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I have learned much these past few days reading the many posts here at Straight Bourbon. I think I'm somewhat disavantaged being here in Australia so seek elaborations upon the following. About twenty years ago I purchased a Jack Daniels 'Lincoln Bell' decanter containing 1.5 litres of joy. This certainly tasted somewhat different to the Old No7 I'd been accustomed to. At that stage the importation of Jack Daniels 'green label' was to soon cease so I actually never tasted a green label myself. Can anybody tell me precisely what bourbon went into these decanters ? This decanter had 'Jack Daniels' acid etched into the glass and was of a most attractive design.
Jack Daniels decanters after this time ceased the acid etching which was replaced with decals. Even the decanter shape has changed significantly since this time and today is far less appealing than the earlier designs.
Now I reckon thats Great Mate - woof!
I have one of those beautiful old Belle of Lincoln decanters, too. They're very lovely; but they never were "regular issue". All through its history, Jack Daniel would, from time to time, release specially created bottles for gifts and promotional use. They became highly prized collectors' items, and in 1971 the distillery began a program of re-issuing replicas of some of these fine old bottles. These have been released at unpredictable intervals, and with little or no pre-release fanfare; and they are only offered for a brief time before being retired. Thus, even the replicas have a good degree of collectibility to them. Your (and my) Belle of Lincoln bottle is one of these. It really isn't a replica, in the true sense, since there are no known examples remaining of the original bottle. It was offered in 1979-80 as a commemmorative, designed in a style that was thought to be similar to what the original might have looked like. So it really is an original in its own right. For the benefit of others reading this, the bottle is a huge (1.75 liter) clear glass decanter of the type sometimes called "back bar". In the old days, the bartender would fill this from barrel and pour drinks from it when ordered. The glass is heavy and made to look like the kind of old hand-made glass one would see in the 1800's rather than like perfect crystal. The name "Jack Daniel's" is deeply cut into the glass (not etched) in very ornate script. Not a lot of these were made. If yours still has the back label in place, you'll see there a bottle number and two initials. One is the taster(?) and the other is "FB" which is Frank Bobo, Jack Daniels' master distiller at that time.
If you email to <font color="ffc000"> <a> <href"firstname.lastname@example.org"> Jack_Daniels@jackdaniels.com </a> </font>, they'll be happy to send you a brochure that shows all the commemmorative reproductions, their dates, and tells a little about each.
According to folks at the distillery, the only difference between the green label and the black label is the proof (green=40% black=43%), but I've also heard from reliable sources that the green label is a little bit younger, too, at 4 years vs. 5-7 for the black label. Until fairly recently, black label Jack was 90 proof (45%). You might not think there'd be that much difference in just a couple of proof points, but at least with Jack Daniels the difference is very noticeable. In Canada recently, I found Jack Daniel black label at 80 proof! Check it out -- maybe that's what's going down under as well. If that's the case, then you're absolutely right about the old decanter version tasting different than the current black label one. However, for what it's worth, the 40% black label version probably doesn't taste much different than the 40% green label you're missing. Most of the commemmorative bottles (at least in the U.S.) are true 90-proof, so if you can get those you should. They have a Jack's 100th Birthday issue out this year (with a decal label) that's 90-proof. You might want to look for that one. Oh, and by the way, both types are sour mash, as are the George Dickel Tennessee whiskies and all Kentucky straight bourbons currently made (even if they don't say so on the label).
thanx for your post. The decanter is as you've described, however the label on the rear states 1.5 Centilitre as volume (1.5 litres). Two bottles of 750ml Jack Daniels will fill this decanter so I'm at somewhat of a loss at the 1.7 - It was a very good drink. These decanters came with a small booklet explaining the heritage of the Lincoln Belle but you've summarised the whole deal so wonderfully I must thank you again. I am very pleased to be in such company - Glenn
Now I reckon thats Great Mate - woof!
The export versions must be different, then. Mine doesn't have a capacity on the little label on the rear, but there's a ring label around the top of the neck which states "1.75 liter (59.2 oz)". When you empty two 750ml bottles into the decanter, is there room to spare? On the other hand, when I went to Canada and stopped at the duty-free store, the bottles for sale were all 1.14 liter, not one liter, although bottles you find for retail sale in Canada are one liter. That complies with Canada's legal limit for duty-free import. On the way back into the U.S., the same product can only be had in one liter bottles (because that's our own limit). So if the distillery ships its product in bottles a fraction of a liter different for Canada, it wouldn't be surprising if they do something similar for Australia. Do you perhaps have a 1.5 liter duty-free import limit there?
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