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Jack Daniel's Rye

A rich, refined rye

2 3083

@MegawattReview by @Megawatt

19th May 2018

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    20
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: aromatic and instantly likable. Clean wood aromas are joined by the characteristic mint and dill of a rye-heavy mash bill.

Taste: vanilla leads the way, becoming hot and spicy as it sits on the tongue. Fairly light-bodied but not without substance.

Finish: tangy and oak-driven.

Balance: a somewhat lighter style than one might expect, which makes it suitable for sipping, but packs enough flavour and heat to stand out in a cocktail. I'll probably be buying this again at some point.

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30 comments

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I agree. I had it at a distillery tasting. Decent but honestly I like OGD BiB for a high rye whiskey.

4 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Yes, JD Rye is decent, which is not something I ever assume from Jack Daniel's. The single barrel JD Rye I had was better still, very good in quality. But the SB version costs (here) about twice as much as the standard JD rye.

I was surprised that I liked both of these JD Rye products.

4 months ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

I too once thought the dill note in a whisky was due to the rye grain component; now I believe it is a bi-product of yeast. Anyone care to comment?

4 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I do not associate dill flavour with rye grain. Yeast seems like the more likely culprit to me, too. Yes, for me it is a culprit. I do not like dill flavour in whisk(e)y of any kind. When @Nozinan paints a flavour picture of something with "pickle-juice" in it, I shudder in horror. I have occasionally tasted 'pickle-juice' in a whisk(e)y, but I don't like it.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Victor, I don not care for the dill note when it occurs in whisky. I prefer to have dill on a fire-roasted hog and a glass of good rye to sip on while watching the slow cooking skin crackle.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge @Victor

Funny,

I taste pickle juice in most of the ryes I try. And these are some ryes that the two of you love...

4 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, yes I am under that impression about you. No wonder you have never been too keen on rye whisk(e)y. If I tasted pickle juice in most ryes I would probably just stop drinking rye.

4 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I didn't say it was unpleasant. It just smells and tastes distinct.

4 months ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor @paddockjudge @Nozinan I taste dill pickles in many oxidized bourbon, even in Bookers. In fact, I had that note mainly in Bourbon and in some Canadian whisky that are kind of close to the Bourbon style.

4 months ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@paddockjudge, @Victor I believe that the yeasts or at least a by product of the fermentation process is the culprit.

For example look at the ADL or Hiram Walker Ryes, they rarely exhibit a dill heavy character. In fact I believe thst Don Livermore mentionned the reason why they stopped using malt in the Lot 40 recipe was to avoid what they felt were off-notes (included but not limited to that dill or pickle thing).

I personally don't mind a little dill in a rye if it has other interesting characteristics to balance it, like a herbal, spicy or rising bread/pastry notes.

@paddockjudge, is there any room by the fire? I wouldn't mind some roast hog.. laughing

4 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@cricklewood and yet this year's lot 40 CS I did get dill pickle juice. Interesting.

4 months ago 0

@Megawatt
Megawatt commented

I maintain that dill is a rye characteristic. Otherwise it would seem too coincidental that it occurs only in straight ryes or high-rye bourbons.

4 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

If you taste all 10 Four Roses bourbons you will find that some have some dill flavour and others with the identical mashbill but different yeasts, do not. Q.E.D.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Megawatt, Alberta Distillers Ltd does not use yeast. Their rye does not have a dill note...food for thought.

4 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor @Megawatt

It as recently pointed out to me by a learned colleague, one who can get away with bringing as much alcohol into Canada as he wants, that I don't tate pickle juice in ryes that originate from ADL. Sipping on a little of one of his minis of Whistlepig 10 YO 50% and thinking of all the ADL expressions, I think he's right.

I guess they don't barrel pickles in Alberta and then use them for whisky.

4 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Looks like 2 minds were heading in the same direction...

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge

If ADL doesn't use yeast, would their whisky be Kosher for Passover?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, only if the pickles previously in those barrels were Kosher....

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@paddockjudge, I thought ADL used yeast that it was the starch to sugar conversion that was done with enzymes rather than through malting or adding a percentage of malted grain.

I will defer to you since you've studied these places in depth.

4 months ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, good question!! Excellent point. It would be difficult to make beer without adding yeast.

Canadian producers use LESS yeast than other producers, this may explain the lack of a dill note. ADL does not malt their rye.

4 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Interesting discussion. The reviewed JD Rye sounds interesting too. I’ve rarely (never?) tasted dill in a rye. When someone identifies dill as a flavour/aroma, it usually manifests as caraway to me. And I love caraway. Thus, I’m a fan of any well-made rye. Now if only ADL would re-release some well-aged rye (25 Year Old? 30 Year Old?).....

4 months ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@OdysseusUnbound, ADL has "farmed out" the longer aged stuff. It is available as Masterson's, Lock Stock @Barrel, some Hochstadter's releases and some of the WhistlePig releases. Jefferson's Rye was ADL juice; however, they made a comment about not having any ADL juice on hand for bottling. I would love to see a Canadian Independent, such as Heads & Tails release some well-aged ADL juice in Alberta. It is a shame that Kensington Wine Market of Calgary never got barrels of ADL flavouring rye....Canadian subsidiary of an American holding company owned by a Japanese conglomerate...Proud To Be Canadian got lost somewhere in the small print....MAKE SOME NOISE Let Japan know about our lust for long-aged Alberta Premium Rye!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Megawatt
Megawatt commented

@Robert99 Are you talking about Alberta Premium in particular, or their other exported ryes? I wouldn't expect AP to have characteristic rye notes as it is mostly column-distilled to a very high proof. I haven't tried many of their exported ryes except Masterson, which I didn't care for at all.

4 months ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, mea culpa! Please excuse my tired brain. I intended to write "malt", not "yeast" in the post to which you responded. I apologise for the silliness. A week of travel and many things whisky has left me vulnerable to sloppy posting. I am so very glad I didn't post (much) this past week.

You are absolutely correct about the enzymes and less yeast is used as a result.

4 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@paddockjudge So the Masterson’s 10 Year Old Straight Rye (45%) available at the LCBO for the bargain price of $125 is ADL juice? Is the current incarnation of WhistlePig 10 Year Old Straight Rye (50%), available for the bargain price of $150, also ADL rye? Both of those seem like inflated prices, even by Ontario standards. Lot 40 12 YO Cask Strength was $70 iirc. Even at this year’s (planned) jacked up price ($100, allegedly) Lot 40 at Cask Strength seems like a better deal. Are the Masterson’s and the WhistlePig worth the price of admission, in your view?

4 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, you might also, as a correlative question ask @paddockjudge how many bottles of Masterson's Rye and WhistlePig Rye he has bought...and how many additional he would be happy to own. You can get your answer there, too.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Megawatt, thanks for the link. Interesting topic indeed.

I happen to have rye bread (yeast and grain) from two different bakeries (400 kms apart) in front of me this morning, a dark and a light from each. One of the dark loaves has a note that could be associated with dill. Fun stuff to think about. I'm leaning towards a yeast and rye grain combination...I've yet to smell dill from rye grain or flour...or in corn or barley, nor corn whisky nor barley whisky and not in ADL rye, especially the standard Alberta Premium because the column still will strip away a lot of the characteristics, but the pot still probably won't. Definitely not the wood imparting this note on the whisky.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@OdysseusUnbound, We may have derailed from the review at hand...

Prices are what they are. Voting with your wallet always sends a clear message, either way. I tend to buy product I know I will enjoy. I try not to buy products because they are a bargain. My wife is a shopper. She tells me about the great deals, 60%, 70% off items, some we may not necessarily need. I usually greet her with "what, no wedding dresses 80% off?"

I am an ADL FANATIC, but I have my limits too. Yes all of the previously mentioned labels are or were at one time from ADL production.

I have purchased only one bottle of Masterson's above $100CDN, that from no less than 20 bottles, possibly more. This past week I tracked and spotted batch 015 for US$58 and US$98 in the same retail chain; I bought the $58 bottle.

WhistlePig 10 YO Straight Rye 100 proof was available for US$63. Single Barrel, barrel proof for $70 in Baltimore, six different barrels in house.

WP Boss Hog 13 YO spotted, US$399.99. I paid CDN$315 for a bottle @Nozinan picked and muled from Vancouver. It was a different barrel, but same limited edition release.

The picture below is my ADL Shelf, the survivors. I have owned, excluding the standard fair, approximately six dozen premium bottles of ADL in one form or another. I have consumed and/or shared approximately four dozen.

@Victor, I would gladly repurchase every bottle of ADL premium distillate I have ever owned, all six dozen bottles. Price?...let's not give the marketing team an indication of our tolerance level...or the LCBO justification for asking vendors to raise prices so LCBO margins will be fatter...definite indication top knots are too tight!...way too tight, blindingly tight!!

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Megawatt Sorry, I mist your post. I was not refering to Alberta premium.

Does anybody get mezcal from 100% rye whisky?

4 months ago 0

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