To me this American favorite has a cult status of its own and is so much imbibed into American culture that it shares a popularity that many don’t. Be it movies, art, theatre, NASCAR or music, this legendary elixir always receives a mention! Fame exemplified when music legend Frank Sinatra was sold to the Jack Daniels so much so that he would sip the nip before every show and in the end even took it to his grave, literally! The Old No 7 holds a special place in my heart too; in addition to being my first American whiskey, it had played part to my many cherished memories be it with family or friends.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Jack Daniels isn’t really a Bourbon but a Tennessee whiskey. The major distinction between the two for it to be called a Tennessee whiskey, is the spirit should endure a filtration process and in the case of Jack Daniels, 10 feet of Sugar maple Charcoal prior to being aged in newly charred white oak barrels. This not only filters out any impurities but also mellows it down and adds that distinctive flavor.
Getting back to the ‘spirit’ of discussion, the Old No 7 has a bold, rustic and an almost vintage look. The square shape, black label and the antiquated font adds to its splendor making it one of the most distinguishable bottles in the world. The label itself tells a lot and although there isn’t an age statement explicitly mentioned, some excerpts on the internet hint it to be anywhere between 4-6 years (but who knows!?).
Eye: Dark Gold, nearing amber.
Nose: Sweet burnt caramel and butterscotch, with honey and banana echoing through. I could sense light spices along with cinnamon, maple and toffee playing in-between.
Taste: Sugary sweet caramel, with red cherries and a kind of yeastiness in the background. You can also taste the spice, most likely coming from the rye along with a kind of smokiness. There is certainly a play of flavors in between the sweetness, and it’s quite interesting.
Finish: Definitely sweet and syrupy which tapers down with hints of pepper resonating till the end.
I might be biased here, but the Old No 7, still holds up to those old memories. The flavors are young, vibrant, spirity and appeasing. Certainly a contrast to the bold and vintage perception the bottle seems to carry. If there was something I would change, it would only be the level of sweetness that is left on the palate.
Bottom line, this will definitely be a favorite among-st novice drinkers, pleasantly be accepted by those who don’t mind a little bit of sweetness; but wouldn’t cater to the whiskey hardcore. Jack Daniel’s No 7 can certainly be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as a cocktail, aka, the famous ‘Jack and Coke’!
PS: There’s a lot of ‘Things you don’t know about Jack’ on the internet. You might want to enjoy a nip or two while browsing through these!