lot, and not so it spoiled a very good drink, but I was sort of like "there you are!"

pepcycle
08-15-2008, 21:09
I'm not even gone from Kentucky a month and Jeff is posting about TN Whiskey like it wasn't a crime punishable by hog-tyin between two bush hogs and let'n his guts spill caddywampus in a holler.

cowdery
08-15-2008, 21:29
I don't know why the Seelbach took down this sign outside the bar, but I always loved it:

Gentlemen requesting foreign spirits instead of Kentucky Bourbon may be requested to pay cash.

Gillman
08-16-2008, 04:40
I think that sign was adverting (in a simpler time) to creditworthiness and not palate (or local pride).

I've had two bottles of the R-19 from early in 2008 open to different levels and have noticed no intrusion of banana notes.

Gary

angelshare
09-21-2008, 16:22
For the record, we have to chime in - the banana notes are not unpleasant at all to us. Gentleman Jack has them in spades, and we like it. That said, Silver Select is fabulous, and we agree the banana notes are much more understated (IE, we don't taste them either!). We thought maybe it was proof and/or age. Interesting that folks feel the banana eventually comes out with time.

Jono
09-25-2008, 13:26
Quick question...what TN whiskey should I buy for my first...JD SB, Silver Select, Gentleman Jack or a Dickel...and why?

ThomasH
09-25-2008, 15:36
I would buy the Silver Select. It is duty free only which means you can't get it just anywhere. The others you can get everyday. The Silver Select is 100 proof, which I prefer, and is only a few dollars more than regular single barrel!

Thomas

BourbonJoe
09-25-2008, 17:48
I would buy a Dickel Barrel Select. The last one of these I had was one of the best whiskies I ever drank. It was like a vanilla milkshake. I realize they are single barrels but this one was super.
Joe :usflag:

DoubleT
10-03-2008, 13:24
I have never been much of a JD drinker, until this brew. A friend of mine's father passed recently, and I was very close to the man. A couple of days after the funeral I went by my buddy's house with a couple of Rum Runner cigars. As we talked about "dad" and fired up the smokes I made the comment that a nice bourbon would be well with them. He vanished and returned saying he had no bourbon but did have a bottle of JDSB. So into the glass, neat, the whiskey went, and the afternoon passed nicely. I will be buying a bottle to keep on hand, and while it won't be a daily drinker I will have to indulge from time to time.l Especially when my buddy Ron drops by.

Dramiel McHinson
10-18-2008, 14:24
Quick question...what TN whiskey should I buy for my first...JD SB, Silver Select, Gentleman Jack or a Dickel...and why?

For your first Tennessee whiskey try Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey. Made in Kelso Tennessee, it is a privately owned distillery, definitely small batch and pretty much hand made compared to whiskey from their giant neighbor, Jack Daniels. Prichard's mainstay is rum and the whiskey may not stay on the menu so try it before it's gone. You can get the others anytime you choose. Prichard's whiskey may not have been well received by some traditionalists and some have written that they weren't sold on the flavor or the artificial cork stopper. It tasted a lot better to me after I visited the distillery and spent some time talking to Mr Prichard and his son about their wares. Very likable people and they put their heart into the making of fine spirits.

Try it!

Dramiel McHinson
10-18-2008, 14:34
If you keep it around too long you will get the banana in the SB as well.

I would bet a wooden nickel that it will be there in 6-9 months

I have a bottle on the shelf of JD single barrel, Rick R-07, barrel 6-0052 bottled 1-6-06. After reading about the "bananas" I went over to the shelf, popped the cork out and gave er a sniff. Holy Cow! lots of banana! I haven't been in this bottle for a while and don't remember the bananas before. Would love to hear some theories about where the bananas came from.

Thanx for the heads up!

Gillman
10-18-2008, 15:14
There has been some discussion about this and (as I recall) the theory was expressed, withour further comment, that letting Jack Daniels sit for a while accentuates the estery "bananas" content.

I have a number of Jack Daniels bottles on hand. Some are from February of this year, single barrel bottlings I consider the best ever done of this brand.

I have Gentleman Jack bought some months ago.

I have some regular Jack Daniels, bought some years ago.

All these taste to me as they did when I bought them. Where banana was prominent, e.g., in the GJ, it still is; where it wasn't, e.g., in R-19 from February 1, 2008, it remains as such today. I tasted with Mike Veach last year a Jack Daniels from 30 years ago and it seemed notably un-banana-like to me...

I do not rule out that Jack Daniels whiskey might be subject to esterification with bottle age, shall we call it, but in my experience this has not occurred. I think what may explain it for some who detect this effect is that in a partly filled bottle, the volatiles will fill the bottle space and the banana esters amongst them will tend to show prominently, so pungent is this character in Jack Daniels (often, but not always). But I do not believe that time creates more such character.

Gary

polyamnesia
12-11-2008, 20:12
i have to chime in (and hopefully squeeze a little more blood from this orangey, i mean, banana-y discussion)...i don't drink the regular JD, but i did buythe GJack last year....and another earlier this year...and before i had ever read reviews, i noticed the banana character...and found it very interesting and pleasing.

on a nutball WHIM, i just purchased one of those Gold Medal releases (the 1981 from...2006?). not quite a dusty, but i've seen them nowhere else before.

anyways, at 90 proof, an interesting, better JD....i still prefer the GJ, but i probably need to try the SBarrel.

i really hope to find the banana notes in any future JD i have (few, for sure!). i used to say i prefered Dickel to JD by FAR, but the 'vitamin' nature of dickel has been picked up....give me a banana over that, anyday!

Jono
12-11-2008, 21:45
Good list of esters and flavors:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester

Ethyl butyrate banana, pineapple, strawberry <<<<
Ethyl hexanoate pineapple,waxy-green banana <<<<
Isoamyl acetate pear, banana (flavoring in Pear drops) <<<
Amyl acetate (pentyl acetate) apple, banana

http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=258331
French oak used in wine contributes:
furfural
5-methyl furfural
furfuryl alcohol
coniferaldehyde
acetovanillone
and phenol

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17485639
Ethyl octanoate
ethyl decanoate
Isoamyl acetate <<<<
ethyl hexanoate <<<<
ethyl butyrate <<<<

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5856582/description.html
Maple
2-hydroxy-3-methylcyclopent-2-ene-1-one

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119706173/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
acetovanillone
guaiacyl acetone
vanilloyl methyl ketone

So, if oak wine barrels contribute to the banana flavor esters (assuming they do not come from the grape) these could be the source of bananish notes..
Isoamyl acetate
ethyl hexanoate
ethyl butyrate

..but why JD and not other bourbons? Or is it just muted in other whiskeys for some reason?

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf800383v

45 odor compounds in bourbon...the highest

ethanol, ethyl (S)-2-methylbutanoate, 3-methylbutanal, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde, (E)-β-damascenone, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl butanoate, ethyl octanoate, 2-methylpropanal, (3S,4S)-cis-whiskylactone, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, 4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol, ethyl-3-methylbutanoate, and ethyl 2-methylpropanoate

>> Again, Ethyl Hexanoate, ethly butanoate (similar to butyrate?), are likely sources of banana taste.

Note to Chuck...it took 26 flavor elements to mimick the aroma of bourbon...!

Jono
12-11-2008, 22:06
Interesting....the same taste profile shows up here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/banana-esters-weizen-question-57076/

banana esters in a weizenstephen

High temps = ester production (banana)
Lower temps = phenol production (cloves)

So, heat -initial fermentation 68-72 deg+ may play a part and the yeast used in JD production.....and barrel contributions.

Gillman
12-12-2008, 04:24
The bananas-like taste of Jack Daniels does seems a signature of the brand. The taste seems to blend well with cola. Whether the bananas came before or after the cola is hard to say (i.e., is it an intentional result to ensure an optimal mix with Coke and Pepsi or an "unconscious" evolution of the taste over 100 years and more?).

The taste is one that pleases many, but not all.

I notice it at its most intense in Gentleman Jack. Why this is so I am not sure. The second charcoal mellowing doesn't seem to remove the banana esters if that is what they are. Maybe it contributes to a rounder, smoother mouthfeel.

I like some bottlings of the Single Barrel, I mentioned some earlier in the thread, where the banana-like esters are muted and you get dark caramelized oak tones and a dark cherry-like taste. That version seems closer to bourbon.

These drinks do really change in my opinion over 30 years and more though. The JD from the 70's I tasted with Mike Veach seemed different than the current regular JD, not just because of proof. I have some 70's Dickel which does not show the "vitamins" flavor some have noticed (including me) in the current bottlings.

I think the JD "taste" where it is most accentuated probably results form a combination of the particular yeast used and perhaps a high fermentation temperature.

I believe all the bourbon makers (I include JD in this in a broad sense) ferment at an ambient temperature but e.g., are the fermentation rooms cooled in the summer and heated in the winter? I don't know, this is something not often discussed here.

Gary

Jono
12-12-2008, 07:48
The opposite may occur with rye....more clove generated by lower temps. Not sure what the initial fermentation temp of rye is vs bourbon or JD... or the particular yeasts used..but a lower temp could explain some of the clove spiciness from the yeast in addition to the rye itself.

polyamnesia
12-12-2008, 17:39
well, this banana conundrum is interesting...and wow, nice research and speculation by our more technically saavy members.

of course, related, but also almost off-topic, WHY the vitamin sense in Dickel? two Tenn whisk*ies...why are they so different?

seems that aside from mashbills and charcoal, there are other factors suggested above...temperature, etc....

Dramiel McHinson
12-13-2008, 17:50
well, this banana conundrum is interesting...and wow, nice research and speculation by our more technically saavy members.

of course, related, but also almost off-topic, WHY the vitamin sense in Dickel? two Tenn whisk*ies...why are they so different?

seems that aside from mashbills and charcoal, there are other factors suggested above...temperature, etc....

Here are a few observations I've made during distillation at Jack Daniels and George Dickel. It's been a while but here goes...First is difference in mash bill and yeast. Second, Jack Daniels distills through a column stills and then to filtration through charcoal. I don't know if barrel toast is different, I don't remember.

George Dickel is very small volume compared to JD. They distill through only one column still then through a pot still. When they filter, they use bleached wool blankets and charcoal. The whisky (their spelling) is aged between 3 and 12 years depending on the label, #8,#12, Cascade Hollow.

Dickels fermentation tanks are in the same proximity as the stills and in the summer it's HOT in there. JD has the tanks and stills in separate areas and the area with the fermentation tanks didn't seem to be uncomfortably warm. Dickel also uses a type of chill filtration, while I don't remember JD mentioning chill filtration.

I think there are enough differences in the way the whisk(e)y is made and aged to give them very distinct and different taste profiles. If you are ever in the neighborhood to visit JD then by all means visit George Dickel, they are just down the road a few miles. Prichards distillery is also close by so might as well take that one in too!

Here's to bananas and vitamens for health and vigor!

Jono
12-13-2008, 19:46
I wonder if the Dickel yeast is the source of the "vitamin" taste...considering:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/brewers-yeast-000288.htm

Brewers yeast is a rich source of B vitamins and is bitter in taste. It is used to make beer. The yeast strain used by Dickel may have a similar profile...and maybe the hot temps you noted increase the effect.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-brewers-yeast.htm

"A number of Saccharomyces species are used to brew beer, depending on whether it is a top or bottom fermenting beer"

If used to brew beer...possibly used to start whiskey fermentation too.

Gillman
12-13-2008, 20:09
I think it may be the yeast because I recall once some Old Charter (when made by UDV) having a similar flavour. It is not at all unpleasant, kind of a mineral note, but not something I would drink regularly. Also, I've found some bottles have it to a greater or lesser extent and I'll buy a couple of bottles at least every year, the No. 8 or 12, to check out how it's tasting.

Gary

polyamnesia
12-13-2008, 20:41
...George Dickel is very small volume compared to JD. They distill through only one column still then through a pot still. When they filter, they use bleached wool blankets and charcoal...!

does the WOOL have anything to do with the flavor? i've never heard of that. interesting.

Jono
12-14-2008, 11:03
I wonder if "lanolin" enters into the distillate as a fatty ester.....quite an unusual application of wool....unless they use washed / scoured wool free of lanolin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanolin

nor02lei
12-14-2008, 11:39
[quote=Dramiel McHinson;151533]Second, Jack Daniels distills through a column stills and then to filtration through charcoal.

quote]

They run it thru a doubler as well.

Leif

Gillman
12-14-2008, 12:40
I don't think the wool has anything to do with it, it would be well-bleached to ensure no taste gets in the whiskey. Also, a 1980's Old Charter 90 proof I had at a gazebo had the same mineral-like note. In my view it must have been a UDV yeast, or some other process peculiar to UDV distillation that explains it. Perhaps I should say, peculiar to UDV distillation in the last 20 years or so since a George Dickel I have from the 70's seems not to disclose that note (it is otherwise quite similar to current Dickel).

Leaching through wool blankets is an old rectification technique and is mentioned in old distilling texts. Chuck Cowdery has pointed out that rough pot still distillations were vaporised into and soaked out of old wool blankets as a field expedient by some 'shiners. So the practice is probably originally an artisan/empirical one and later was adopted by some commercial distillers. It is intended to filter out some fusel oils.

Gary

Dramiel McHinson
12-14-2008, 20:15
[quote=Dramiel McHinson;151533]Second, Jack Daniels distills through a column stills and then to filtration through charcoal.

quote]

They run it thru a doubler as well.

Leif

I've visited JD a few times and just didn't remember if they mentioned that they ran the alcohol through a doubler or not. It makes sense. I do know that George Dickel uses a pot still as a doubler. The column stills and pot stills possibly add different effects on the alcohol. I am inclined to agree that the yeast is probably the source of the vitamen taste. The Barrel Select from GD that I tried didn't have it so that adds a little mystery to the source of the presence of that vitamen note.

Dramiel McHinson
12-14-2008, 20:48
I don't think the wool has anything to do with it,

Leaching through wool blankets is an old rectification technique and is mentioned in old distilling texts. It is intended to filter out some fusel oils.

Gary

As a side note to the use of wool. The distillery explained that the use of wool blankets and perforated stainless separaters in the charcoal kept the whisky from tunneling through the charcoal too quickly and aided in dispersion as well as helping mitigate some of the fusel oils mention by Gary. This was additional to what was explained by Jack Daniels as their technique.

I am certainly no expert, but, as I understand it, the more congeners removed the closer you get to a purer alcohol with neutral taste. The barrel always makes the biggest contribution to taste but what goes in the barrel carries with it certain flavors that will evolve in the barrel. If certain congeners are left in the spirit and noted as a desirable profile of the spirit then the whole process becomes critical to maintaining that profile.

Noting the differences in process and mashbill, I think Geroge Dickel would still taste different from Jack Daniels even if they used the same commercial strain of yeast. So my question is...would the vitamen taste remain if the yeast was the same? And for Jack Daniels, is there a tweak in their process that gives a higher probablilty that bananas will make it to the bottle?

I'm going to stop now because if I think too hard about it I could blow an O'ring.:bigeyes:

Gillman
12-14-2008, 21:06
Interesting observations and of course there are so many factors that can affect palate. As was mentioned earlier, Dickel also chills its maple charcoal vats and I understand this is done because it is felt they get a white dog such as they would get in the winter which is felt better than one coming through the charcoal stack at a non-winter temperature.

I guess one will never know for sure how this element of the taste is imparted (or from where it comes might put it better), but at least this generation's George Dickel does seem to have an element of mineral-like taste (or vitamin, earthy, call it what you will), just as Jack has the estery banana-like note.

Personally I think in each case it's the yeast. Assuming that is so, would Dickel taste as it does if put through Jack Daniel's fermenters and stills and aged in its warehouses? I don't know.

Gary

cowdery
12-16-2008, 17:17
While Dickel and Daniel's undoubtedly use different yeasts, and their mash bills differ slightly although both have extremely high corn content, the primary difference is with the Lincoln County Process itself. JD goes through about ten feet of charcoal and the spirit is at ambient temperature. The charcoal vats at Dickel are only about three feet deep and the spirit is chilled first.

Lost Pollito
12-16-2008, 17:41
Also, I thought, JD had a drip line that let the whisky go straight through the charcoal, and GD actually filled the vat of Charcoal with the whiskey, then let it drip out.

Martian
12-20-2008, 12:36
I read here (http://www.spiritsreview.com/reviews-whisky-tennessee-dickel-12.html) that Dickel is 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% barley.

polyamnesia
12-20-2008, 17:46
I read here (http://www.spiritsreview.com/reviews-whisky-tennessee-dickel-12.html) that Dickel is 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% barley.


yep, one can tell there is barely a sense of rye in dickel...what's JDs mashbill?

cowdery
12-20-2008, 17:52
yep, one can tell there is barely a sense of rye in dickel...what's JDs mashbill?

Virtually the same.

funknik
12-21-2008, 09:22
Virtually the same.
Still, I imagine I can taste rye (and the barrel) in JD, whereas the Dickel No12, which is a regular pour of mine, seems completely devoid of any rye or wood flavor, except for maple sugar.