The new kid on the block is here. This brand new mash bill from the powerhouse that is Jack Daniel distillery out of Lynchburg, TN is making another splash in the whiskey world - one that has bourbon hunters flocking towards it despite the unique style.
The distillery describes this release on their website, saying:
Our fifth annual special release is here - Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled 2022 Special Release American Single Malt Whiskey finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks. This year’s special release celebrates a brand new grain bill from the Jack Daniel Distillery - 100% malted barley. This is a one-of-a-kind experience crafted from the highest quality malted barley, charcoal mellowed, and twice barreled for a complex taste. This special release is first aged in brand new, American white oak barrels and then finished in the finest Oloroso sherry casks and bottled in its truest form, straight from the cask, with the proof ranging from 106.1-107.8.
Jack Daniel's is famous for their 'Lincoln County Process' of charcoal filtration, which this release underwent. The maple wood charcoal is meant to both filter and sweeten, and if you've had some of JD's higher end single barrels or special releases, you'll be well acquainted with how great their whiskey can be.
Owners of this new release are encouraged to register their unique bottle number, though I couldn't see this new release listed on the drop down menu at the time of writing. I've previously enjoyed writing reviews on Jack Daniel's 10 year, triple mash, Coy Hill, and the blessed experience of getting to pick a barrel proof single barrel with Lexie Phillips. I've long maintained that utilizing Oloroso sherry finishes is akin to whisk(e)y cheat codes given it almost always improves the mouthfeel, flavor and quality of spirits in my experience. I've tried this on 3 separate occasions now and I feel I'm now ready to offer my honest thoughts here today. So let's dive in!
Company on Label: Jack Daniel Distillery
Whiskey Type: American Single Malt
Mash Bill Percentages: 100% Malted Barley
Age: NAS, but it described as being a 4 year whiskey that received another two years of finishing time; so this should drink akin to a 6 year release if we're being intellectually honest
Further identification: This 2022 limited edition release is finished in Oloroso sherry casks
Nose: Light bread, chocolate and molasses jump out of the glass first and foremost. Light, pink florals dance in the nostrils as the easy air passes through without a hint of the proof to be. Warm hints of baking pie crust and strawberry are alluring and delicious. Well rounded walnut compliments the oak. Simple, light, but still teeming with decent complexity; I'm impressed yet still yearning for more. Time for a sip.
Coming back to the nose I continue to find the light florals as they intersperse between the malt and molasses. Dark woodshop aromas like walnut, acacia and linseed oil fill the air atop the liquid in my glencairn. Deep inhales produce the faintest smell of butterscotch as the glass continues to be perfectly approachable. Soft tones of vanilla and warm earthy tones reminiscent of leather fill the glass as it nears empty.
Palate: Right away the strawberry tones come back but more so in a flambé style dessert rather than a warm baking pie as the nose let on. The mouth feel is oily and layered with a long linger of delicious banana bread that is subtle, but incredibly well executed. Seriously. The banana bread really is amazing here. It's layered well - moist and buttery with pecans and walnuts sprinkled throughout. A touch of sweet raisin further elevates the experience. Another sip (yes all that above was one sip) produces a decent wave of zest and heft with expressed lemon peel and vanilla meet in a din at the center of my tongue. Overall the mouthfeel continues to be oily as as the steam off of a freshly brewed cup of coffee joins the senses in joy. A larger sip and swish shows off Christmas spices and a big wave of plum. Coriander, allspice, cardamom and ginger blend well in an abstruse aperitif. As the glass wears on towards the bottom I find my teeth pinging with the evidence of an incredibly sweet sip. The expressed lemon peel returns, shaking out some new notes of herbal tea I wasn't finding before. These notes complement the coriander and cardamom spices well. My last sip is creamy upfront with lemon cake with a sugary vanilla glaze. The finish is medium with all the sherry really showing through here. Delectable!
To borrow a phrase from the incredibly dope Pablo Moix of Rare Character, I'd call this one supremely crushable. I don't know if this was intended to be a "Christmas release" but it sure tastes like it could be. The spices included are all reminiscent of some of the traditional ones you will see utilized around the holidays and I can definitely picture myself sipping this by a cozy fire throughout this Winter here in New England. This was very close to earning my 'Keep Amongst the Whiskey' distinction, but I would prefer this to have a little more power behind it in order to really wow me. Still - a thoroughly well crafted release that I commend the fantastic master distiller duo on.
Have you tried this one yet? Hoping to? Make sure you are subscribed to the website (see below) and you might get that chance. Cheers!