jack daniel's unaged rye whiskeyThe recently-announced Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye Whiskey is the company’s first new expression and grain recipe since before Prohibition. And it was never meant to be released. Originally, Jack Daniel’s was planning to release a traditional, aged rye whiskey. And in 2011, they distilled 800 barrels worth, setting them in their Lynchburg warehouses to mature. However, the tasters liked the unaged rye whiskey coming off the still so much that they decided it was also worth releasing. So, behold: Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye.

This clear whiskey is sweet and fruity on the nose, with a cereal-like background of rye grains. Take a sip to find more fruit, plus some warm spices. It’s surprisingly crisp and clean, and unlike the harsh mouthfeel found in many unaged spirits, this one remains soft and round from sweet start to dry finish. With a mashbill of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley, the rye really dominates. You get some sweetness from the corn and a malty hint from the barley, but overall, this expression marries the fruit and spice you’d expect from a traditional rye with the easy-drinking mellowness people expect from Jack Daniel’s.

To echo some sentiments from DrinkSpirits.com, this is a pretty huge release. Not because it will ever gain serious inroads itself (though it certainly could, if JD decides to make more), but because it helps to legitimize the unaged whiskey category. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is the best selling whiskey in the world. For Jack to be playing in this space at all means something. It shows that the spirit category isn’t just for fringe players who cannot afford to let their whiskeys sit in barrels for upwards of four years. But a category worth the interest of the industry’s biggest brands. (Buffalo Trace is another notable brand who’s experimented with unaged whiskey, and Jim Beam’s got one in the works.)

That said, we hope this doesn’t hurt the micro distillers. Companies like Death’s Door, Finger Lakes and Woodinville each make a fine unaged whiskey. But with Jack Daniel’s and others on the playing field, it could raise interest and visibility of the category as a whole, thereby helping the small guys gain a better foothold. Either way, it’s something worth watching.

Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye Whiskey will become available this December at select outlets in Tennessee. And in January 2013, you can find it in other select markets throughout the country.

CE Rating: ★★★

UPDATE: See the full life cycle of this product with Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye (2014) and the end result, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye (2016).

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  • mizv says:

    I’m so disappointed in this product. It is absolutely horrible. I will stick to my No. 7 any day.

  • john says:

    First time I’ve ever been disappointed by Jack Daniels

  • Russell says:

    I lucked out, I found 6 bottles tonight on ABC and 2 bottles at the other ABC. I have a new drink for the upcoming NASCAR season!

  • Timothy says:

    Just picked up 2 bottles here in Georgia, one is number 294 and the other is 290. Opened the 294 and sipped it, definitely a sipping whiskey. All the local shops have at least 3 bottles, it’s selling for $51.99 a bottle here but definitely worth it.

    It starts with a nice apple taste with middletones of white grape, the after taste is that of rye itself. It would be a shame to shoot this and waste the flavor. Smells like a very expensive white champaign.

    I myself am a shooter but this will be my sipping whiskey. Usually shooting down gentlemans jack or Jim beams devils cut.

  • Barret says:

    I got 2 bottles! Just sitting and waiting for the right price… 😛 I really want to try one, but I know once opened… It’s all over…

  • casey says:

    Will somebody let me know any stores or any websites I can get a bottle?


  • Eric Laiblin says:

    I would like to purchase a bottle if your store still has them.

  • Womack says:

    I have to say, I’m not a fan. I did not enjoy at all. I really enjoy Gentleman Jack but at $50 a 5th, I will not buy this again.

  • Will says:

    We have these here already at our store.

  • JEFF RANDLE says:

    will there be outlet in ohio,if so ware and when will it
    be available.

  • Steve B says:

    this is cool, but i wish the aged rye was out already. that’s what i really want to try.. any idea how long it will be before its released?

  • Marcus says:

    Is it as good as the Woodinville? I had that recently and really liked it. probably the only white dog i actually like. most are too harsh.

  • George says:

    So I cant get any until next year? well that sucks.. after reading this i’m ready to do some drinkin!

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