Jack Daniel’s is on a tear lately. Over the last two years, the brand has released some truly killer new bottles of Jack Daniel’s, covering everything from bottled-in-bond masterpieces to American single malt, hazmat bourbon, superb rye whiskeys, blended American whiskeys, and age stated expressions of their classic Old No. 7. Let’s focus on the latter. Back in November of 2021, Jack Daniel’s shook the American whiskey world with the release of Jack Daniel’s 10-Year-Old, which was so good that it went on to top tons of “best of” lists. Today, Jack Daniel’s released the next volley in their Jack Daniel’s Aged Series: Jack Daniel’s 12-Year-Old (and batch 2 of Jack Daniel’s 10). Below, I’m going to give you my detailed tasting notes and professional opinion on the brand new Jack Daniel’s 12-Year release (I’ll cover the 10-year batch 2 a bit later). I was lucky enough to taste this whiskey from the barrel in a Jack Daniel’s barrel house in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and from the new bottle at the distillery with Master Distiller Chris Fletcher and Assistant Distiller Lexie Phillips. So let’s cut this preamble short and dive into what’s in the bottle! Zach Johnston Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months Brown-Forman ABV: 53.5% Average Price: $80 (MSRP) The Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s doesn’t hide any of its processes. The mash at the base of this whiskey is a mix of 80% corn, 12% barley, and 8% rye. Those grains are milled in-house and mixed with cave water pulled from an on-site spring and Jack Daniel’s own yeast and lactobacillus that they also make/cultivate on-site. Once fermented, the mash is distilled twice in huge column stills. The hot spirit is then filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal that’s also made at the distillery. Finally, the filtered juice is loaded into charred new American oak barrels and left alone in the warehouse. After 12 years, a handful of barrels were ready; so they were batched, barely proofed, and bottled. The Bottle: The bottle design is a throwback to the early 1900s when Jack Daniel’s last released age-statement whiskeys. It has a nice heft to it and feels like something you would see behind a bar back in 1910. Tasting Notes: Nose: The nose is creamy with deep notes of old boot leather, dark and woody winter spices, black-tea-soaked dates, plum jam with clove, and an underbelly of chewy toffee-laced tobacco. Palate: That creaminess presents on the palate with a soft sticky toffee pudding drizzled in salted caramel and vanilla sauce next to flakes of salt and a pinch of orange zest over dry Earl Grey tea leaves with a whisper of singed wild sage. Finish: The end leans into the creamy toffee chewy tobacco with a hint of pear, cherry, and bananas foster over winter spice barks and a deep embracing warmth. Bottom Line: This is a great sipping whiskey. It’s deep, creamy, and full of iconic bourbon notes with a nice fruit-forward vibe and a hint of something a little extra (that floral Earl Grey note is very nice). It’s complex and rewarding on every nose and sip. I would easily buy this as a sipper for the weekend or to make one hell of a Manhattan. How To Buy: This whiskey is highly allocated (like Batch 1 of Jack Daniel’s 10 in 2021). You’ll find it at high-end liquor stores that do a lot of business with Jack Daniel’s — a good sign that your local liquor might get some is if they have Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel barrel picks behind the glass already. Otherwise, you’re going to see this at high-end whiskey bars and restaurants that get an allocation. State-run liquor stores will have their share and likely have big lines on whichever day they decide to drop this one. The secondary on Jack Daniel’s 10-year from 2021 is about $500 a bottle, so let that be your guide on this one. Ranking: 91/100 — This is really good $80 whiskey. There are no faults and it’s truly delicious. You won’t be disappointed.
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