Photo cred on the first image goes to @foodboozecigars
Jack Daniel's hazmat proof Coy Hill is here! I couldn't find a bottle of this myself, but thankfully a fantastic @SpiritAnimalSociety member, @foodboozecigars. I hear he also has a cool website that may get rekindled here soon. I really appreciate these mail call care packages on days like today when winter comes a-knockin'. I'm actually pretty excited to experience 140.7 proof, as I love barrel strength pours when the conditions are right. Let's see if I can handle this heat!
Some extra details:
This year’s annual special release celebrates Coy Hill which is the highest-elevated rolling hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property.
This release was hand selected by master distiller Chris Fletcher.
I really enjoyed Jack Daniel's 2020 limited release which was the barrel proof rye. I ended up getting a bottle of that after really loving the sample that I reviewed here.
The Jack Daniel's 10 Year release reviewed well with me...
Did you hear they will be releasing a 12 year product next?
There doesn't seem to be any brakes on the freight train that is Jack Daniel's this year. Wherever you land on JD I hope you enjoy this review!
Company on Label: Jack Daniel's
Whiskey Type: Tennessee Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: 80% Corn, 8% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Age: 9 years
Further identification: This is a 2021 special release single barrel aged on the highest hill of the Jack Daniel's property (Coy Hill)
Nose: This is some dark, dark stuff. The first nosing right after pouring is filled with rich molasses. It smells as if it would be as thick as motor oil if you were to try to drink it. Heavy, syrupy prune aromas are powerful on this. Everything here is fruity, but in a thick, jammy way. I get a lot of plum jam, grape skins, peach and blackberry aromas. There's no real pain or sorrow with respect to the heat on the nose which is quite surprising. This barrel feels well in hand and unsurprisingly it was selected for a special release of this caliber. There's a bit of dry newspaper that swings in before the oak makes itself known. The oak characteristic itself is touched with bright pepper and allspice while delivering sweet maturity without any bitter tannins. A lot of bright & sharp dustiness. Coming back to this again highlights that potent molasses smell which is quite enjoyable for me today. Ooh, fighting through that thick sorghum I just got a really nice powdery milk chocolate smell. Dark cereal aromas continue to flourish throughout this glass, but at this point I am ready for a sip!
The nose feels much more complete after drinking a few sips. There's a silkiness that has crept into the molasses and made it lighter, softer and more easily enjoyed. Vanilla shows up well with a bit of oxidation. I'm now smelling a delicious loaf of banana bread baking in the oven, a little bit of barbecue smoke, and a big wave of vanilla. There are a lot of darker bakery smells later in the glass. The empty glass smells of peanut brittle, oak, honey, gift shop tea spices, pepper, and charcoal. My absolute favorite part of this pour is the empty glass smell.
Palate: Oh yeah, this has some power to it. Lemon zest instantly gives my whole mouth a quick, tingly shock. Afterwards a slightly minty caramel drives a numbing sensation throughout, quickly putting out the fire this tried to start under my fresh palate. Luckily cooler heads prevail and I can appreciate the soft banana note that lingers in the background. Another sip builds in just as much heft, but in a more appreciable manner. I get the thick molasses, tart berries and bright pepper that the nose was highlighting quite well. By my third sip, I feel as though this pour has mellowed out dramatically. The main highlights are a sweet banana peel note followed by the mixed berry buffet of raisin, plum, cranberry and cherry. The linger is medium with thick molasses making my saliva quite tacky along with it. I also find great spice that feels nestled under a layer of bread which softens the blow to the palate. Great flavors here, but rather unremarkable overall. My last sip is an allspice bomb that dropped on my palate and exited in great fumes through my nose as well. There's a big mouth coating of dry cinnamon and a lot of oak now surprisingly. The linger tapers off slowly, but noticeably rapidly as I feel the enjoyment level dropping. If this pour could stay in that sweet spot of big flavors longer I think I would enjoy it more. It can definitely drink a little hot at times. My last sip is punchy on the tongue as I let it linger as long as I can bear. The sting that spreads across my tongue is pronounced and I'm quite numbed by the experience. The main feeling I'm left with is a big caramel candy that is slowly dissolving in my mouth.
Are you a fan of hazmat level proof points?
To me this pour felt a lot like your typical single barrel Jack Daniel's barrel proof picks, albeit a little more refined and certainly cherry-picked for quality. It's nice, but I don't see myself going out of my way to secure one of these bottles through unscrupulous methods, but I would gladly still buy one for retail if I saw it. It certainly tasted better than the last barrel proof pick I tried. To refresh my memory, I just cracked open the 2020 limited release rye to compare... The rye is definitely more up my alley and should definitely get a full review here soon! Thank you again to @foodboozecigars for the sample! I love getting to try before I buy. This was super helpful!
To me hazmat is a bit of a novelty; there's barrel strength releases that handle their proof incredibly well (Elijah Craig, George T Stagg, Booker's to name a few) and then there are pours that are just hot to be hot. This is the latter... so proof hounds rejoice!