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Jack Daniel’s Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whiskey Review

Jack Daniel’s Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whiskey Review

Jack Daniel’s needs no introduction. It is the largest producer of whiskey in America. At the current rate, that’s not likely to change any time soon. That’s why Brown-Forman, the owners of Jack Daniel’s, has authorized one expansion project after another over the years. And why shouldn’t they? Even with all the capacity they have built, it still doesn’t seem like it’s enough to quench the thirst of the world.

But making more of the same kind of whiskey doesn’t always guarantee more sales. So Jack continues to release new labels to the market every year. The main difference between them is basically the proof and age, forcing them to get a little more creative than usual.

The bottle you see before you started to pop up in Duty-Free shops across the world around 2018. From what I have gathered, it’s been on sale at military installation liquor stores since 2020. But because it looks like a common bottle of Jack Daniel’s, most people have skipped over it. Plus, Jack went on to release a “Jack Daniel’s Bonded” in 2021 that seemed to directly compete with itself. So what gives?!

Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond Tennessee Whiskey

Other reviewers will point out that Jack Bonded is different from Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond – and that might be true. But I won’t cover that part until I pit those two bottles against each other in an upcoming review. My guess is they are pretty similar.

I obtained this bottle at my local Class VI (the name Army posts call the stores that sell alcohol and tobacco) for a little over $30 (plus, no sales tax on military installations). The deal seems even sweeter when you realize the bottle is a full liter, rather than 750ml.

Jack Daniel’s always plays up the fact that the United States military is their best customer, so they reward them with lower case prices, more special releases (like this bottle I’m reviewing) and even access to specific single barrels picked directly for them. In return, the military rewards Jack Daniel’s by including their brand in a popular cadence that Soldiers sing during Battalion and Brigade runs.

C-130 rollin’ down the strip

Airborne Ranger gonna take a little trip

Stand up, buckle up, Shuffle to the door

Jump right out and count to four

And if my chute don’t open wide

I have another one by my side

If I die don’t bring me back

Bury me with a case of Jack

There were lots of different alcohol that could get substituted into the last two lines of that cadence, but that one was always my favorite.

Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond Tennessee Whiskey facts

Remember how I told you earlier that Jack had recently expanded their capacity? The proof is in the aerial photos of the campus where we can see dozens of new warehouses being built to house all of the new barrels. In fact, most of these warehouses built in the last 10 years are the palletized type. So rather than being aged in traditional ricks on their side, barrels are stood straight up onto pallets, banded together and stacked 6 high. This way, they can cram more of them in a warehouse while also cutting down on labor because a single forklift operator is all that’s required.

I have no doubt that the Bottled-in-Bond (and Bonded) releases have come about because Jack was awash with so many extra barrels from those new high-capacity warehouses. Just because they are now making more whiskey doesn’t mean people are going to magically start buying more of the same whiskey. This is why I’m fairly sure Jack’s Bonded and Bottled-in-Bond releases won’t be the last new ones we’ll see.

All of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey typically comes off the still close to 140 proof and gets filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal (which is made on-site) before entering their 53 gallon barrels at 125 proof. Jack’s BiB Tennessee Whiskey was all distilled in one distilling season, likely aged for the minimum of 4 years and then proofed down to 100 proof before bottling.

So how’s it taste? Let’s find out. I sampled this neat in a glencairn.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Most Jack products I’ve smelled start off very sweet. Nothing has changed here as I find a dessert-like nose of sweet caramel and banana nut bread. The oak notes aren’t as prominent on this bottle as I’ve had on other Jack products (like Heritage Barrel and the 94 proof single barrel selects) but there is a bit of spice that follows it (cinnamon). Smell around enough and you’ll start to find vanilla and a touch of maple, though. There’s not really much in the way of fruits, but it still feels like a complete package as far as the scent profile goes

Palate: Sweet, smooth and mellow. Everything is very well balanced. Caramel notes with a little bit of maple syrup lead the way while Bananas Foster and toasted pecans follow suit. A tiny bit of oak can be tasted as well. Vanilla and toasted wafers also hit the spot. Baking spices are soft and subdued. This drinks very well, but is somewhat uninteresting. Also, I always seem to find a bit of saltiness (salinity?) in my Jack and I’m tasting that here as well.

Finish: The banana flavor becomes more artificial tasting on the finish. Everything else remains the same from the palate for the most part. The finish is sweet for the most part and the oak – what little there is – never seems to dry out my tongue. 

Score: 6.5/10

I didn’t come into this review thinking that this bottle of Jack was going to be much different from their core lineup. And sure enough, that’s how it turned out. Jack usually gets sweeter as the proof drops and that’s what I found here. For context, I would say that Sinatra Select or even a regular bottle of Old No. 7 is sweeter. I can’t comment on Jack Daniel’s Bonded yet because I haven’t had it (but a review is coming in the next month).

It almost makes me wonder if the extra label was worth the effort to create. This is a fine bottle of whiskey, but it’s only slightly less special tasting than a single barrel of regular Jack Select (not the barrel proof kind). Still, for the price, I can’t complain. I just wouldn’t buy another one after tasting what this had to offer.

Final Thoughts

I saw this bottle and instantly wanted to buy it because I knew it’s not a bottle you can find on any shelf. To my knowledge, it’s still not available outside of military installations or duty-free stores. That makes it kind of cool to own.

But I know what kind of drinker I am and it’s not one that finds one brand and sticks with them. For me, whiskey is all about exploration. Sadly, most Jack Daniel’s products just aren’t interesting enough to keep buying. They’re good, but a little on the simple side. With Jack, it’s mostly the same flavors rearranged in a different order – and that’s okay. I know the majority of people out there want a whiskey like that. But if you’re a reader of my reviews, then I assume you’re here because you also feel the same way I do. So if you’ve tried enough Jack in your life, then feel free to skip this one. There are plenty of more interesting whiskies out there.

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