Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye is a straight Rye whiskey from Jack Daniel’s, makers of the world’s largest selling American whiskey brand. This is a no-age-statement release from Jack Daniel’s, with an exceptionally Rye-heavy mash bill.
The Tennessee Rye expression was released recently in 2017, expanding the Jack Daniel’s range beyond the regular Old No. 7 and other iterations for the first time since Prohibition.
The Jack Daniel’s brand was founded in 1875 by Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, a man who learned everything about distillation as a young man. Working at a moonshine distillery owned by a man named Dan Call, Jack closely observed the methods and techniques that would go on to make him one of America’s most important personalities.
Jack established a registered distillery business with Call in 1875, taking over the business completely in 1884. Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, an enslaved African-American man, is credited with developing and creating the Jack Daniel’s whiskey brand. Earlier, Green worked at Call’s moonshine distillery with Daniel, later going on to become the first ever African-American Master Distiller in the United States.
Green and Daniel helped the Jack Daniel’s brand grow over the years, and their efforts paid off when popularity grew exponentially after the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Gold medal win for Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Since Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green first began working at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, there has been at least one member of the Green family working at the distillery to this day.
The distillery and the business was inherited by Daniel’s nephew, Lem Motlow. The distillery was under Motlow’s ownership for nearly 40 years, during which the company underwent a brief period of halted productions. State and nationwide Prohibition laws caused a lot of trouble for the Jack Daniel’s brand. Production which was halted since 1910, only resumed after 1938, briefly halting once again during the Second World War.
Lem Motlow passed away in 1947, passing the ownership of the distillery to his children. The Brown-Forman Corporation bought the company in 1956, and are current owners of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and brand.
Today, it is one of the world’s most recognized whiskey brands, and the bestselling American whiskey throughout the world.
Interestingly, Moore County, where the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is located, is a dry county. This means, Jack Daniel’s legally cannot be sold in the region where it is produced.
The mash bill for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye is made up of 70% Rye, 18% Corn and 12% malted Barley. The Rye content is lower than many other Rye whiskeys in the market, but is still quite high.
Jack Daniel’s typical Lincoln County Process is what really gives this expression a unique identity, retaining the quintessential smoothness and mellow character that Jack Daniel’s whiskeys are known for. Master Distiller Jeff Arnett has created the Tennessee Rye for Jack Daniel’s, developing the mash bill for a complex and interesting flavour profile.
The spicy Rye character is complemented well by the sweet touch of Corn, and the mellow smoothness resulting from the sugar maple charcoal filtration is top notch. The whiskey has been matured in new, charred American white Oak barrels. Jack Daniel’s whiskeys are matured for taste, and not for age. Since the Tennessee Rye qualifies for the straight Rye classification, it has been aged for at least two years.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye is bottled at 45% ABV (90 US Proof), slightly higher than the standard limit for Bourbon and other kinds of American whiskeys.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye has not won any major international whiskey tasting medals or awards.
Mellow, and balanced. Sweet and spicy. Some smoke permeates
Smooth. Spicy Rye followed by sweet vanilla, smoke and caramelized oak
Spicy, medium finish