Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 2020 Barrel Proof Rye Review Header

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 2020 Barrel Proof Rye Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Bob Bennett2 Comments

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Special Release Barrel Proof Rye bottle image

"Our team created this special release to give our friends the chance to taste our rye whiskey at the proof mother nature created."

Chris Fletcher, Master Distiller, Jack Daniel Distillery

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 2020 Special Release Barrel Proof Rye

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Jack Daniel's

  • MASH BILL: 70% Rye | 18% Corn | 12% Malted Barley

  • AGE: NAS (no age statement), but averaging 5-6 years old

  • YEAR: 2020

  • PROOF: 130.8 Proof (65.4% ABV)

  • MSRP: $64.99

  • BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com

NOSE: Caramel  |  Corn  |  Spiced Cherries  |  Toasted Oak

TASTE: Rye Spice  |  Oak  |  Faint Sweet Honey  |  Green Apple

FINISH: Medium with lingering sweetness and some grain

SHARE WITH: While young, this is a blend to share with your “drink curious” not too judgy friends.

WORTH THE PRICE: I found Ingram an interesting expression. I am generally a Midwest Grain Products fan, and I like to support craft distillers/blenders with innovative ideas. With all that being said, at over $70 for a less than 4-year-old, sourced, blended whiskey, this would be a tough sell for me.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This whiskey is not a bust. It has interest and depth that you wouldn’t expect by its age. The blending is done well and with the innovative take on aging, I will give it a BAR rating. Try it first, if you can, before you buy. In the fifty dollar range, I would be tempted to go bottle.

OVERALL: O. H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey, I found interesting whiskey. Aged in a floating “rickhouse” at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in Ballard County, Kentucky. The theory being the gentle rocking of the barrels enhances the aging process. This process has its roots in the river transport of barreled distillate from Bourbon County delivered to New Orleans, with the transformed taste that apocryphally led to our native spirit. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but there are a lot of people putting barrels on ocean voyages, riverboats, playing music to them, and even aging in cranberry bogs.

I have an issue with brands using invented or unrelated stories to support the “marketing” of their spirits. I don’t see that as an issue with O.H. Ingram. They have family history tied to the river and actually age on floating barges. They don’t hide the source, age, or mash bills of their product. Starting from typically quality rye and bourbon distillate from MGP in Indiana, aging for over three years and blended well, has produced a straight whiskey. It has a surprising depth for a young age. I found it drinkable neat, better with ice, but not particularly suitable for cocktails. My only issue with this product is the price, which is high for what it is. Understanding that the cost of sourcing and barreling probably drives this cost. If you find it in a bar, or you have the resource and drinking curiosity, I would not dissuade you from giving this one a try.

NOSE: Banana bread | Maraschino cherries | Maple syrup

TASTE: Luxurious banana caramel | Light rye spice

FINISH: Lingering rye spice | Banana taffy

SHARE WITH: No one. Seriously, you find this bottle, don’t share it, keep it all to yourself.

WORTH THE PRICE: It’s a bargain at $64.99.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If you find this & don’t buy a bottle, I’m coming to your house & we’re going to have a talk.

OVERALL: I’ve long been a fan of Jack’s Single Barrel, Barrel Proof Tennessee Whiskey, as I think it’s the best readily available American whiskey on the market. I said READILY AVAILABLE, calm down whiskey police. Also, if you’re wanting to engage in the TN whiskey versus bourbon argument, might I invite you to check out the Iron Sheik’s Twitter feed. The news that their limited release for 2020 was a barrel proof rye had me excited & a little apprehensive at the same time, as I’m not a huge rye whiskey fan.

Imagine my joy upon tasting the barrel proof rye to find that just like the barrel proof TN whiskey, it knocked my socks off. I was able to join a panel of whiskey writers on a Zoom call with newly appointed Master Distiller Chris Fletcher to discuss the single barrel rye. As opposed to the traditional ten feet of maple charcoal that the TN whiskey is filtered through, the rye only filters through approximately three feet of charcoal. The barrels selected for this release were all from the top floor of various rick houses. Jack has only been distilling rye whiskey since 2011 and this is their first single barrel, barrel proof rye release, although I’ve seen a TN only release in the last few weeks under their “Tennessee Tasters” collection that’s a 375ml.

The same yeast strain is used for all Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, and there are several similarities between the barrel proof expressions, but the rye doesn’t have the chocolate that I get with the TN whiskey. Another striking difference is that the rye drinks decidedly lower than its proof of 130.8. That’s one thing I never experienced with the BP TN whiskey, that one is more in your face. The BP rye is full flavored, with that signature banana caramel on the palate, but it’s more subtle in its spiciness, which I didn’t expect. The finish isn’t as long as I expected either. I detected some very faint Fruity Pebbles before the rye spice & the banana candy come back in. For a whiskey that tops out around 6 years of age, this is really an incredible pour.

I’m hoping that this becomes a permanent line extension for Jack Daniel’s, as it would quickly find its way into my regular rotation. It’s nice to see a limited-edition release with a reasonable price tag, especially one that delivers so solidly like this one.


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JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY ANNOUNCES SINGLE BARREL 2020 SPECIAL RELEASE: BARREL PROOF RYE

This year’s one-time release celebrates rye in its purest form and highlights the craftsmanship of the Jack Daniel Distillery.

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. (November 23, 2020) – Following two annual releases of the award-winning Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel, today the brand announces the Single Barrel 2020 Special Release Barrel Proof Rye. Limited to just 200 barrels, this year’s special release celebrates the early craftsmanship of the Jack Daniel Distillery and honors the history of American rye whiskey.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye is bottled in its purest form, straight from the barrel, uncut at full proof. Because this special release Tennessee whiskey is charcoal mellowed and aged in new, white oak barrels, it also has the Jack character and smooth finish.

Tennessee Rye is the Jack Daniel Distillery’s first new grain bill since Prohibition, made up of 70% rye, 12% malt and 18% corn. This special iteration, aged at the highest reaches of the barrel house offers a deep copper hue with robust aromas of deep smoke, raisin, rich caramel and toasted fruit; boasting tastes of molasses, sawn oak and bold rye spices with a peppery finish.

“Our team created this special release to give our friends the chance to taste our rye whiskey at the proof mother nature created. This barrel proof offering is as close as you can get to being inside a barrelhouse and sampling for yourself.” says Jack Daniel’s newly appointed Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. “I’m excited to begin my tenure as Master Distiller alongside this special release that celebrates our award-winning rye whiskey, and I look forward to sharing it with the many friends of Jack who are sure to be satisfied.”


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Jack Daniel’s is the only major whiskey company in the world to make its own barrels, crafted from American white oak and hand raised by expert coopers. The craft of each unique barrel is key in the vital maturation process that makes Single Barrel products special.

The limited-edition Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye bottle will hit shelves starting in late November, available in a 750ml size with a suggested retail price of $64.99.


Disclaimer: The Jack Daniel Distillery provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Podcast Editor / Sr. Contributor |

The fifteen months Bob Bennett spent living in Lebanon, KY, as a child may have laid the groundwork for what would happen years later (something in the water…literally). Originally from Corning, NY, he grew up in a household where happy hour was celebrated every night. Surprisingly, Bennett didn’t start drinking until he was 23 years old. He quickly made up for lost time, gravitating to bourbon as his preferred libation immediately, and proudly filled the bar that was passed down from his father. In the years that followed, not only did he develop a deeper appreciation for bourbon, but began to cherish the opportunity to talk about the spirit he has grown to love. As the Artistic Director for Jazz St. Louis, Bennett has become the unofficial bourbon ambassador of jazz, spreading the gospel of good taste to musicians everywhere. It also helps endear him to the St. Louis community, which is needed, as bleeding Dodger Blue tends to rub those Cardinal fans the wrong way.
Read Bob's full profile.

About the Author

Bob Bennett

Twitter

The fifteen months Bob Bennett spent living in Lebanon, KY, as a child may have laid the groundwork for what would happen years later (something in the water…literally). Originally from Corning, NY, he grew up in a household where happy hour was celebrated every night. Surprisingly, Bennett didn’t start drinking until he was 23 years old. He quickly made up for lost time, gravitating to bourbon as his preferred libation immediately, and proudly filled the bar that was passed down from his father. In the years that followed, not only did he develop a deeper appreciation for bourbon, but began to cherish the opportunity to talk about the spirit he has grown to love. As the Artistic Director for Jazz St. Louis, Bennett has become the unofficial bourbon ambassador of jazz, spreading the gospel of good taste to musicians everywhere. It also helps endear him to the St. Louis community, which is needed, as bleeding Dodger Blue tends to rub those Cardinal fans the wrong way. Read Bob's full profile.

  • Stephen says:

    I like youir site, I just can’t afford most of the bottles.

  • Sean says:

    For a whiskey with an MRSP of $64.99, the cheapest list is $238.