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This one was, I believe, bottled in 1996 to celebrate the bicentennial of Tennessee. I bought it at auction, and came with a certificate showing this bottle to be registered to a Ken Hodgson from Morpeth, England (fairly close to the Scottish border). I presume he bought it at auction as well, as it was registered on June 27 2014, eight years after it was released. The bottle itself has a unique design, with a long twisty neck, which replicates the bottle that Mr. Jack had made to celebrate the centenary of Tennessee. As befits the 1996 bicentennial, it is bottled at 96 proof (48% ABV).
The colour is a deep reddish amber (pretty much the same as the other bottles I've tasted tonight). On the nose there is oak, hot cayenne, dark chocolate, black cherries and liquorice. Much like other JDs, it seems maltier with water. While unmistakably Jack Daniel's, the nose is strangely closed...especially strange given the bottle has been open for a few months (and is almost empty). Regardless, it's quite rich.
Packs a punch on the palate though, with more cherries, banana bread, very dark chocolate and vanilla pods. There's that beef broth again! Thick caramel. Water makes everything pop. Quite delicious and the higher ABV really carries those flavours.
The finish is long, deep and full of fruit, oak and spice. Undoubtedly one of the best JDs I have ever had - if not the best - and possibly the fruitiest. Rich, full and rounded, I can find little to fault this one (except for a fairly closed nose). If you are a fan of JD, you must seek this out.
Comparing the four of these side-by-side, the differences are subtle yet surprising. Some are too closed, one is too sour, another incredibly complex yet gentle, etc. It would be easy to think that all Jack Daniel's tastes the same (especially since they rarely reveal the differences in production method for limited bottlings) but the differences can be revealing.