Jack Daniel’s Really Wants You To Drink American Single Malt Whiskey

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Earlier this year, Jack Daniel’s added the first American single malt to its ever-growing lineup of Tennessee whiskey, proof of just how far this still lesser known category has come. And now Jack just added a second version of this single malt, with some key differences that will give you a reason to try this one even if you’ve already tasted the first release.

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The first thing to know is that you’ll have to visit an airport to get a bottle of this whiskey, because it’s being released as a global travel retail exclusive. But there are some other important distinctions. The initial single malt was called Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Twice Barreled Special Release American Single Malt—as the name indicates it was a single barrel expression released in limited quantities as part of the Jack Daniel’s Special Release Collection. This new Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt joins the permanent lineup, despite it only being available at airports. Also, the first whiskey was bottled at between 106 and 108 proof depending on the barrel, while this new release remains at a consistent 90 proof. Both whiskeys were made from a mashbill of 100 percent malted barley, filtered through 10 feet of charcoal before barreling (a.k.a. the Lincoln County process that defines Tennessee whiskey), and aged in new charred oak barrels for about five years before being finished in Oloroso sherry casks.

According to master distiller Chris Fletcher, the sherry cask finish was necessary to get the flavor and character of the whiskey where it needed to be. “This was never an attempt to create a Scottish style malt whiskey,” he said on a recent Zoom call. “I think that’s pretty obvious because the distilleries and processes are so different [in American and Scotland]. The goal was to create an American version of single malt whiskey. Our thought was to make a malt whiskey the best that we could in a Tennessee style.” The one similarity Fletches concedes is the sherry finish, a common practice in the world of scotch whisky. Jack Daniel’s had more than 300 sherry butts shipped to the distillery, and the whiskey spent a total of three years in these casks—more of a secondary maturation than a finish, really. Fletcher says that future batches may not be that long, but the finish will never be less than a year.

Official tasting notes for the whiskey describe soft oak, fruit, and cocoa on the nose, with notes of dark chocolate-covered nuts and berries on the palate. Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt is priced at $100, and it comes in a larger one-liter size rather than your typical 750-ml bottle. Fletcher said that while there are no plans to release it in domestic markets, that could change in the future. In the meantime, you can find it now at airports around the world, and the rest of the Jack Daniel’s lineup is available to purchase from ReserveBar.

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