Entry #6 in Jack Daniel’s experimental Tennessee Tasters’ Selection lineup is here and it’s perhaps the most unusual of the series to date. Per JD: “The Jamaican Allspice product takes Jack’s Old No. 7 and finishes the whiskey with Jamaican allspice wood for 180 days. It features a nose of fruit, smoke, and sweet tobacco and tastes of dark spice and clove with a long and bold finish. It’s bottled at 100 proof and is available today at the Jack Daniel Distillery and select stores across Tennessee.” Jamaican allspice wood is also known as pimento wood; it’s wood from the tree upon which allspice berries are grown.
Let’s give it a try.
This is strange from the start, but not exactly in the way I was expecting. The nose is spicy but doesn’t immediately connote allspice, perhaps because it’s loaded with beefy-meaty notes and lots of more traditional lumberyard notes. Ruddy, dense, and earthy, the overall profile doesn’t feel particularly Caribbean in construction but rather as fairly austere.
On the palate, spice notes finally emerge and they do so fairly quickly. Sweet and fruit-forward, here I get notes of orange peel and allspice-like cloves, with notes of milk chocolate and some coffee bean elements adding some sweet intrigue. The finish offers lingering, clove-heavy spice notes but also evokes menthol, concluding on a blend of wood and spice elements. The experience is entirely unique and more than a little weird, landing somewhere between a blended whiskey and a spiced rum — which is maybe what the distillery was going for. I suppose they don’t call this line experimental for nothing!
B+ / $40 (375ml) / jackdaniels.com