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Midtown Wines and Spirits

Single Barrel Tour: Jack Daniel’s

06/19/2013

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel:

Taste of Tradition

JackDaniels1 225x300 Single Barrel Tour: Jack Daniels

For this edition of a single-barrel tour, I’m going to jump ahead in my tour schedule to tell you about our Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel because…

We are excited to have this IN STOCK NOW!

Our half-day trip to the distillery was once again an entertaining and informative experience. We arrived in time for our lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s. Now, it may sound cliche and touristy to eat lunch at the distillery restaurant, but this was definitely worth it. We were seated around a large table with 8 or so other guests. As we sat down, a wonderful retired lady talked to us about the experience, food and distillery. She was very knowledgeable and sweet.

The food came and was a fantastic mix of southern fare: fried chicken, Jack Daniels apples, mac and cheese, fried okra.. and on and on… all served family style via a lazy susan. And once we were stuffed with the main course, we were treated to Jack Daniels chocolate pie!

And then we were on to the whiskey! Now, much like other distilleries, Jack Daniel’s blends their whiskeys in order to find the perfect “Jack” taste. That is why picking out a single barrel is exciting: we pick one barrel that we think is perfect for our customer and the bottles are all consistent with that taste.

We were welcomed into the newish tasting room (they now offer tasting tours!) and were seated in front of a selection of three barrels and a couple of guides.

Tasting these barrels was a bit different as they were already taken down from barrel strength alcohol content to bottle strength. That meant that we did not have to add a bit of water in order to bring the spiciness (or “heat”) down.JackTasting1 300x225 Single Barrel Tour: Jack Daniels

It was four of us this time so we had a good number of opinions and came to a majority agreement. One was eliminated right away and we had some haggling over the other two.

First, barrel number 1745:
Nice milder tasting bottle which had some “oakiness” to it and light vanilla notes. It left a nice lingering, spicy finish. Had a sweet, tart aroma to it

I thought this was good but I wanted something a little different with a little more to it.

Next, barrel number 1760:
Mild aroma. It had a dryer caramel taste with a lighter spicy finish.
This was my least favorite. While I enjoy a nice caramel whiskey, I don’t think that’s what our customers would want. I wanted something more complex… which leads to…

OUR CHOICE: Barrel 1757:
Had a mid-mild nose to it. A good mix of caramel, woodiness and a great oakiness on the mid-palette. It starts out milder but ends with a lingering spicy finish on the side of the tongue. It is also not overly sweet.

Overall, I loved this one from the start. It has a lot going on and a lot that is unique to this whiskey in comparison to our other single barrels. I think the oakiness and spicy finish make this barrel fantastic.

So, if you like Jack Danie’ls, and want something unique and great tasting or need a souvenir unique to Nashville, this is highly recommended!

———-

Single Barrel Tour with Matt the Beer Guy
This is part of an on-going series of single barrel whiskey picked exclusively for Midtown.

Interested in whiskey? Be sure to check out Nashville Whiskey Festival!

Single Barrel Tour: Knob Creek

05/28/2013

Single Barrel Tour with Matt the Beer Guy
This is the first post in an on-going series of single barrel whiskey picked exclusively for Midtown.

Jim Beam: Knob Creek Single Barrel
An Introductory Experience

JimBeamStillhouseCenter21 e1369684667312 225x300 Single Barrel Tour: Knob Creek

I enjoyed the trip to Jim Beam for my first barrel tasting and selection. The whiskey was great to try and meeting Master Distiller Fred Noe was a trip. It’s impressive to be met by the master distiller and see that his office is the first one as you enter.

Now, I was warned about Fred: He makes no changes to his style for anyone, meaning, he’s going to be the good ol’ boy from the country, cussing and all. He know his stuff though and was fun and interesting to talk to.

GroupAtBarrellHouse e1369684828677 225x300 Single Barrel Tour: Knob CreekAfter introductions, we headed to the barrel warehouse for the tasting. It was awesome to be let into the storehouse to see all of the stored barrels and smell all of the aging bourbon. We were presented with 3 barrels, each stored in a different location but *I believe* aged for the same length of time. One of the storehouse managers showed us how to hammer out the bunghole and pour the samples. We were set to taste!

Now comes the point of contention from Midtown: We were presented with plastic cups. As a wine, spirits and craft beer store, we pride ourselves and appreciate the appropriate glassware. Unfortunately, this falls short. That being said, the bourbon itself did not.PullingWhiskeyFromBarrel e1369685249349 225x300 Single Barrel Tour: Knob Creek

The fun of tasting straight from the barrel, is that the bourbon is barrel strength, aka not watered down. The Knob Creek we tasted was all above 100 proof and thus pretty hot. That is why Fred recommended we add a bit of water in order to bring the simulated proof roughly down to single barrel bottle standards. We tried them barrel strength first and then added a bit of water.

My favorite was one of the smoother bourbons as I love the carmel and vanilla notes that I associate with “smoothness”. That explains my taste for Woodford Reserve. The last of the barrels, we all agreed, was definitely not up too par; it tasted less complex than once would expect. The third barrel had a decent bit more spice and good depth. We decided upon this barrel as once our customers would love.

After deciding, we were taken for lunch and given a tour. The new touring facilities and visitors’ center are impressive. They have a mini distillery setup just for touring and it gives a fun, interactive aspect to the process.

Overall, my first single barrel tasting was a fun and informative experience. I hope you like the Knob Creek. We’ll let you know when it arrives.

MidtownsKnobCreekSingleBarrel 300x225 Single Barrel Tour: Knob Creek


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