American whiskey appreciation month continues, and the good news is we have a new whiskey to try (and experiment) with - which is news in and of itself, but even better when its a damn good whiskey to boot. The even bigger/better news is that we are having or biggest competition prize ever this month - this bottle is the first part of that prize! Stay tuned for more announcements as we add to the prize pool over the next few weeks, culminating in an epic finale :)
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey – Official Australian Release
Some of the more observant of you may have seen this getting around a little bit early (either that or you were a lucky blogger!) but we got to try and experiment with this last week just ahead of the official Australian retail release.
An excellent example of the Rye style and bottled at an eminently agreeable 45% this gentle, delectable Rye whiskey is probably our new favourite Rye under $100 and is great sipped neat, over ice or even enjoyed in cocktail. The Rye forward character and ABV of this whiskey carry through brilliantly in any of the more typical Rye based cocktails, as a cheeky substitute in place of another spirit in a mash-up/cross over style cocktail or as the base of something new altogether….
So what is the story behind this release?
This Rye whiskey is made from a mash-bill of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley and while no age is stated we have it on good (unofficial so far) authority that the juice is at least five years old. The recipe is said to be the first new official core range mash-bill in 150 years for the brand, but fans will be pleased to know the same Lynchburg Cave Spring Hollow limestone cave water is used (limestone filtering out some of the heavier elements like Iron from the water source) as per the older Jack Danie’s releases as is the maple charcoal filtration (Lincoln County Process) which sets Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey apart from its contemporaries.
Nose: Not as pepper forward as we are used to Rye’s of this and higher ABV. White pepper is definitely still evident but sits comfortably alongside more typical bourbon nosing notes of toffee, melted butter/brown sugar and a hint of cinnamon. As a fan of banana notes in whiskey, I am also pleased to report the ripe banana / banana bread note I enjoy in my JD’s is also present (and works great alongside the pepper/bourbon notes).
Palate: Has the slightly tingly/numbing pepper hit promised by the nose and almost invariably found in a good rye, a white pepper for me. The rye grain is evident but not raw, more a dry, peppered oatmeal grain note with a good dose of banana muffin, toffee and cinnamon pancake.
Some other recommended ways we found to enjoy:
You Got Me Rye and Dry – A riff on a Highball
The Ginger and bubbles lighten and complement the pepper of the rye and make for a super easy to make and enjoy highball. Cheers!
- 60ml of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye
- 60ml Soda Water
- 120ml Ginger Ale
Mix over ice in a mixing glass or build in a Collins/tall glass and stir gently to incorporate before topping with ice.
Lime or Lemon Peel to Garnish.
Rye of the Tiger
Kind of a riff on an old fashioned with the orange bitters and coffee really bringing out the rye and giving an amber/black colour scheme for a few seconds which gave me licence to name it so cheesily.
- 45ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye
- 15ml Mr Black Coffee Liquor (ideal for its pronounced coffee flavour and reduced sugar content)
- 5ml of Honey Syrup (1:1 Honey to water mix, boiled until honey is fully dissolved in the water – make a decent sized amount and enjoy in a bunch of cocktails)
- 2 dashes of Orange flavoured Bitters
- Put together in a mixing glass with ice and stir down like an old fashioned before serving in a rocks glass on a decent sized ice sphere or cube.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
Rye'm or Reason (Boiler Maker)
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye in your favourite neat whiskey glass. A good approachable hoppy (but not overly so) IPA – Akasha IPA came to hand for us. The Citric Hop flavours contrast wonderfully with the rye and pepper character in the whiskey. Don’t be afraid to substitute the IPA as Akasha may or may not be available where you are.
A not very subtle or clever Mai Tai rip off – but it works! Rye whiskey has replaced the white rum and we’ve fiddled some other stuff to balance it out – fruity but still shows off the rye nicely and a delicious way to enjoy your tropical cocktail and rye whiskey in one!
- 30ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye
- 30ml Blanco Tequila
- 15ml Triple Sec
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water, boiled until fully dissolved, cool, enjoy – or buy a bottle)
- 1 Teaspoon Chambord
- Dash of Grenadine
Shake all of the above on ice for 20-45 seconds depending on your shaking technique (or if you are like us, lack of) and desired dilution (the longer you shake the more water will sneak in). Double strain into a tall glass and add ice until it looks cool. Top with an Orange Slice to be extra fancy/special.
Tennessee Rye Tea
Every Uni/Tafe student’s favourite pitcher cocktail (best bang for buck!) updated and with grown up pants. The Rye actually evens out the overbearing sweetness usually present in a good way 😊 This whiskey loves orange so the triple sec sets things up nicely too.
- 30ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye
- 15ml Tequila
- 15ml White Rum
- 15ml Vodka
- 15ml Triple Sec
- 30ml Sweet and Sour Mix (10ml Simple Syrup, 10ml Fresh Lime Juice, 10ml Fresh Lemon Juice)
- Cola to taste/top of glass.
Shake on ice in a cocktail shaker until fully combined/your arms give out. Top off with Cola in a nice tall glass. Add a lemon wedge on the side of your glass. Drink slowly (as this has a lot of booze) in it, or better yet share with a friend (or me!).
Rye Hot Toddy
Perfect for breakfast, when the winter blues have got you down or you are feeling under the weather (not self-inflicted). The Rye really helps clear the sinuses but also works wonders with the lemon honey.
- 60ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye
- 1 Tea Bag we went for Chamomile and Spiced Apple (as that’s all we had lying around that wasn’t boring/vile)
- 240ml hot water – used to steep the tea bag
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pour everything into an Irish coffee glass or mug and stir like a normal tea. Top with a nice lemon slice, a star anise pod and cinnamon stick (or leave it out if you fail at life like us).
We hope you can enjoy at least a few of those cocktails as much as we do! And check back next week for a rundown on all things rye whisk(ey)!
The Whisky List
In partnership with Brown-Forman Australia