Arriving in an inconspicuous box, I got to have my first taste of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye Whiskey, slated for a limited release in early 2013 for $50 a bottle.
This crystalline liquid is significant because Jack Daniel’s has not modified the ingredients in their whiskies for the past 100 years. Jack and its sub-brands like Gentleman Jack all contain exactly the same recipe of corn, barley, and rye, with the only difference in the varieties being their aging or filtering processes. But that changes now as the distillery has come up with an 80% rye recipe, some of which they’re bottling unaged as a “distillers run.”
Rye is a popular whiskey nowadays, and with unaged “moonshines” also on the rise, you can’t fault Jack for jumping on the bandwagon. Unaged ryes are not very common, however, especially those with the distribution level that Jack already enjoys. Drinkhacker talks about this being a stopgap and buzz-building release as the “real” Jack Rye (or whatever it’ll be called) sleeps in barrels until 2015.
As for the flavor, there’s a sweet, fruity aroma to Jack’s Unaged Rye. As wood aging imparts spice to booze, and rye itself is spicy, it’s a surprise to experience sweetness in there. There is also a pungency and grittiness to the flavor, which also tend to fade with barrel aging. Think about the difference between a silver and an aged tequila, and you get an idea what I’m talking about.
This is a rye to try as it has a huge historical significance, plus it’s a limited release.