After making an initial splash into the cask strength rye arena back in 2020, Jack Daniel’s is back making waves with a new ongoing expression – Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye. This brand new barrel proof rye marks a permanent extension of Jack Daniel’s increasingly crowded single barrel collection which also contains a 94 proof rye and bourbon along with a 100 proof and barrel proof bourbon. It should be noted that Jack Daniel’s has really been on a hot streak lately, producing two new expressions in their Aged Series for 2023 and delighting fans for the past few years with their annual special releases. With the introduction of this new single barrel barrel proof rye, Jack Daniel’s has set their sights on satiating fans of their widely lauded 2020 special release.
The Jack Daniel’s rye mashbill is 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley and this single barrel offering comes in a proof range of 125-145. After first producing Unaged Rye in 2012, then Rested Rye in 2014, and Single Barrel Rye in 2016 it seems we’re finally seeing Jack Daniel’s hit for the cycle with this release – but is it a home run or simply ho-hum? Let’s dive into it.
We’ve got honey roasted ballpark peanuts with a few shakes of cayenne right off the bat. There’s also a bit of mint and molasses playing nicely with gobs of barrel char and a nice dose of leather that isn’t entirely dissimilar from a freshly oiled baseball glove. Take me out to the ballgame, indeed. Rounding out the aromas there’s a faint indication of that classic Jack Daniel’s banana-like note plus the sweet scent of ginger cookies and oddly even some grilled watermelon on this particular single barrel, which adds a layer of intrigue.
Initially it begins a bit hot on the palate but that’s tempered by the continuance of that peculiar grilled watermelon note which is joined by a dash of clove, waffle cone, and cigar ash. The flavor of roasted peanuts comes into play as dark chocolate tumbles over the tongue before this pour transitions to the finish with a flourish of floral notes and blooming butterscotch. With a buttery texture and the reintroduction of heat punctuating the lengthy finish, it delivers on all the expectations of well-made barrel proof whiskey.
While Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye falls short of the superlative 2020 special release, it does an admirable job of approaching that high bar and ably exceeds in comparison to its contemporaries. Due to the variance among single barrel expressions it would not shock me if some barrels in this new core expression eventually surpass their special release predecessor. Between the relative availability, high quality, and pocket-friendly price tag this is a bottle well-worth taking a swing at.
137.3 proof as tasted. (Bottles will vary.)