Cocktails with… Jack Daniels No.27 Gold

Both of us here at SummerFruitCup HQ are big fans of travel retail exclusives and our article covering a range of Jack Daniels products is one of the most popular on the site, so when I saw Jack Daniels Gold No. 27 at Duty Free at San Francisco Airport recently, my interest was piqued. When I saw that it wasn’t just a new bottle or different ABV, I decided to pick up a bottle.

Jack Daniels Gold No. 27 is a double barrelled, double mellowed whiskey, which is then finished in maple barrels and bottled at 40% ABV. Double mellowed refers to the fact that the spirit is mellowed through a column of charcoal both before and after aging (Gentleman Jack is also double mellowed).

Jack Daniels No27 Gold Whisky FINAL

On its own
Nose: Fresh, creamy creme brulee topped with caramelised light brown sugar, backed up by the richness of a brandy.
Taste: Very sippable, with a pleasant warmth to it. The texture is creamy – almost like melted ice-cream – with vibrant grain notes and flashes of fresh oak, before fleeting, slightly more bitter wood notes.
Finish: Relatively long and pleasant, with notes of oak and vanilla, and hints of maple and perfectly ripe banana.

With Soda
Defiantly dry on the palate, but also smooth, light, and refreshing. There’s a complexity at the end in the form of a maple sweetness, which makes this slightly sweeter than other Whiskey Sodas (maybe a good choice if you usually like your whisky with ginger). It’s also creamy in texture and would be excellent with a meal, especially during the warmer months.

Old Fashioned
Top notch: banoffee on the nose, with lively notes of roasted banana, creamy toffee, and some grain notes afterwards. These flavours follow onto the palate, which is smooth and creamy, with a good warmth to it. The finish is much dryer, with more, but more subtle notes of roasted banana.

Rob Roy
Straight forward, but full of flavour, with a pleasant, fruity tang from the vermouth. There’s a dry, lingering, slightly musty, sherry-like finish with woody overtones. Not at all sweet, but rich and punchy.

Whiskey Ginger
Another rich cocktail, but with a light texture. Easy to drink at any time of day, with notes of creamy fudge, maple syrup, a woody sappiness, ginger, and vibrant lemon that arrives on the palate with a burst of freshness, before a return to dryer banoffee notes.

In Conclusion
Gold No. 27 is a welcome, if slightly expensive, addition to the Jack Daniels family. Its smooth, banoffee notes are well balanced with vanilla oak and it works equally well on its own or in mixed drinks, where it adds flavour without overpowering or overcomplicating things. Our bottle disappeared very quickly, indeed, and I was particularly impressed with the Old Fashioned and Whiskey Ginger.
– Mrs. B.

Jack Daniels Gold No. 27 is a travel retail exclusive, available in certain duty free shops in airports across the world and priced around £65.

Cocktails with… Jack Daniel White Rabbit Saloon – 43%ABV

2012 sees the 120th anniversary of The White Rabbit Saloon, the saloon that Mr. Jack Daniels owned and operated in Lynchburg, Tennessee. To celebrate this, the Jack Daniels Distillery have released a special version of their Old No.7 variety (for details on other variations of Jack Daniels, check out our comprehensive tasting here) named after this famed watering hole.

The main difference in this version is that it is bottled at 43%ABV, rather than the 40%ABV that’s common for the Black Label No.7 whiskey in the UK and US today. Funnily enough, going back thirty years, Jack Daniels No.7 was bottled at 45%ABV, which was then reduced to 43%ABV in the late 1980s and reduced further to its current 40%ABV in 2002.

The whiskey comes in a presentation box with very decorative labelling and verbiage relating to the experiences of customers in Mr. Daniels’ own saloon. The bottle is in keeping with the new, clean-line style of Jack Daniels in the UK and, frankly, I’ve not yet come round to it as for me it has less character.

But let’s get on to the more substantial and important matter of taste.

1) On its own
Colour: Amber, with a tinge of red.
Nose: Warm, soft and slightly sweet caramel and vanilla. Faint hints of banana toffee that lead to nail polish if your nose lingers too long.
Taste: Smooth to start, being sweet and woody, but this flavour is quickly overtaken by an artificial tasting, bitter, creamy note that lasts. The finish is then quite clean, dry and woody, with a pleasant, light note of banana toffee. It’s slightly warming, but not forceful. Overall, I couldn’t help but be disappointed with this whiskey; the beginning and finish were both so good, but that bitter note in between was just horrid. Interestingly, where I tasted bitterness, DTS didn’t taste much at all, finding it bland.

2) Old Fashioned
This has a lovely nose of smoky, charred banana toffee. The banana and toffee notes follow through on the taste, along with vanilla, but – oddly – this Old Fashioned isn’t at all sweet and there’s a notable lack of flavour at the front of the tongue. There are hints of bitterness before a finish of light wood. Although the nose and finish were good, the flavour of this cocktail left something to be desired.

As an interesting experiment, half of the Old Fashioned was decanted and placed in the freezer. This improved it greatly, adding a light, cherry note to the nose and stronger notes of wood and a hint of coffee to the taste.

3) Manhattan
A promising start of wood and caramel is quickly overtaken by that same, persistent bitter, dry note, which is distracting and artificial. The finish was odd, being slightly creamy, before becoming short and dry. Definitely not the best way to enjoy this whiskey.

4) with Ginger Ale
A light, traditional bourbon nose of wood and vanilla, tinged with a refreshing sweetness. Initially dry, this drink then fades into that bitter flavour. The finish is clean and short, with hints of sweet ginger. Although I still didn’t like the bitter aspects, this was my favourite of the drinks that I tried.

In Conclusion
I really wanted to like this whiskey. I adore the label and story behind the White Rabbit Saloon and think that the concept of “sippin’ whiskies” that people can enjoy with friends on its own, straight from the bottle, is a great one. Unfortunately, I just didn’t like the bitter taste of this one, either on its own or in cocktails; my favourite way of drinking it was with ginger ale or in the intriguing frozen Old Fashioned. We do, however, have some bigger fans of Jack Daniels in our family and I look forward to seeing what they think of this; when I do, I’ll update this post.

– Mrs. B.

Jack Daniel’s White Rabbit Saloon 120th Anniversary is available for around £26 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

Mrs. B meets… Jack Daniels

Update Oct 2012 – Mrs. B has just tried the new Jack Daniels White Rabbit – check it out here


At a family gathering this weekend past, a group of us brought together our collections of products made at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The aim? One big comparative tasting. For many, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, with its familiar black and white label, is a regular, well-trusted whiskey, but the distillery produces (or has produced in the past) a range of other offerings, too, and I haven’t always thought it obvious what the others “bring to the table”, or so to speak. This was a chance for us to explore the range and compare notes.

Not all of the bottles contained straight whiskey – one was a winter punch and, another, Jack Daniel’s relatively new honeyed whiskey liqueur – but we compared each on the same, simple 10 point scale, based solely on our personal preference. As a result, I’ve included each reviewer’s rating separately, in a miniature chart after each bottling’s notes.

Jack Daniels Old No. 7

No. 7 is a sour mash Tennessee Whiskey, which is a bourbon whiskey that is only produced in the American state of Tennessee. It is charcoal filtered once and bottled at 40%ABV.

The nose was sweet, with a touch of nail varnish alcohol at the end, occasionally masking hints of dry cherry and almond. It tasted of sweet cherry, especially towards the end. Its aftertaste was of dry wood, with hints of varnish, similar to the nose.

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Gentleman Jack

A “superpremium” version of Jack Daniel’s, this is twice charcoal filtered and bottled at 40%ABV.

The nose of Gentleman Jack was a lot more mellow than that of No. 7, with stronger hints of almond and straw, and a noticeable reduction in the level of varnish-type alcohol. The taste was also softer, being a little creamy and sweeter, with charred wood on the finish.
Smoother and much easier to drink neat, all of us liked it more than No. 7, believing it to be a more “relaxed” version.

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Green Label

A younger, lighter Tennessee Whiskey made in the same way as No. 7.

An intriguing nose: a smoother, more creamy version of that of No. 7; one reviewer caught a hint of mashed potato in its savoury butteriness. There was also a lot more fruit on the nose, with cherry in particular playing a stronger role.
Smoother on the tongue, but with a very similar flavour profile (understandably!) to the previous two whiskies, the Green Label tasted generally “less rough around the edges”, sitting neatly between the more harsh No. 7 and the more mellow Gentleman Jack.

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Single Barrel

As you would imagine, the whiskey in this bottle all comes from a single, carefully selected barrel (so individual bottles may vary). It is bottled at 45%ABV.

The nose was less dominant on this one and much smoother and sweeter; vanilla made an appearance. Despite this, it tasted stronger, with a character more similar to Gentleman Jack than the others, with more oak coming through and a definite char “bite” on the finish.

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Silver Select

Bottled at 50%ABV, Silver Select is a stronger, more intense variation of the same Tennessee Whiskey. Like Single Barrel, your bottle will all have come from a single barrel, and so different bottlings are likely to differ slightly.

This had a much sweeter nose, with considerably more rich caramel. To taste, it was initially soft and sweet, and seemed more viscous. It also packs a powerful punch towards the end, given its strength. This seemed to mask the flavours, suggesting that the drink may work better after being cut with a little branch water.

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Winter Jack

This 15%ABV ready-mixed punch was created for the German market and combines No. 7, apple juice and a variety of winter spices, including cinnamon and cloves.

An exceptionally novel and sweet nose of apple bubblegum and stewed apples is measured slightly by a hint of acidity. It tasted of light, cloudy apple juice with the addition of honey and oak. It reminded me of apple crumble, with its hints of apple, oats, honey and cinnamon. Exceptionally easy to drink.


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Tennessee Honey Whiskey Liqueur

A spiced honey whiskey liqueur made with No. 7 and bottled at 35%ABV.

The nose was dominated by the honey and was soft, but rich, with notes of flapjack and sticky maple tart. Like the nose, the taste was smooth and rich, with honey, pecans and maple syrup, all highlighting a good, bourbon base. With a comforting warmth and dry finish that we were all thankful for, this was a definite favourite.

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In Conclusion
Jack Daniel’s is a well-loved Distillery by many (I’ve always liked their advertising campaigns, too) and my resounding view following this tasting is that they have managed to create a little something for everybody. Particular favourites that stood out in our tasting were the younger Green Label, which – with its smoothness, but no lack of flavour – everyone found much more pleasant to drink neat than No. 7. Similarly, Gentleman Jack did very well with all of the panel, with everyone appreciating the more relaxed (but not weaker) style.

The Winter Jack and Tennessee Honey were also very popular, showing that the Distillery’s strength isn’t limited to straight whiskey. Although they might not be to everyone’s taste, I would highly recommend the Honey Liqueur in particular to anyone who doesn’t normally like Jack Daniel’s, but likes liqueurs. I, for one, hope that the Distillery keep experimenting with different expressions of their whiskey.

– Mrs. B

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