This 7th entry in JD’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection is one of its simplest concepts: Tennessee Whiskey (a type of bourbon) blended with Tennessee rye. 50 barrels total were used for this release — 30 rye, 20 Tennessee whiskey. All of them were distilled on May 19, 2014 (14E19, per the code on the label), then mingled together last fall, making this a roughly 6 year old bottling.
Now the 40/60 super-blend is upon us. Let’s give it a try.
The nose is engaging, offering a mix of gentle peanut, some barrel char, fresh cereal grains, and a classic rye spice all at once. Vanilla and caramel waft from the glass, giving this a classic American whiskey aroma, though it’s (understandably) hard to pin down beyond that.
On the palate I was immediately struck by a note of butter pecan ice cream, quickly moving from there to notes of cinnamon, milk chocolate, and a touch of orange peel. It’s a mild whiskey, never telegraphing its 53.5% abv in the slightest, though it’s certainly got flavor to spare. Gentle and buttery on the soothing finish, here I got a reprise of that initial peanut character, more vanilla, and more spice. Put simply: No real surprises, but nothing not to like.
This may be one of JD’s least exotic Tennessee Tasters’ releases to date, but it’s also one of the most well-crafted. Rye-bourbon blends don’t always work well, but this one seems to be firing perfectly.
A- / $40 (375ml) / jackdaniels.com