Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Special Release: Coy Hill High Proof Review

Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher continues to hit it out of the ballpark with their end-of-year Special Releases.

Jack Danie's Single Barrel Special Edition Coy Hill High Proof Review Header


  • DISTILLER: Jack Daniel Distillery
  • MASH BILL: 80% corn | 12% malted barley | 8% rye
  • AGE: NAS - No Age Statement but confirmed by Master Distiller Chris Fletcher to be 9 years old.
  • YEAR: 2021
  • PROOF: 148.3 Proof (74.15% ABV) for our sample, but the release ranges from 137.4 proof up to 148.3 proof.
  • MSRP: $70.00
  • Buy Online


SHARE WITH: Give a taste to anyone who can appreciate high-proof whiskeys, but they’d better REALLY appreciate it, as there are only 27,000 bottles of this one made.

WORTH THE PRICE: $70 for this one is a no-brainer.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I’m repeating the same line I used to describe last year’s Special Release: if you find a bottle of this and don’t buy it, I’m coming to your house and we’re going to have a talk.

OVERALL: Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher continues to hit it out of the ballpark with their end-of-year Special Releases. On the heels of last year’s epic barrel-proof rye (yes, it was that good), this year’s Coy Hill High Proof release is the highest proof whiskey Jack Daniel’s has ever bottled. I’ve been a fan of the standard barrel proof for several years, so when I heard about this release, I was eager to see how the increased 10-15 points of additional proof would affect it.

Even before you nose it, the color of the whiskey makes a statement. It’s the darkest whiskey I’ve ever seen, darker than some coffee I’ve been served at 3 am while waiting for biscuits and gravy at a local diner after a night of libation analysis. It’s also aged 9 years, which is 3 years more than their standard Single Barrel, Barrel Proof. The extra 3 years in the barrel, and the location of these barrels in the rickhouse (the Buzzard’s Nest) delivers a product that has noticeable differences from its younger, standard release.

There are some bottles that you want to buy just after nosing them. This is one of those. The extra time in the barrel not only brings out more oak but a richer, deeper profile. It’s not hot on the nose, but I could smell the warmth. This is perhaps the best nose on any whiskey I’ve ever had. Cinnamon, caramel, dried dark fruits, toasted wood, and cherry candy, it’s all there. My favorite bottles always leave a strong image in my mind when I nose them. This one puts me sitting in front of a fire, wrapped up in a blanket, knowing I don’t have to go to work tomorrow and have a couple of days off, so I can sip leisurely and take my time. All is right with the world. That’s what I get from the nose, and no, I’m not making this up.

But the next part is what really threw me, and not in a bad way. Instead of the chocolate covered banana caramel that I usually pick up on with barrel proof Jack, this one hits with cinnamon cherry candy, caramel, brown sugar, and while it’s hot, it’s a lot less than what you’d expect from a whiskey that’s almost 150 proof. The finish is long and warm, with hot cinnamon candy and toasted wood.

This release was pulled from 250-300 barrels from the 4th tier Buzzard’s Roost of Jack Daniel’s Rickouses #8 and #13 on Coy Hill, the highest hill on the distillery grounds. Barrel in August of 2012 on three different dates, Fletcher began tasting these barrels 3-4 years ago and decided to put them on hold. They had not decided what to ultimately do with these until last year’s Barrel Proof Rye Special Release was received so well. They then made plans to release the Coy Hill barrels, but not all of them, as some were as high as 159 proof and at that proof, their bottling manufacturer told them they could not safely bottle the whiskey. The vapor pressure of the alcohol that builds up in the bottle between the liquid line and the cork could push the cork out. The release will range in proofs from 137.4 up to 148.3.

With the Coy Hill High Proof release, Jack Daniel’s has taken one of my favorite whiskeys and put a spin on it that gives you a different experience from their standard release and an excellent American whiskey at a great price. At a time when ridiculous things are happening in the whiskey world, I applaud the folks in Lynchburg for putting out an incredible whiskey at a bargain price. True, it’s going to be very difficult to find, but if you do find it, you’re not paying a couple of hundred bucks.

With this release, Jack Daniel’s continues to show that they can produce some of the finest American whiskey being made.


Our fourth annual special release is here - Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 2021 Special Release Coy Hill High Proof. This year’s annual special release celebrates Coy Hill which is the highest-elevated rolling hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property. This rare high-proof release honors the art of the whiskey-making process, as well as showcases how a barrel house location along with the extreme weather and maturation conditions produces an exceptional whiskey flavor. The Coy Hill High Proof is bottled in its purest form straight from the barrel, with minimal filtration, uncut at 137.4 - 148.3 proof. This one-of-kind Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel bottle should remain upright at all times unless you are pouring it into a glass to enjoy.

NOSE: seared oak and dark brown sugar

TASTE: bold baking spices, cherry candy

FINISH: lingering finish of toffee, smoke and rich leather

Disclaimer: Jack Daniel's 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.