$$ — 45% ABV — No Age Stated
There's nowhere to hide in a single barrel whiskey. Normally, many barrels are vatted together to average their flavor. But a whiskey marked single barrel is all alone; either it aged well or it didn't. Being one of the largest whiskey operations in the USA, Jack Daniel's single barrel program is immensely robust. Only 1% of their barrels makes the grade. The taste is soft with toasted oak, round vanilla and tart orange blossom honey.
An orphan of the Civil War, Jack Daniel fought hard to solidify his whiskey as not just another Bourbon knockoff, but a Tennessee product. While Jack Daniel's does satisfy all the requirements to be called a straight Bourbon, the term is intentionally absent from the bottle.
Daniel is credited with inventing the Lincoln County Process, a legal requirement of all new Tennessee whiskeys as of 2013. It involves filtering new-make whiskey through sugar maple charcoal before maturing it. This mellows the spirit, without robbing the final product of any flavors picked up in the oak barrel.
This distillery is often at odds with big whiskey fans: Gentleman Jack, designed by Lincoln Henderson as a 'beginner's whiskey,' is charcoal filtered again post-maturation, which is quite at odds with the Lincoln County Process. Their flagship whiskey, Old No. 7, is often cited as solid but over-priced and over-diluted. However JDSB, as it's called by fans, is a true slice of history. And it's the only whiskey available for a truly authentic Lynchburg Lemonade.