I picked up this puppy over Christmas when I was in DC. The JD Single Barrel Barrel Proof has always been on my bucket list, so I'm thrilled to finally be able to write about it. This comes from Barrel No. 17-0161, Rick No. L-13 and was bottled on Jan 6 2017.
The colour is a deep, dark copper. On the nose we have those familiar JD notes, but turned up to 11: sweet malt, charred oak, freshly ground black pepper and black liquorice. Overripe banana. Chili chocolate. Mincemeat tart. Coal dust. Maltier - and surprisingly smokier - with water. Definitely a very wood-heavy spirit, very enjoyable though nothing out-of-the-ordinary here.
Hot on the palate with banana leaf, dates, chili pepper and cardamom. Syrupy mouthfeel, then becomes puckering. Buckets of vanilla and dark caramel. Quite sweet. Serious, serious oak. Water is your friend here, taming the alcohol and smoothing out the various notes. Really delicious and a pleasure to sip.
The long finish is tannic with cloves, dark chocolate, cigar and Nibs. This is the best Jack Daniels I've ever had (and I know a couple of non-Jack fans who have tried the Barrel Proof and loved it). I wonder if Rick No. L-13 is high up (higher than, say, L-2 or L10)? If so, that would make sense given how oaky, syrupy and boozy this is. But it's fantastic. Now I'm comparing it to a standard 47% Single Barrel bottling (16-6582, Rick No. R-6, bottled Oct 17 2016). The standard is lighter in colour, with a more muted nose and palate. It's fine but there is no comparison to the Barrel Proof. Don't know what else to say except that this is awesome stuff. And if you don't know that, you don't know jack. (worst joke ever)