Say what you will about Jack Daniel’s but the Tennessee distillery sure knows how to blanket the market. Aside from its ubiquitous Old No. 7 whiskey that’s behind every bartop in the world, we’ve seen releases as low-brow as Tennessee Apple and Tennessee Fire but also as esteemed as its bottled-in-bond and unbelievable Single Barrel limited editions (check out either Coy Hill or Heritage Barrel if you can find them). However, before a couple of years ago, we hadn’t seen an age statement on a bottle of Jack in over a century (there are whiskeys as old as 21 years on record).
Giving Coy Hill and Heritage Barrel a run for their money, 2021’s release of Jack Daniel’s 10 Year got people talking about the potential of the distillery if it continued to increase its newfound age statements. Well, now it has, debuting a new 12-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey as part of its Aged Series — along with Batch 2 of the 10 Year. Bottled at 107 proof, the 12 Year comes from a mashbill of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye. However, the brand has stated that this is not from the same barrels as Batch 1 of the 10 Year from 2021. The profile of the whiskey is said to be sweet and creamy with notes of tobacco and butterscotch.
Of course, aging takes time, which is why most American whiskey spends between two to four years in a barrel on average (regular Old No. 7 is aged between four and six years). But it’s also important to note that old whiskey doesn’t always mean better whiskey. Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher might taste a 15- or 18-year barrel a few years from now and decide it needs to be tossed. While wheat and malted barley have higher age ceilings, corn-based spirits tend to cap out sooner. In fact, many bourbons are deemed undrinkable after 15 or 20 years.
700mL bottles of Jack Daniel’s 12-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey will have a suggested retail of $80 when it rolls out to retailers this month.