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Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Series No. 2

JD X 3

0 1789

@talexanderReview by @talexander

31st May 2015

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I've got a few Jack Daniel's bottles sitting around so let's do a run of them...

This limited edition honours the memory of the 2nd (and longest serving) Master Distiller, Jesse Butler "Jess" Motlow. When Jack Daniel died in 1911, he left the business to his nephew Lem Motlow, and had Lem's younger brother Jess take the role of master distiller. He held that position for thirty years, but for most of that time the distillery was closed due to Tennessee Prohibition, then national Prohibition. Luckily, Jess had an excellent memory and was able to not only rebuild the distillery after Prohibition was repealed in 1937, but knew by heart the recipe and process for making Jack Daniel's. Without Jess, Jack Daniel's may not have survived Prohibition.

The colour is a medium caramel with orange highlights. On the nose we have charcoal, dark maple syrup, burnt toffee and buckets of vanilla. Freshly ground black pepper. Mint. Tons of oak. Seems to be more rye spice in the background than in Old No. 7 - and is more herbal and floral. A drop of water tames the oak while making it even more floral. Surprisingly elegant.

Rather spicy on the palate, with pepper, chilis and cumin. Mouth-coating with similar notes of vanilla and burnt toffee, also lemon curd and candy apple. Water brings out more fruity notes (apple, banana, peach). More robust and complex than the usual JD.

The finish is oaky, rye-forward and features more maple syrup, with creme brûlée and wood smoke. This is an excellent variant of the standard JD, with most of the elements turned up while somehow retaining an elegance that you don't normally get with this. Doesn't reach the heights of the best single barrels but if you are a Jack Daniel's drinker, buy this one for as long as you can before it is gone.

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17 comments

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

Nice trifecta. Thanks for the heads up on JACK DANIEL'S MASTER DISTILLER #2 - JESS MOTLOW. I'm gonna get me some of that.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Let me know what you think...

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, thin, and a tad on the bitter side (walnut skins and orange pith). Sadly, I'm not a fan. I'll try again tomorrow. I fear the bast part may have been left on the charred maple.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@paddockjudge - fair enough, my friend - fair enough. I quite liked it. And I like bitter.

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I get it now! The Rye, what little there is, jumps right up - whiskey highlights. The nutty element is delicious and complemented by a sweet buttery wave upon entry. Rye is not the second grain in this mashbill. My palate was off-balance yesterday. This is a very pleasant whiskey and an excellent choice for the first of the day.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Ha ha - glad you like it. It is surprising. I'd like to taste their "Rested Rye" (I wasn't crazy about their Unaged Rye).

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

43% abv kicks up the barley and rye. I wonder if this mash bill is the same as regular JD? I wonder if the entire series will be bottled at 43% (or above)?

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I believe it's the same mashbill - and yes the Master Distiller series is at 43%.

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, Cherry Blossom (R). 5-6 weeks open and this has become a huge surprise. The flavours - cherry syrup, nut meat, coconut, milk chocolate...it is no wonder this comes in a cardboard box, only the tin foil wrapper is missing. Add this to the dessert list:

JD Master Distiller #2 with Cherry Blossom (R)

Booker's 2015-01 with Pecan Pie or Raisin Butter Tarts

WL Weller with Poppycock (R) or Cracker Jacks (R)

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

This one is growing on me. I'll be picking up a couple more this week. @talexander, I concur, definitely more complex than the regular JD.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Yes, but not as complex as some of the better Single Barrels. Now I wonder what a barrel strength JD would be like? We may never know.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, thanks for your nice informative review. I hope to get a chance to taste this one sometime, and the other JD special releases.

I always take the chance to taste Jack Daniels products when I can, but I have never bought a bottle of any of them larger than 50 ml. That new Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, Barrel Proof, at 65.45% ABV, though, has really turned my head. Do you think that the LCBO will carry it? I'd like to hear what you and the @paddockjudge have to say about that one, if you get to it before me.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

...as pictured on page 15 of the Fall 2015 Whisky Advocate.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Wow - I had no idea JD was doing a barrel proof - as I mentioned above, I would LOVE to try that! I haven't received my WA issue yet so I had no idea they made this. Yes, it may very well get to the LCBO, most JD products seems to at some point.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

...and a 'one shot' on page 16.

4 years ago 0

@Pete1969
Pete1969 commented

I have a bottle of the silver select 100 proof on the go, not reviewed yet but looking like mid eighties, was not intending getting any more JD in near future as a bit over priced but a barrel proof has piqued my interest depends on the value. Advertising suggests anywhere between 125 and140 proof but no RRP if it hits the shops at around £50 might pick one up or hint for Xmas present more than that can forget it Bookers, Blanton's SFTB, GF 105, Nadurra the list goes on of better value cask strength.

4 years ago 0

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