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TIFF is finally over! I had my final screening this evening, and after having 19 films playing this year - and seeing many more - I needed to celebrate with something I will like but is not too challenging (so I'll save cracking open that single cask Macallan for another day). So, let's go back to my ol' standby, Jack Daniel's Single Barrel. Boring, I know - but I'm too tired to challenge myself right now. Barrel No. 14-5813 matured in Rick No. L-19 and was bottled on Oct 1 2014 (almost a year ago).
The colour is a dark, deep reddish copper - I think darker than most JD SBs I've come across. On the nose: overripe banana, papaya, burnt caramel, dark chocolate and vanilla. There is a lot of oak here - I suspect this one has been aging for longer than most. Both black and chili pepper. Leather. A drop of water brings out minty notes! There is a lot going on here, and time in the glass brings out more spice and some maltiness.
On the palate there is some chili heat with many of the same notes as on the nose: dark caramel, chocolate, banana, pepper. Black liquorice. Creamy mouthfeel - quite smooth but more characteristic of a very old bourbon (if you take away the pepper) as there is so much oak here. Extremely rich; more complexity with water.
The finish is oaky with growing spices at the back of the throat, with vanilla, cumin and caraway. This is one of the best Single Barrel's I've had. Although no age statement is given, I have to assume that this matured for longer than most bottlings (or, at least, at slightly higher temperatures). Lots of complexity, elegance and depth. Tasting it alongside the 2014 Holiday Select Single Barrel, I find the 14-5813 a more robust powerhouse than the fruitier HS. This Barrel is worth seeking out.