Cocktail Enthusiast joined a slew of other booze writers and avid drinkers in Vegas this week for the official launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey. Hosted by the MGM Grand, we tasted through the full Jack Daniel’s lineup with Master Taster Jeff Norman, sipped cocktails featuring the new Tennessee Honey liqueur and attended a mixology contest that pitted 14 Vegas bartenders against each other in a Tennessee Honey mix-off. Some highlights —

Drinking Whiskey with Jeff Norman

As Jack Daniel’s Master Taster (which is perhaps the world’s greatest job title) Jeff Norman is responsible for quality control. He ensures that each Jack Daniel’s expression is bottled at peak maturity. There are no age statements on Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, so each enters the bottle when Norman deems it ready.

Tennessee Honey is a 70 proof liqueur. It’s a blend of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 and a proprietary honey liqueur. Norman mentioned that honey was a natural fit to pair with Old No. 7, as it marries well with the whiskey’s caramel and vanilla notes imparted by Jack’s toasted oak barrels.

Tennessee Honey Cocktail Competition

14 Vegas bartenders, whittled down from an original 48 entrants, competed at Tabu Lounge inside MGM, stirring and shaking their way to some creative cocktails. Some worked nicely while others missed the mark. The winning drink made by Eddie Perales, pictured above, was an ingredient-heavy punch that featured – among other things — watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus, orange marmalade and edible flowers, plus an elaborate presentation. Tasty, sure, but it masked the Tennessee Honey more than enhanced it.

Tennessee Honey Cocktails

tennessee honey cocktails

Besides the competing drinks, we were plied with Tennessee Honey cocktails for two days. Popular mixers included ginger ale, citrus and tea. One favorite was the Honey Smash, detailed below.

Tennessee Honey Smash

1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
1 ounce honey
8 mint leaves
1 lemon, diced

Muddle lemon and mint leaves, then add remaining ingredients. Shake with ice, then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Like that? Drink this:
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Whiskey Review
Drinking Whiskey with Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller of Jack Daniel’s
Jack Daniel’s to Release Tennessee Honey

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  • Everett says:

    Have tried it and like it, from the very first sip. Now, I need ways to mix it.

  • John Gold says:

    I find it to be very pleasant. I didn’t mix it with anything. I just sipped on it after chilling it. The honey taste comes across natural, and light. They honey taste hits you up front, then you get the familiar Jack after taste. Its like candy for grownups.

  • John Cochran says:

    Hmm… I like regular old jack, but why are they messing with a good thing? I havent tried it yet, but not sure why jack would ever need honey added to it…

    that said, i guess I should get a bottle and try some for myself, lol!

  • CP says:

    Ha, wow. That guy should have won based on presentation alone.. an ice block and ice bowl? Awesome.

  • Jill says:

    Sounds like an interesting product. Tea sounds like a good pairing, will have to try it out.

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