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Jack Daniel's Single Barrel


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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:

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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

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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.

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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

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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!"

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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.

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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.

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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

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  • 1 month later...

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.

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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

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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:

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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.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Dramiel McHinson
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!

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Dramiel McHinson
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!

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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

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  • 1 month later...

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!

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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...!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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....

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Dramiel McHinson
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....

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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.

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