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Which is interesting since the whiskey is subjected to a double maturation: first, the famed sugar maple leaching process, second, 4-5 years old charred barrel aging. The only explanation I can think of is the JD fermentation process must result in a higher amount of congeners (fusel oils) than for most other whiskeys. In fact, I recall reading on this forum I believe that that is so, presumbaly because it is part of the character of the product. It would be interesting to sample Jack Daniels at 7-8 years old to see if further congener modification would occur, I believe this is likely.

Congener modification is (as Tim reported in the other thread) an important part of aging any whisky. So is the entry particularly for bourbon and straight rye of wood sugars in the whisky. In fact, that sweetening effect in the U.S. probably was useful as a way to hasten aging, just as "dulcification" (adding sugar in some form artificially) did for many kinds of spirits in the 1800's. In other words it covered over congeners that were not yet modified by the relatively short 1-3 year (on average) aging periods of most of the 1800's.

It would be interesting to age a bourbon mash in reused barrels and see how long it took to get a palatable beverage. Corn whiskey is an example but e.g. the Straight Mellow Corn of HH is probably not older than 2 or 3 years. It still has a feisty, oily character at that age. You'd need years more aging to get a modification of that taste. The American Whiskey of Michter's may be an example since I believe it is aged in reused wood. It is not a bad whiskey, but there seems no substitute for using the new barrel to get the typical bourbon palate.

Putting it another way, bourbon's character post-white dog phase results from:

1) modification of congeners into esters and other less harsh, more aromatic compounds and flavours; and

2) entry into spirit of lignin sugars and others pleasing flavours from the charred wood and red layer just behind. In Scotland, where new charred barrels are not used, sherry from ex-sherry barrels (where used) is the analogue.

Gary

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The rest of my library is in KY and this book has been proven wrong before, but here goes:

World Whiskey Guide, Jim Murray, 2000. p 302:

"Maybe it's the fact that Jack Daniel is only single-distilled that makes it Tennessee...There is a doubler below the beer stills, but that only redisils the vapour from the beer heater, which makes it pretty well unique not just in the USA but the world."

So, I'm not quite sure off the top of my head what a beer heater is (sounds like it might be a preheater), but if this single-distilled statement is correct then that'll account for a higher level of cogeners.

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That's interesting and I know Ken Weber has stated here a couple of times his belief that Jack Daniel is single-distilled, this would seem to prove him right. I have read though in Malt Advocate that the beer is doubled and this was stated in an interview with (I believe) Lincoln Henderson. This article is available online and I have drawn attention to it before, anyone interested can do a basic search and find it. What is interesting in Murray's comments is the alleged nature of that doubling, it sounds like it may be a more limited process than most companies use, but I don't know. Certainly Murray's comments should be taken seriously. I find it interesting that B-F would go to the trouble of retaining the sugar maple leaching system yet use a limited doubling method, but again we are dealing in an area of tradition (Tennessee whiskey), and the norms of manufacturing may be age-old. It may well be JD was made this way in the 1800's and is made like that today because the owners don't want to change the process. Just because JD is owned by a large company outside the State (of Tennessee) doesn't mean it hasen't kept to the old ways, sometimes big companies can ensure maintenance of tradition better than small ones because they can afford the costs and take a longer view.

Gary

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Straight Mellow Corn of HH is probably not older than 2 or 3 years. It still has a feisty, oily character at that age.

The half-full bottle of Mellow Corn that I have (and have had since a trip to KY in 1999 - it isn't exactly my "go to" whiskey) is Bottled in Bond, and I think it all is, so I think it must be four years old.

I double checked the government regulations to make sure that corn whiskey is not exempt from the minimum age requirement for bonded whiskey, as it is for the requirement for new, charred oak. By my reading, it is not exempt.

The regs also do not exempt straight corn whiskey from stating its age if it is less than four years old.

Even at this apparent minimum age of four years, I agree that it is "feisty and oily." This is certainly an indication of the difference that new, charred oak can make. I don't think it is merely the covering up of its feinty character by barrel sugars. I suspect that the char plays an important part.

While, as I say, it's not something I sample very often, I agree with Jim Murray in his Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey that "Every home should keep a bottle."

At least every home of anyone who is interested in becoming familiar first hand with the variabilities that affect whiskey. And at times, I find a dram of it to be enjoyable. Sort of. Maybe on the rocks.

Jeff

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While, as I say, it's not something I sample very often, I agree with Jim Murray in his Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey that "Every home should keep a bottle."

I'd say the same about Georgia Moon. Every time I begin to forget what good whiskey isn't supposed to taste like, I take a sip out of that mason jar and am suddenly reminded. smile.gif

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You're right Jeff, thanks, I was thinking of a straight corn that wasn't bonded, I think Mellow Corn comes in that format too and there are others. And as you said even at 4 years of age the reused barrels don't seem to give a lot to the whiskey..

Gary

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  • 2 months later...

I believe it stands for "No Drinking":puke:

On a more serious note:

No. stands for Number:Clever:

in other words what it says is "Old Number 7"

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I believe it stands for "No Drinking":puke:

On a more serious note:

No. stands for Number:Clever:

in other words what it says is "Old Number 7"

Is "Old Number 8" also produced? 7,8,...? I'll buy a Jack Daniels to try and I want to be familiar with the label...What I don't know is the "7",actually.

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What does the "Old No:7" statement on Jack Daniels label mean? What "No" is it?

One story is here:

http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/view_vendor.php?vid=LYT12471&YourLoginID=d64bb347324bd9ffc763824a3209c8a3

I've also heard a story that the brand was named for the "#7" store in which is was once distributed. By the way, the green-label Jack Daniel's also is designated #7.

As for Dickel #8, it was the closest number to JD's #7 when they decided to become a direct competitor in the Tennessee whiskey market that could not spark a trademark fight.

None of the numbers has any apparent specific meaning as to age or place -- they are just marketing devices.

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Last year a biography of Jack Daniels was published, I have this somewhere in my library but cannot locate it at the moment. It claims that No. 7 was the number of the original distillery district where Jack Daniels' distillery was located. Then the Government consolidated the districts. Jack Daniels' whiskey was now being made in district 3 or 4 (I can't recall but will try to find the book). Daniels wanted still to associate his whiskey with district No. 7, probably because whiskey issuing from there had a certain reputation. I think (again I'll check for the book) it had to do with the fact that No. 7 distillers used the sour mash method. In some other districts the sweet mash method was used and the whiskey was not considered as good (probably because it was less consistent in taste). So Jack's idea was to put "Old No. 7" on the containers and invoicing. This did not break the law because he was simply telling people it was the same whiskey that used to be made in the original No. 7 district in Tennessee. Of all the stories I have read this seems the most plausible and we have it from a biographer who wrote a full-length book and evidently did much research into his subject.

Gary

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As for as I know, Gary (and that doesn't mean it's so), Tennessee isn't currently divided into distilling districts because there are only three active distilleries (legally registered ones, that is:grin:) -- Dickel in Tullahoma, Jack Daniel's in Lynchburg, and Prichard's (rum) in Winchester -- in the state. You can drive past all three in less than an hour.

The cases of Jack Daniel's products we receive at the store carry the designation "DSP-TENN-4". We don't often (need to) buy Dickel products by the case, but I'll try to make a note of its markings next time we do.

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I spent some time looking up the DSP for Dickel and it doesn't seem that they are bottling there, nor have they for a long time.

DSP bottling:

IN-26

KY-24

IL-58

MD-3

CT-I-325

However I did find this that shows the DSP number:

post-1106-14489812216068_thumb.jpg

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Yes, I believe Dickel is currently trucked to Ontario and bottled in Canada. I do have Dickel listed as DSP-TENN-2 in my database, but I don't remember where the reference came from. That sign'll do. Thanks.

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I found the book, it is Peter Krass' Blood and Whiskey: Life and Times of Jack Daniel (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). On page 118 Krass explains that in the original government district 4 in Tennessee, the distillery was known as No. 7. Then the government merged district 4 into district 5 and in the new district the distillery was assigned no. 16 as its identification number. Jack Daniels distillery, then called "Daniel & Call", decided to put "Old No. 7" on their barrels and paperwork (and later, bottles). This was to remind customers of the origin and quality of their brand and that they were a sour mash distillery, not sweet mash. The label became famous and was a stroke of marketing genius beyond the hope of Daniel since the name Old No. 7 acquired mystique.

This is ironic to a degree since today I don't think Old No. 7, those words, carry the full connotation they once did. People know the name Jack Daniel world-wide and that assures the success and fame of the brand.

The book is excellent and recommended.

Gary

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, I took my first sip of JD, at last...Well, I really enjoyed the "candy-like" taste, and the smoothness...Probably I'll buy several JD bottles :) Now, Gentlemen Jack is the next one to try.

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elkdoggydog

Agreed. Maybe you want to try the Gentleman Jack before you go stock up on Old No. 7, just in case it shifts your priorities. I think the GJ is a nice sipping whiskey.

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I'm glad to find some Jack Daniel's fans on here. Don't get me wrong, I like bourbon and Jack Daniel's isn't bourbon, but I do enjoy the taste. Regular JD is good but I really enjoy Gentleman Jack. At times it's my nightly pour. The single barrel is nice too.

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Well, you're highly motivating. I think I'll buy a bottle of GJ soon, and will return here taking my first sips :)

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  • 6 months later...

I was out at the liquor store (my favorite hangout :grin: ) when it occured to me that I have never REALLY tasted JD. So I bought a 50ml bottle of the Old No. 7 (i bought a lil one because I was expecting to not like it) and I was pleasently surprised.

I find it to be a very sweet drink, but I like it just fine. It will not be a nightly, or even weekly pour faor that matter, but I will keep a bottle on hand.

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ProofPositive
Well, you're highly motivating. I think I'll buy a bottle of GJ soon, and will return here taking my first sips :)

When you do.....handle with care. It is very smooth. It'll sneak up on you and roar like a lion the next morning!

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