Bought: Sainsbury’s, 1st June 2015
90.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
83/100 – Whiskybase (average from 15 member votes)
This version of Jack Daniels was a new addition to the Whisky Bible in 2015. The bible author, Jim Murray, gives it an excellent 90.5/100 which classifies it as “brilliant” which is the same banding as the 92/100 he gives the classic Jack Daniels No.7. The members on Whiskybase are less enamoured with the No.7, which they score 65.77/100 from 309 member votes. Personally I liked it but only after giving it 10 minutes to allow the smell of glue to dissipate. But 83/100 on Whiskybase is a very good score for the No.1.
Jim Murray’s tasting notes for the Jack Daniels No.1 are:
Nose: wonderful dose of extra tangy kumquat over the normal JD signature; something of the fruity cough sweet about this one.
Taste: a massive, pleasantly oiled mix of molassed fudge and liquorice.
Finish: drier, toastier hickory.
Overall balance and complexity: no mistaking the JD pedigree. Just a few telling extra degrees of fruit.
Here’s Whisky Wednesday with their review and score of 7/10 on You Tube (December 2016):
Bought – ASDA, 15th October 2014
88/100 – The Whisky Bitch – YouTube (January 2012)
One annoying thing about buying a whisky miniature is, you often don’t get all the information found on a bigger bottle. Take for example this ‘Single Barrel’ by Jack Daniels. There are 5 different versions reviewed in the Whisky Bible 2014, each with different cask numbers. This information would be written on a 70cl bottle but it’s missing on a 5cl. Hardly surprising given the shortage of space. And it’s my fault for being such a cheapskate and not spending £45 on a bigger bottle!
The good news is, of the 5 versions of the Single Barrel in the Whisky Bible, the lowest scores 86/100 and the highest 93.5/100. In other words, according to the author, there’s no such thing as a bad version of this bourbon. This is backed-up by the different versions of the Single Barrel reviewed on Whiskybase, all with scores in the 80s. Whichever barrel my miniature came from, it should be good.
I first discovered the Single Barrel when hunting for a present for a Jack Daniel’s No.7 fan. And this is exactly the sort of market the Single Barrel is designed for. So, if you have a friend or relative that loves Jack Daniel’s No.7, but you wish to get them something different (and better) for Christmas, then the Single Barrel is the bottle of choice. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll share it with you! 🙂
Bought – ASDA, 15th October 2014
77/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
73.8/100 – Whiskybase (average from 82 member votes)
84/100 – Ralfy – Gentleman Jack – YouTube (October 2010)
When Paula Abdul was a judge on American Idol, if she couldn’t think of anything nice to say about a contestant’s voice she had a fallback statement of “nice shoes!” Gentleman Jack, I can honestly say, nice bottle! As for the contents, the Whisky Bible isn’t very complimentary, saying “a whiskey that wilfully refuses to say anything particularly interesting, or go anywhere”. At the same time the Whisky Bible gives the Jack Daniels No.7 an excellent 92/100. Compare and contrast, we have Ralfy saying that Gentleman Jack is better than the No.7 in his opinion, with more complexity. Whose right?! Who knows! Ralfy certainly considers this bourbon worthy of a review, so he clearly likes it.
Although some supermarkets regularly reduce the Gentleman Jack to the low £20s, I decided to get a miniature to give this bourbon baby a try before committing to anything larger. The average score of 73.8/100 on Whiskybase from 82 members is very low, which isn’t filling me with a lot of confidence. It sounds like the “nice shoes” I need are a pair of trainers, so I can run as far away from the Gentleman Jack as possible! But I enjoyed the No.7 so I’ll spare my judgement until after the tasting.
Bought – ASDA, 14th October 2013
92/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
It was only after I bought this bottle that I realised – I don’t think I’ve ever drunk Jack Daniels before! If I did it was such a long time ago I can’t remember what it tasted like. Chances are it tasted like coke because a ‘Jack & Coke’ is how you drink it, isn’t it? My knowledge about drinking Tennessee Whiskey is sadly lacking. I will have to do some research before I tuck into this bottle!
One thing I’ve noticed is that the standard of JD has improved according to Jim Murray. In his whisky bible of 2009 he only scores the No.7 87/100 so it’s jumped up 5 points in recent years. It seems unfair to shove coke into it and disguise the taste of a drink which has improved that much. Anything between 90 and 93.5 in Jim’s scoring system is “brilliant”.
Update – I poured myself a glass of this JD and nearly threw it away because the smell of glue was overpowering. Ralfy mentions this nose experience of the No.7 at the start of his review of Gentleman Jack. Rather than adding coke or chucking it down the sink I left it in the glass for 10 minutes. When I went back the glue smell had gone and the dram wasn’t half bad! I wouldn’t give it 92/100 as in the Whisky Bible but it is pleasant enough to drink. Nevertheless I’ll finish the rest of the bottle with coke because a ‘Jack & Coke’ were made for each other.
Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com with his thoughts about the JD No.7 (YouTube June 2014):