Jack Daniels

Just before an exam, myself and Lucas are, as usual, talking about our whisky blog instead of revising. I am quite excited because I have decided what my new post is going be about:

Chris: I am gonna write about Jack Daniels, man. Should be fun.

Lucas: Err, ok…

Chris: No seriously, it’ll be great!

Lucas: Err, ok…

Lucas looked doubtful. People that know me and love single malts, like I do, are probably reading this thinking: why’s he so excited? Let me explain.

Me and Jack have been good drinking buddies for years and years. He has been there for the good times and the bad times. We have had trial separations and we have got back together again. I know he has his faults but I think, as a mixer, Jack Daniels is a great whisky. So yes, I am excited but also actually pretty anxious too. Is this tasting going to work?

I am going to taste this whiskey straight and then try it with some mixers that I have not tried it with before. Work, work.

But first some information

I would recommend visiting www.JackDaniels.com at some point, as it is a great website but I will give you some of the basics.

Jack Daniels is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, selling whiskey in the world. Licenced in 1866 (America’s oldest licensed distillery), it is classed as a Tennessee Whiskey (traditionally ‘bourbon’ comes from distilleries based in Kentucky).

They do things a little bit different with American whiskey and Jack Daniels. They use at least 51% corn and the rest is a mixture of barley and wheat. Single malt Scottish whisky uses 100% barley. Jack Daniels uses a process called charcoal mellowing which is where they drain the whiskey through ten feet of maple sugar charcoal. The website says that this gives Jack Daniels certain smoothness. The law in America states they must use new barrels, rather than seasoned ones. The barrels are made from American White Oak, which gives whiskey some of the vanilla flavours associated with Jack Daniels.

The Jack Daniels that is commonly available is ‘No7′. There are several alternative stories behind it being called this way. Some say Jack had seven girlfriends, others say he wrote his Js like a 7s and some say it was just his lucky number (Jack Daniels website).

So what does it taste like?

Nose: Little bit sweet, a bit harsh. Hints of berries, strong hint of vanilla, notes of nail varnish.

Palate: Smooth, very smooth even. A little bit sweet with hints of burnt caramel and vanilla.

Finish: Quick

With mixers…

Jack Daniels is famous for mixing with coke. I think it works fantastically with coke but I wanted to try it with other mixers to see if any worked.

Jack and Irn-Bru: Turns the Irn-Bru a dark, unappealing colour. Tastes interesting at first, burnt liquorice. Adds a bit of bite to the Irn-Bru (obviously). I tried to finish the whole glass but it started to taste quite sickly. I am not sure about this one. My sister liked it but she said she is more of a vodka woman, poor thing.

Jack and Sprite: I thought this would work. But Sprite seems to be a bit to sugary and processed. Has a strange aftertaste. Maybe not…

Jack, Sprite and Ribena: Ok, we are getting a bit silly here. My good friend Joe (Teuchters Landing tasting host) suggested that this would work. The verdict: tasted slightly of grenadine. If you were to get it in a cocktail bar, you wouldn’t complain, but you probably wouldn’t tip or go back.

Overall, it was really interesting checking out Jack Daniels. I definitely want to go and visit the distillery at some point. It looks like a good trip.


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