Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select (2009)

Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select (2009)

jack-daniels-single-barrel-whiskeyYour excitement about getting a bottle of this “single barrel” whiskey may dim somewhat when you read the lengthy alphanumeric code identifying the barrel from which it came. In my case, I’m sampling barrel number 7-4229 from rick number L-35 (warehousing information). So, yes, it’s from a single barrel… but we’re talking about thousands of barrels produced.

As for this barrel, it’s a reasonably pleasant whiskey, a sweeter version of JD that reminded me more of Gentleman Jack than standard grade Jack Daniel’s. Quite bitter and pungent on the finish, the caramel and vanilla notes are overpowered by smoke and tobacco, tar and tough wood. Better with water, but still on the more pedestrian side. Not sure it justifies this kind of fanaticism… but hey, every barrel is different, so there are bound to be some real gems in there, right?

94 proof.


Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select (2009)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Michael on January 6, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    The single barrel refers not just to any single barrel, it is only the barrels that the JD Master Taster says are the very best tasting. Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the JD barrels are marked for single barrel designation.
    Thousands of barrels produced, but only a few of them are bottled as single-barrel. I find it to be one of the best tasting whiskeys I have tried.
    It actually says this on the box, on the little label attached to the neck, and on the website. To write a short, harsh review without being aware of something this basic about the product is negligent.
    It is not as smooth as a 15-year old bottle of Scotch Whiskey. Since I like it, I suppose it must be pedestrian, which is fine, since most people are pedestrian by definition. ;)

  2. Christopher Null on January 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    It’s a tongue-in-cheek comment, Michael. This site tries to have fun with the topic at hand… it’s whiskey, for God’s sake. Lighten up. (That said, there does appear to be a TON of JD Single Barrel on the market… and a B is a fine review, it’s just not, as you noted, “as smooth as a 15-year-old bottle of Scotch.”)

  3. Shawn Delaney on February 5, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Im a loyal Black Label JD drinker. Last night a friend purchased a bottle of Single Barrel for me. Im quiet impressed. The bottle I have says Rick No. R-13, Barrel No. 8-1927. Its perfect for my taste. Can anyone truly translate this for me with out making assumptions? Is it possible for me to continue buying the whiskey from this exact Barrel, or does it alternate depending on the batch quality?

  4. Jack McMillan on March 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Look, The JD Single Barrel is 6-7 years old, unlike Gentleman Jack which is 4 yrs old. Now, being a single barrel, the taste will vary somewhat. Nonetheless, I’m quite satisfied. Frankly, I enjoy it as much as Woodford Reserve and it’s just as good as any , say 10 year old single malt. Just remember – corn is naturally sweeter than barley ( think high-fructose corn syrup), so it’s a bit easier to drink than Scotch ( though I love a good single malt too). The real question is – will the
    George Dickel Single Barrel be as good?

  5. Dennis Poletto on May 21, 2009 at 9:05 am

    We were just down to JD a purchased a full barrel of single barrel. We are getting a total of 43 cases, which is 258 bottles. I think to get another bottle of the same barrel # would be very hard unless you buy the whole barrel like we did. Shawn’s barrel was the 1927th barrel in 2008 to be bottled.

  6. Bruce on July 4, 2009 at 10:25 am

    This is by far the best whiskey I have ever had to drink. I have tried alot of other single barrel whiskeys. This single barrel whiskey by J.D. is smoothe and has a great taste. I tried the Woodford Reserve and it was not quite like drinking JD Single Barrel. Now George Dickel Single Barrel is like any other Single Barrel you will not know, until you buy it and try it.

  7. Christopher on July 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    “The JD Single Barrel is 6-7 years old, unlike Gentleman Jack which is 4 yrs old.”

    Where did you hear that? I know our friends in Lynchburg never talk about age. In theory, you could have a 4-year old Single Barrel and a 7-year old JD Black Label. They always talk about “maturing”…not aging. The example I remember was, “We know that fine whiskey is a lot like people. Being older doesn’t always make you more mature.” When the master distiller thinks a barrel is ready, it’s ready. If it needs more time to mature, it gets more time.

    As for taste…I recently participated in a whiskey tasting that included JD Single Barrel, Basil Hayden, The Macallan 12-year and Crown Royal Special Reserve. JD Single Barrel was, by far, the best tasting whiskey and it had far more character.

  8. Luana Valerius on November 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    all I want to know is:how much is a 1969 Jack Daniel’s worth?If any one knows please reply…Thank you…

  9. John on December 3, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Luana. Vintage Jack Daniels bottles are pretty collectiable. You may be able to get around $100 for the bottle considering it is still sealed and in good condition.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.