I have never bought JDSB; never tasted it, in fact. However, as I've lately begun tasting whiskeys again, and have renewed my love affair with Dickel, I thought I'd give "the other Tennessee whiskey" a try. I picked up a 2011 Ducks Unlimited bottle earlier this week. It was under $40, so why not.
These are the first tasting notes I've posted in some time, but I've been doing a lot of tasting and writing notes lately. Hopefully these aren't too far off the mark.
First, the bottle info: Rick No. R-16; Barrel No. 11-2663; Bottled 6-1-11.
I tasted this in a nice sherry copita glass.
Appearance: Orange blossom honey. Long, slender, slow-moving legs
Nose: Grilled sweet corn; buttercream frosting; maple-iced donut
Palate: Big entry full of fat corn notes, followed almost immediately by pecans, fruit, and maple in the middle - add some saged sausage and you've got breakfast. The fruit, btw, is not banana, but rather some citrus, a bit of peach or some other stone fruit, and maybe something tropical - pineapple? mango? Nice, full mouthfeel enhanced by a vanilla backbone that serves to underscore and meld the other assorted notes.
Finish: Long, deep, maple-rich with some light cinnamon and another dollop of vanilla cream. Maybe a touch of caramel.
This is some very good whiskey. I wish I'd tried it sooner. It won't replace my favorite pours, most of which are less expensive and not as sweet, but this is a great option when out, I think, and probably worth keeping around as an after-dinner dram. I like Dickel 12, and I think it's a better value, but I have only had one or two bottles of that whiskey than can compare to this. Really nice indeed.
I know Gary and a few others here are fans. Count me in that camp.