Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where the Angels Roost - Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select
So I have taken some time before reviewing this whisky. I think it is because I am not sure about it even now. I like it yes but I am somewhat disappointed. I have had my eye on a bottle of Jack Daniel's Single Barrel for sometime and when the opportunity arose to spend those few extra dollars I lashed out in ernest. About 6 months back I had an absolutely excellent bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed (not a single barrel) and I think I was hoping for the same experience with the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel. Yes I know these are not even close to being the same whiskies but to me the a $80 price tag and the words Single Barrel means this should be something special and that was what I was looking forward to.

Two unique things that make the Single Barrel so special firstly the fact that this each bottle only comes from one barrel and not blended. Secondly is the fact that these barrels sit and remain in the upper reaches of the barrelhouse, aka The Angels Roost, which forces the more extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity into the barrel and its contents. Ultimately the heavier the fluctuation on the whisky in the barrel the more the whisky is forced in and out of the wood drawing the tannins and sugars out. Though of course I have never been to the Jack Daniel's Distillery, from various sources including a documentary I have seen recently seen on the distillery these barrels do in fact suffer very heavily to the angels share and in the upper reaches of the barrelhouse the smell of whisky is quite prevalent.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select
Alcohol: 45%
Location / Region: Lynchburg, Tennessee
Rick No.: L-11
Barrel No.: 10-1913
Botteling Date: 5-5-10

The Colour is deep amber. The whisky is presented in a rather over the top squat square bottle with a wooded cap and cork stopper that looks quite dated and not very well thought through.

One the nose lots of corn, maple vanillas and toasted oak. It is very strong and in your face in comparison to a regular Jack Daniels Old No.7 which I was expecting though it needs to be noted that this is only 45% so it is not ridiculous to the senses.

To taste much softer mouth feel than usual that just cushions the tongue. Again pretty much the same corns, vanillas and toasted oak notes found on the nose (personally not a big difference at all which leads to some disappointment). After an initial taste I get lots of tingle on the lips and tips of the tongue and cheecks.

The finish is rich, hot and sits in the middle of the throat. Not too much heat makes it into the chest at all an your pallet does get an aftershock of the caramel and toasted oaks for some time.

As you can see I really cannot pick out too much at all and it has a unfortunate sameness the whole way through. Honestly it is a great whisky but drastically overpriced. I feel this is a $50AU bottle of whisky and not the asking price of $80AU to $90AU found in the stores. In mentioning this it is leads me to a previous post on Jack Daniel's Old No.7 and how I feel that is a great whisky at a great price and tends to begin where many a American whisky finishes off.

If I was to give a dram then this would be a 5 1/2 out of 7. Great but not a leader in the field.

A thing to note and probably one of the most outstanding things about Jack Daniel's Single Barrel is you can buy a entire  barrel if you like. That is  250 750ml bottles (packaged individually) + the original barrel it was stored in for around $9000 AU. That has got to be 20 years of stocks if you consume 2.5 bottles a year. Not a bad deal at all if you ask me. Dear god even if you were a bar that is only $36 a bottle, a sure fire investment to have on the shelf.

Also of note is to remember this is a single barrel so other barrels will be different but I am sure not so extremely different that you would be playing Russian Roulette with your purchase.

The Baron


  1. Thanks for the post - I was bugging you for it recently! You aren't making me want to run out and buy this, but I think I just figured out why. I ran a currency converter to see what $80 AU is - holy moly that is expensive! In the US, the price is literally half of that, but still twice as expensive as Old No. 7. Maybe it's a good deal at the US price. Luckily I came across a miniature bottle of this, so I'll get to find out cheaply.

  2. Old No.7 here will sell for $35 AU on a good day and $45AU on a bad day. Gentleman Jack will start at $50AU. We have seen some considerable price falls occur in the last year particularly on Scotch Whisky but considering the Aussie dollar has been above the US for a good 6 months we would have expected to see something start to reach us in the American Whisky but alas no.

    Also it is probably worth noting that this bottle was probably imported late last year so minimal savings in exchange rate would have been seen.

    It is good your whiskies are so affordable in the US vs the Aussie made whiskies which start at around $80AU a bottle. None the less Whisky Exchange is allow us to import our own bottle now at exceptionally cheap prices in comparison to a local bottle shop but more about that in another post soon.

  3. I am nearing the end of the bottle for this Jack Daniels Single Barrel (1 dram to go) and I must say I think I will miss it. Each time I take a dram I get something different and there is a real sweet maple finish I am noticing more and more.

    It is heavy going considering it is only 45% and I consumed my bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed (Barrel Proof) in the half the time but non the less the experience was worth it. Would I buy another bottle again... no I do not think so as the price is high for the contents and will I stick to Old No.7 in the future.

  4. I am not a big drinker at all but I can tell you this is the best Jack I have ever... or, Whiskey... I have ever tasted or experience, never a hangover

    1. WHISKY... haha and to think, I'm not even drinking it right now just thinking about it. I'm just gonna re-name it Angels Roost