Jack Daniels Single Barrel Whiskey
We dont need to introduce this brand to you if youre reading this article. Even if youre not a whisky aficionado, you have surely heard of Jack Daniels, the worlds largest whiskey producer. Their single barrel collection comes in a rich mahogany hue that is due to the complexity of the spirit and its aging process.
Hints of caramel, spice and sweet fruit, along with vanilla and oak undertones bring you these exhilarating flavors that are well paired for a unique character.
Middle Shelf Tennessee Whiskey
1. Heavens Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Not only does this top-notch whiskey come in a beautiful, unique bottle but its highly decorated. It was awarded a gold medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, it scored 96 points at the 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, and was given a double gold at the 2018 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.
Heavens Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey was also made in collaboration with Bob Dylan, giving it immediate notoriety.
The nose offers a simple combination of baking spice and vanilla with undertones of toasted oak. The palate features buttered popcorn, dried fruit, and baked bread. The finish is long with sweet and spicy hints of cinnamon and nutmeg with a little caramel in there, too.
2. Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey
Cigar and Spirits Magazine named Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey one of the top five whiskies in the world in 2018. Its carefully handcrafted with an 11-step, 25-day distillation method, and a special bespoke charcoal filtration method.
In addition to the commendation for Cigar and Spirits, its earned 25 other awards since it came to be in July 2017. These include titles like worlds best, and several gold and double gold medals at various competitions and challenges.
The nose is rich and sweet with notes of baking spice and charcoal. The palate is just as rich with creamy, subtle notes of sweet orchard fruit and baking spice with a smooth and complex finish.
The 10 Best Whiskeys From Tennessee
For many people, whiskey and Tennessee will always be synonymous with each other. The distilled alcoholic beverage has been closely associated with the state ever since its first settlers moved into it.
There are two whiskeys that Tennessee is known forbourbon and Tennessee whiskey. Bourbon is whiskey that is made from 51 percent corn. This is the most popular style of whiskey in the entire United States. On the other hand, Tennessee whiskey is bourbon that undergoes the Lincoln County Process. This process has the drink going through charcoal filtering before it is aged in barrels. This gives the whiskey a unique smoothness that brands such as Jack Daniels are known for. Read on and find out more about the top 10 whiskeys from Tennessee.
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He Guided Me To Tennessee
Unlike bourbon, gin, vodka, and other classes of liquor, Tennessee whiskey has no current legal definition in the Federal government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits. The North American Free Trade Agreement offers the only current Federally recognized definition of Tennessee whiskey: “a straight Bourbon Whiskey authorized to be produced only in the State of Tennessee.” That’s not very helpful.
Generally speaking, Tennessee whiskey is nearly identical to bourbon. Tennessee is a sour mash product, made mostly from corn, with a mix of other grains that includes wheat, rye, and malted barley. The grains are ground, mixed with water, and fermented in a method similar to that of bourbon. The fermented liquid is distilled in a column still , before being aged in new, charred-oak barrels.
Between distillation and aging, though, comes an additional step, one that distinguishes Tennessee whiskey from bourbon. The additional step is charcoal filtering, also known as the Lincoln County Process.
What’s The Difference Between Tennessee Whiskey And Bourbon
Tennessee whiskey is a distinct style of whiskey that must adhere to strict requirements and can only be produced in the state of Tennessee. It is primarily made of corn and uses the “Lincoln County Process” which gives the whiskey its unique character of charcoal mellowing. Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world and exports account for much of that. There are other impressive brands of Tennessee whiskey worth noting as well.
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The Worlds Top Craft Whiskeys According To The American Distilling Institute
Pennington Distilling Company, Davidson Reserve Tennessee Whiskey
The American Distilling Institutes Judging of Craft Spirits is an annual competition that recognizes the top craft spirits in the US and around the world.
Since 2007, the competition has brought together approximately 50 spirit judges to evaluate submissions from small and medium sized producers. Both members of ADI and non-members can submit entries.
In addition to the usual listing of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Double Gold, the ADIs craft spirit judging also recognizes the Best of Category and Best of Class. These are the top entrants among the Gold Medal winners.
Whiskeys are the single largest category in the Judging of Craft Spirits. In the 2021 competition there were three whiskeys that garnered Best in Class awards and another seventeen whiskeys that won Best of Category awards.
Spirit of Hven, MerCurious Corn Whisky, 45.6% ABV, 500 ml, $55, won the Best of Class Award for International Corn Whisky. Spirit of Hven is a Swedish distiller located on the island of Ven in the Öresund Strait, between Scania and Zealand. Its a silky, creamy, corn whisky based on a mash bill of 88% Swedish corn, 5% wheat, 3.5% barley and 3.5% rye, and is matured in virgin casks of American oak.
The whiskey is based on a mash bill of 70% white corn, 25% rye and 5% malted barley. Its aged an average of four years.
Nearest Green Distillery, Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey
This spicy blend is a favorite of Jack McGarry, a co-owner of The Dead Rabbit in New York. Due to the heavy Sherry component, Jack says, the blend possesses wonderful Christmas cake notes of dried fruits and the prerequisite Christmas spices. Despite its festive wintertime flavors, its suitable for year-round consumption when poured in a timeless whiskey glass.
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How To Drink Tennessee Whiskey
There are many ways that people enjoy Tennessee whiskey. Some like to drink it straight while others prefer it on the rocks. A splash of water will tone down high-proof whiskeys and make them more approachable.
Straight shots are popular and it’s mixed into a number of shooter recipes. Mixed drinks are probably the most popular use and they’re often simple, tall, and refreshing. A shot of Tennessee whiskey topped with cola is a favoritemost commonly ordered at bars as a Jack and Coke. It’s also a great background whiskey for lighter sodas as well as lemonade.
Best Sipping Whisky: Glenmorangie Signet Single Malt Whisky
For the men and women of Tain, making Glenmorangie Signet is a labor of love. Over one week a year in the Scottish highlands, the company distills the chocolate malt barley into spirita more difficult feat than processing the core varietybefore being laid to bed in a woody slumber.
After an unspecified length of aging, Glenmorangie mingles it with some of its oldest stocks. The result is a beautiful dram that’s perfect for sipping fireside with friends, rich with notes of bitter chocolate, a sherried sweetness, and a punch of spice.
Redbreast uses both malted and un-malted barley to create its 12-year-old Cask Strength Whiskey, which whisky critic Jim Murray included in his 2020 Whisky Bible as Irish Whiskey of the Year. The brand takes the pot-distilled spirit and ages it in both ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry butts. The typical Redbreast 12-year-old is bottled at 80 proof, while the Cask Strength clocks in at a substantially higher 117.2 proof, which gives the juice more intense flavors and aromas. Its a fruity dram, rich with big spicy notes, a pop of vanilla, and a strong and long finish.
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George Dickel Classic No 8 Whisky
This is one of their more accessible introductions to the brand if you do not want to jump in to their most popular offering we will show you shortly. You can expect a smooth and balanced flavor, but a little on the bolder side.
If you enjoy the sharp flavors of caramel and wood, as well as sweet notes of buttered corn and maple which are paired with a smoky finish, you must try this product. For the traditional whiskey lovers.
Corsair Triple Smoke American Single Malt Whiskey
This pot-still distilled whiskey isnt a bourbon or a Tennessee whiskey, its an American single malt. This 100 percent barley-based whiskey gets its flavor because of three separately smoked malts. The barley is smoked with local cherrywood, beechwood, and peat imported from Scotland. The result is a smoky, flavorful whiskey that will make you rethink your idea of single malts.
When you nose this whiskey, you get a ton of smoke. The robust peat is countered by sweet cherries and slight vanilla. The flavor is on par with some of the best whiskies of Islay. Its filled with caramelized sugar, subtle cinnamon, sweet cherries, and a lot of smoke.
Sweet, smoky, and not to be missed.
Fans of smoky single malt Scotch whiskies should definitely check out this bold, rich, very unique expression. The mix of three different smoked malts gives this a nuanced, highly memorable flavor profile.
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Jack Daniels Old No7 Tennessee Whiskey
This iconic sour mash whiskey has been charcoal mellowed and filtered through ten feet of maple sugar, which gives it its uniqueness. Matured in Jack Daniels own handcrafted barrels, and the master distillers random bottling timetable add to their character.
They only judge it ready for consumption when their nose finds the perfect balance between the oaky and sweet flavors that characterizes this particular spirit. As close to perfection as it gets.
We hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of the best Tennessee whiskeys we found for you, so feel free to taste and enjoy them, but in moderation is always best.
- Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune
Distilleries In Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee offers a mix of urban and small-town experiences, and the distilleries in this area reflect that as well.
From distilleries producing internationally known brands to small craft distilleries, youll have plenty of options to enjoy a sip of Tennessee whiskey.
If youre already planning to go to Nashville for a weekend, you can set aside one day or half a day to tour Nashville distilleries.
There are tour companies right in Nashville offering whiskey tours that take you through Nashville distilleries. Check out Tennessee Whiskey Experience by Tennessee Whiskey Tours, or Tennessee Whiskey Trail Tours by Mint Julep Experiences. You can also plan your own Nashville distillery itinerary with Whiskey Trail Tours.
Here are the cant-miss distilleries in Middle Tennessee.
1. Jack Daniel Distillery
If you can only visit a single Tennessee whiskey distillery on your trip, make it this one.
Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey is one of the most recognizable whiskey bottles in the world, and its made in the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg. Founded in 1866, its the very first registered distillery in the US.
This is where the so-called Lincoln County Process originated, and theres simply nowhere better to learn about it than here.
Note that they spell whisky the Scottish way, without the e.
Today, they offer unaged whisky , flavored whisky , and of course, their flagship product, the Classic No. 8 Tennessee sour mash whisky.
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Best Canadian: Lot No 40 Whisky
Region: Canada | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Raisin, Coffee.
When you think of Canadian whisky, the purple velvet-draped Crown Royal might be the first thing that comes to mind. There are some decent expressions to be found from that popular brand, but there is a whole world of lesser-known Canadian whiskies to sip out there. One highly regarded bottle is Lot No. 40, a 100% rye whisky that is distilled at Hiram Walker in Windsor, Ontario. Look for a little bit of spice here, but overall this is a smooth sipper with notes of cocoa and caramel that pop in the palate.
Region: Speyside, Scotland | ABV: Varies by batch | Tasting Notes: Sherry, Spice, Vanilla.
This scotch has something of a cult following, and with good reason: it’s a high-proof, sherry cask single malt that is consistently delicious. This is a rare example of a single expression being recognized and sought after by consumers, while the rest of the brand lineup is mostly , says Vacheresse. Add a bit of water or drink it neathowever you prefer, Aberlour ABunadh does not disappoint. Take your time with this as you sip to unveil layer after layer of flavor.
The Remarkable History Behind Tennessee Whiskey
Whiskey is undergoing a rebirth these days, and this is quite evident in the number of bars as well as speakeasies across the country that are always striving to create their unique and highly selective choices. In Tennessee, it is no different in fact, the newly established Tennessee Whiskey Trail has grown the number of distilleries to 26, all of which are situated on a road that links East Tennessee to West Tennessee.
Now, over two centuries ago, early colonists started at the foothills and valleys of Appalachia where corn grew so luxuriantly that it was the staple of many families as well as that of the communities that were still trying to make ends meet.
Many villages at the time had mills to grind the corn, and this made the cultivated plant even more versatile. It is believed that both the Irish and Scotch immigrants were the first set of individuals to try out the corn distilling operations.
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Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select
Last but not least is this whiskey that is bottled at 94 proof. It was first introduced in the late 90s and has since then become one of the top products of the distiller. As the name suggests, this is tapped from a single barrel, meaning that bottles drawn from one barrel will have a slightly different taste from bottles drawn from another barrel.
This whiskey is made from corn, rye, and malted barley. This Tennessee whiskey has subtle notes of spice and caramel with sweet aromatics, lending a one-of-a-kind flavor in the process. The liquor takes on a toffee color when poured in a glass.
On the nose, it offers a sweet cinnamon flavor with traces of honey, black tea, and butter. You may notice a slightly nutty aroma with creamy toffee. In the mouth, it doesnt feel rough, unlike some bourbons.
What Is Tennessee Whiskey
Before you explore Tennessee whiskey distilleries, heres a brief explainer of some of the products youll encounter.
Whiskey, in general, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from a fermented grain mash that is aged in oak barrels.
The differences among whiskeys lie in the types of grain and the proportions of each grain used in the mash, the distilling process, the type of wood used in the aging barrels, and many other aspects of its production.
Bourbon is whiskey made in the USA, made from mash thats at least 51% corn, aged in new charred white oak barrels, and had no additional coloring or flavoring.
Tennessee whiskey is whiskey made in the USA filtered through sugar maple charcoal before aging in a process called the Lincoln County Process.
Moonshine, affectionately called white lightning, is a clear, unaged whiskey with at least 80% corn base and extremely high alcohol content. It got its name from its illegal origins during Prohibition but is now being produced legally.
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The Serious Eats Guide To Tennessee Whiskey
Following up on last week’s bourbon primer, we’re going to shift our eyes and livers one step to the south this week, and look at bourbon’s delicious and popular cousin: Tennessee whiskey.
The best known of the Volunteer State hooches is a brand that is also the best-selling whiskey in the world: Jack Daniel’s. The state produces three other, somewhat lesser-known, whiskeys as well, though: George Dickel, Collier and McKeel, and Prichard’s.
First, though, what is Tennessee whiskey, and what distinguishes it from bourbon?
Does Keith Urban Sing Tennessee Whiskey
Young artist Ali Taylor heard Keith Urbans Blue Aint Your Color and Chris Stapletons version of Tennessee Whiskey and saw an opportunity. The college student / country artist decided to put the two hits together for a mashup that will make listeners wonder why they havent heard Blue Whiskey before.
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George Dickel Barell Select Tennessee Whisky
This is perhaps the best example of how good Tennessee whiskey can be. A staple among drinkers of Tennessee whiskey, it is distilled by George Dickel & Co. which was established in 1870. The company is one of the top 2 distillers in the world the other is its fierce rival, Jack Daniels.
George Dickel Barrel Select is crafted from a mash of corn , malted barley, and rye. It comes in a rectangular bottle topped by a wood and cork stopper. Its contents bottled at 86 proof, the whiskey is aged from 10 to 12 years. It is presented nicely with an amber coloring in a glass but has a dark bronze coloring while in the bottle. Speaking of the bottle, it has a fold-style script up front with a simple playout giving it an antique feel. The only real issue youd have with the bottle is the neck wrap that is quite hard to remove.
Crafted from 10 various barrels, this whiskey has a light smoky and sweet taste. There are hints of corn, vanilla, and oak grain and subtle traces of mint and allspice. It glides down the throat smoothly. Youll also notice the moderately spicy kick towards the end.
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