Jack Daniel’s continues to make waves with the new announcement of Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye, a follow up to the brand’s Unaged Tennessee Rye, which hit the market in 2012. And, unrelated to these products, Jack also unleashed a cinnamon whiskey last month, so the Lynchburg distillery is certainly keeping busy.
Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye is the brand’s first barrel-aged rye whiskey. It’s a one-time offering, rather than a permanent addition to the brand’s portfolio. It’s comprised of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley, and it’s aged for about two years. So rather than a finished product, this is more like a work in progress, as Jack Daniel’s looks to release a fully-matured rye whiskey down the road. Master Distiller Jeff Arnett hints that this is just a “taste of what’s to come,” which is a solid marketing ploy. Releasing an unaged rye and a partially-aged rye keeps the public curious and allows the brand to monetize their rye stocks in the meantime. Now, let’s see how it tastes.
On the nose, Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye is full of rye grains, mild oak and fruit — cooked apples and chocolate-covered cherries. Drink up for a soft, pleasant palate of caramelized wood, rye spices and vanilla. It’s smooth and easy-going, drinking a bit more mature than its young age. But things seem less successful on the finish. The rye fizzles out with some very soft oak and spice, but the brevity leaves you wanting more.
What started out very promising didn’t deliver at the end, but Jack Daniel’s first barrel-aged rye is certainly an interesting one. The fruit-oak-spice flavors will develop with more time in barrel, so we’re excited for this project to reach fruition and be bottled at full maturity.
For now, you can find Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye for about $50, which seems a bit steep. But factor in the novelty and scarcity (again, it’s just a one-time release), and the dollar figure makes more sense. We’d suggest rye aficionados with $50 to burn give this one a go, and clearly it will find space on the shelves of Jack Daniel’s fans, of which there are many. For the more discerning rye whiskey drinker, however, you’d be better served waiting a few more years for the final product.
– 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★