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Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey

Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey   (69/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted August 22, 2018

Jack Daniel’s is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee, by the Jack Daniel Distillery (currently owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation). In the advertising and upon their website, the company highlights the fact that Jack Daniels Whiskey undergoes a filtering process (not typically used by bourbon producers) known as the The Lincoln County Process. This Process involves filtering the whiskey through a column of charcoal (or steeping the whiskey in charcoal chips) to remove unwanted flavours and contaminants prior to cask aging. The Jack Daniel’s Distillery produces its own charcoal pellets for the Lincoln County Process from sugar maple timbers. These charcoal pellets are packed into 10-foot (3.0 m) vats, where they are used to remove the impurities from the distilled Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey represents a blending of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a unique honey liqueur produced by Jack Daniel’s. This liqueur is apparently made from real honey.

The final spirit is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Note: I was invited to a special Jack Daniel’s Tasting Event where I sampled Jack Daniels Old No. 7, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select, Jack Daniels Honey, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. As a guest at the tasting, I was given small 50 ml samples of each spirit to take home. At the tasting event, I took brief tasting notes for each spirit and compiled this review based upon those tasting notes as well as from a tasting session with my small sample of Jack Daniel’s Honey when I tasted the spirit with ice and in a signature cocktail.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey arrives in the tall rectangular bottle shown to the left. The bottle has angled corners which give the bottle a solid masculine look. The black label features large white lettering which stands out well adding to the overall appeal of the presentation. The combination of a strong bottle and label design gives the whiskey a substantive presence on the bar shelf.

In the Glass 7/10

Colour: Golden Straw

Legs: Fat droplets which develop into plump legs

Initial Aroma: Honey is almost overpowering

Decanted Aroma: Better after breathing which allows the heavy honey aroma to dissipate somewhat. Peppery oak spice appears but the honey is still firm.

I was hoping for better balance, but as the name implies this spirit features a penetrating aroma of the sweet sticky honey. Light whiskey smells struggle to be noticed and there is perhaps a touch of astringency in the air.

In The Mouth 40/60

Alcohol push and Spice: I wasn’t expecting this, but unfortunately we has a push of alcohol within the flavoured whiskey.

Initial Taste: Odd bitter taste beside the honey which does not appeal to me.

Follow up: Nothing really evolves hear. Surprisingly we feel a little burn in the throat with a taste of oddly bitter whiskey mixed with honey. I am not enthusiastic.

With Ice: This is so much better. Now the penetrating sweetness of the honey is quelled and I can also actually taste the underlying Jack Daniel’s Whisky.

Mixed: I suggest a tall refreshing cocktail (see recipe below).

In The Throat: 11/15

Body and Length: Medium bodied

Flavours during Swallow: Honey, alcohol and peppery spice.

Lingering Flavours: An unfortunate burn settles in.

The Afterburn  6.5/10

Final Thoughts: Not a fan of this expression at all. It need ice to soothe both the light burn of the under developed whisky and the penetrating sweetness of the honey liqueur.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe:

Tennessee Sunshine

1 1/2 oz Jack Daniels Honey
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Ice
2 oz Old Thyme Ginger Beer

Chill your favourite tall drinking glass
Fill with Ice
Pour the first four ingredients into the glass over the ice
Add two dashes of Bitters and complete with Ginger Beer
Stir to mix thoroughly
Enjoy Responsibly!

If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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As always you may (loosely) interpret the scores I provide as follows:

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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