American single malt whiskey has officially arrived. Up until recently, the style still felt niche and very craft-driven, but that’s no longer the case. Jack Daniel’s just dropped their 2022 Special Release and it’s a Twice Barreled American Single Malt. Yes, the company best known for fruity/sweet Tennessee whiskey (bourbon and ryes) has gone all-in on America’s love of single malt whiskey.
While this sounds like a one-off to jump on a bandwagon, Jack Daniel’s team is truly all-in on the American single malt market. Earlier this year, they released their TripleMash, which was blended with their American single malt. Now, we have this year’s Special Release of American single malt whiskey at cask strength. Next year, Jack will release another American single malt with the exact same single malt whiskey proofed down to 45%/90 proof and at a price closer to $30 for everyday drinking/mixing.
Below, I’ll be taking a deep dive into what’s actually in the bottle. This is all about figuring out how good this stuff actually tastes and, in turn, whether it’s worth seeking out to add to your November bar cart. Let’s dive right in!
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Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled 2022 Special Release American Single Malt
Average Price: $69
This brand-new whiskey from Jack Daniel’s is made with a 100% malted barley mash bill. Those grains are milled and mashed with Jack’s famed cave spring water right in Lynchburg, Tennessee. That mash is then fermented with Jack’s own yeast and then distilled before the long process of charcoal mellowing/filtration. The hot juice is run through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal and is then filled into new American white oak barrels for a several-year rest. Finally, those barrels were vatted and re-barreled in Olorosso sherry casks for a final maturation before bottling as-is at cask strength.
Light milk chocolate powder malts greet you on the nose with soft leather, a hint of cedar, fresh gingerbread, a hint of fresh wicker canes, oatmeal cookie dough, a whisper of spearmint, and some sweet ice tea powder. The palate opens up with a sense of sour red fruit with a rich vanilla foundation that leads to woody spices with a mild essence of pine sap and saddle soap before a vanilla white cake sweetness and soft mouthfeel kick in. The mid-palate expands toward higher ABV buzziness with a note of almond shell and coconut shell next to Mounds bars and fresh leather on the finish with a fleeting sense of cream soda just kissed with orange-chocolate syrup.
This special release is in Jack’s classic limited edition bottle. It’s a nice decanter with a blue label that really stands out from the usual Jack Daniel’s subtle labeling. Overall, this is an eye-catching bottle of something very new.
This was very much a bourbon drinker’s American single malt. The maltiness came through on the nose mostly with the palate presenting a deep and very American whiskey flavor profile. I can see drinking this is an easy sipper without question. I also see it as a solid cocktail base for a single malt old-fashioned or even a snappy Sazerac.
89/100 — In the grand scheme of things, this is very good whiskey. While I wanted a little more maltiness, this was still well-flavored, balanced, and had great depth.