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After the Wild Turkey 8 year old and Four Roses, this was my third trip to the States - whiskey-wise.
Jack Daniel's is without a doubt the best known (and best-selling) brand of American Whiskey.
The famous square bottle contains charcoal-filtered dram of a dark orange, amber color. The contents is a dram that consists of 80% corn, 12% rey and 8% malt, that was matured on American oak casks (which explains the vanilla).
It is the charcoal filtration proces that makes this a Tennessee whiskey instead of a bourbon (which is produced in Kentucky while this baby is from Lynchburg, Tennessee).
The significance of the Old No 7 is had to find. I googled it, but didn't come up with a suitable answer. Perhaps good ol' Jack just liked the sound of it? A bit like Heinz Ketchup that says '57 varieties!' on each bottle, while it is well know there are many more. But 57 just happened to be Mr Heinz' favorite number. Oh well, whatever, back to the dram.
This Tenessee whiskey seems glued to the glass with lovely think tears (or legs, as I prefer to call them). It's almost syrup, which is something you see with most American dram.
The nose delivers very sweet corn and vanilla, upholstered with some coconot and oranges.
On the palate, you first get a sugary kick in the teeth, as if you've just taken a swig of coughing syrup. But instantly the vanilla and the taste of charred wood come round the corner to put things back in balance.
The finish is very short indeed, but quite nice, with burnt sugar as the main character in this feature, but roasted notes as a walk-on artist following closely.
In Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2010 this dram is described as ... 'It's Jack Daniel' :-) giving him a stunning 85. I tend to agree though.
I think this dram, being popular with millions of people and used mainly - let's be honest here - in a mix with coke, has been labeled as 'mass product', bascally meaning 'it cannot possibly be any good'. Yes, it is a mass product, but in this case, it's pretty good as well.
And remember: 'It ain't no bourbon, surgar!'