Well that's interesting.
Three observations: i) I don't get the pricing either. ii) There is no mention I can see of the maple charcoal filtering. Was the rye mash whiskey subjected to that? iii) Why is the class of spirits called neutral spirits on the label? Is it distilled out over 190? If so, I don't see really what rye mash, also stated on the bottle, designates.
Interesting observation, Gary. I believe that neutral spirits is a legally defined term meaning that it was distilled to over 190 proof (correct me if I am wrong about that.) I've seen various vodkas whose labels identify the grain/fruit from which they originated; is this nothing more than $50 Jack Daniel's vodka?
So the two bigest brand names in straight whiskey, with all their R & D and marketing skills, have thrown down the gautlet with their own versions of a clear whiskey, but both with their own twist. Chuck had an advance bottle he shared at KBF weekend, of the soon to be released Beam version, Jacob's Ghost, which is aged for 1 year and then filtered back clear http://www.trademarkia.com/clear-dis...-85682775.html
Well, they would get the aging effect of one year, but then to get it white, filter out all the color. It's a technique used in the rum industry a lot, and for the Canadian White Owl whisky brand.
Neutral spirit (turning now to the Jack Daniels Tennessee rye label, at least as depicted in that image) does designate, as far as I know, spirit distilled out at 190 proof or higher. It doesn't matter what grains are used. Whiskey from a rye mash normally means whiskey made from a mash of which 51% or more of the grains are rye, and distilled at up to 160 proof, but not aged in new charred barrels or perhaps, aged in such barrels but entered at >125 proof.
Could this be a mixture of neutral spirits and rye mash whiskey? It is called "rye" though, which I would have thought excludes the idea of containing neutral spirits. Yet, it is called rye, not rye whiskey as such, on the label. So perhaps it is a mix. By the way, the label says only a small amount was bottled white and most was laid down for barrel aging.
Just received a sample of it via the Whiskey Fairy. According to the release that came with it, they distilled and put up 800+ barrels of rye spirit at the end of last year to see how they would mature...and then their in-house tasters started raving about it. They've decided to release a limited amount as noted in previous posts.
Can you give some taste notes? Does it taste like part of it is neutral spirits? I would think you might know by the crisp, peppery finish vodka has, say.
The Whiskey Fairy visited me as well.
The press release says, "while many rye products only contain the required 51 percent rye in their grain bill, Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye consists of a grain combination of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley."
I'm surprised they don't mention charcoal filtering. I'm tasting it right now, and it clearly has been filtered, perhaps more than once, because while it has some of the aroma and flavor of white dog, it's very much toned down, very much like the Beam Jacob's Ghost product, which I recently learned is a definite go and will start to appear in stores in January.
Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, in his tasting notes, describes it as more fruity than spicy, and he's right about that. I suspect rye's characteristic spice notes were a casualty of the heavy filtering.
They're saying it's 'unaged,' but it has to have at least touched wood or they couldn't call it whiskey. They as much as say that it was already in the barrels when they decided to start selling it white. That sounds like a fairy tale (courtesy of the Whiskey Fairy) anyway.
It's 40% ABV.
Like Jacob's Ghost, it is less flavorable but much more drinkable than a typical micro-producer 'white whiskey.' It's spicier and drier than the Beam product. Still, you have to have some affection for white dog to drink it, because that's still what it is.
I can hear the talk now about "Jack Daniel's moonshine."
Clearly, though, there must be some high level market research that says white whiskey has legs.
It looks like a small release that will sell primarily in Tennessee, including at the distillery. Of course, they may just be saying that so places start to demand it.
Chuck, it doesn't state whiskey anywhere on the image, that I can see. Here is further script from the bottle:
Still no talk of whiskey as such.
My guess, or inference, is this is neutral spirit with a majority of the grains from rye. It might retain a lot of flavor if distilled at 190 as opposed to 194-196. I've tasted "rye vodka" distilled at that level (190) that has a lot of flavour, and perhaps maple charcoal filtering adding something. The difference between the terms "class" and "type" may be important, too.