Tag Archives: Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s Conclusion – Silver Select and Holiday 2011

The final stop on the Jack Daniel’s tour are two special editions: The duty-free exclusive Silver Select and the recent Holiday Select 2011 are all that remain. Both are 100 proof. Is this turning up the dial a bit and getting more of a good thing, or is it just additional noise? We’ll see.

The Silver Select has a mix of sweet corn and wood. There’s an unexpected slightly dry, almost white wine quality to the nose that has some white pepper to balance it. There are also some can’t-miss notes for me: a little cherry, some light vanilla, and an earthy wet clay type note. There’s also a hint of cinnamon.

The palate is initially woody and has some cherry above it, with a touch of toffee in the background. Heat on the palate comes out of nowhere and builds, as does the wood. The wood doesn’t become overbearing or bitter, just omnipresent. The wet clay note from the nose comes through as well. Cinnamon and pepper provide a little spice. The finish shows a reemergence of the corn sweetness from the nose; wood and cherry are right behind it and it dries quickly, leaving some light woody notes and a slight celery root note. Wood takes center stage again at the end.

All in all, Silver Select isn’t bad. I think given the breadth of travel-exclusive offerings it might not be my first choice, but as far as Jack Daniel’s goes, it’s not bad and dare I say it’s even a cut above the standard issue. This is based heavily on the cherry and clay notes I got which are regular winning notes for me on a bourbon.

This leaves one to wonder – is the Holiday Select just a domestic release of the same thing? In a word, no.

Initially you might be forgiven thinking they’re similar. Holiday Select has the familiar Jack Daniel’s sweet corn notes as well as black cherry and some richer than usual wood. There’s light toffee and some caramel. However, it all goes sideways – there’s a peanut note on the nose (actually more satay sauce than straight peanuts) that takes this to an unwelcome and unflatteringly salty place.

The palate is distinctly woody and not in a good way – it’s young and bitter wood. It’s dry and somewhat salty again, reminding me of that dehydrating potato chip or popcorn level of saltiness. The heat comes on quick and strong, overrunning the light toffee and caramel influence. Pepper and cinnamon come with the heat; light cherries and the faintest trace of vanilla are there. However, the palate is really dominated by that green, young wood note. The finish brings the peanut and salt note front and center – why? The finish retains the heat from the palate; black cherries show up early but give way to bitter wood. Toffee and caramel are present throughout but never take a prominent place.

Holiday Select is, in short, an unbalanced wreck. The peanut note is one I’ve only found on a handful of Brown-Forman whiskeys, but it’s always overpowering and doesn’t tend to have an effective balance. Add to that a really overbearing wood note and you’ve got a real strikeout on your hands. While this may be lingering on shelves I can’t recommend it.

After all that, I need a drink…

It’s been pretty clear from this run through the Jack offerings that I’m not a fan. Some may have thought I did this strictly for the joy of taking shots at the biggest whiskey in the universe and beyond. Not in the least. Don’t forget, I drank all these — and none of them scored in the D or F range. That’s where the fun writing comes in because you have to get into superlative badness.

It was a pretty interesting exercise to run through the entire range. This, for me, is somewhat like the Woodford Reserve Master’s Series (again, a series of entries for another time – and hopefully not too soon): there’s a lot of variations that are slightly different versions of mediocre. That sort of thing over a longer period becomes dull because there’s not a lot of good whiskeys and nothing you can really look forward to. That said, the two that are the most interesting to me still are #7 and Green Label – they feel like different sides of the same coin. I still feel like if you took these together and tried to get the Jekyll & Hyde combo to work you might end up with something workable. Who knows? It’ll never happen.

Single Barrel is by far the best of the range – at least the one I had. Silver Select isn’t too far behind but doesn’t quite fire on all cylinders like my Single Barrel did. Angelo Lucchesi is definitely closest to the Jack I remember earlier, introducing a bit of sourness that wasn’t present else but was close to my memory of Jack. Gentleman Jack and Holiday 2011 are best forgotten, in my opinion.

I can’t say I have a lot of lasting interest nor do I hold much hope for Jack doing something for bigger whiskey nerds like myself and some of my friends. That’s OK – Jack Daniel’s is bought by the rest of the universe, so the couple hundred bottles we’d buy are about as close to “a drop in the ocean” as you can get. It’s a totally drinkable, fine and reasonable whiskey. There’s just nothing in it (in its many forms, less Single Barrel) that really grabs me.

If anyone’s interested in a bullet-point list of the order I’d buy these, it’d look like this

  1. Single Barrel
  2. Silver Select
  3. Angelo Lucchesi
  4. (tie): Green Label & #7
  5. Holiday Select 2011
  6. Gentleman Jack (hopefully and ideally never again)

Now that this Jack run is blessedly over, S&I will be returning to its regularly scheduled unpredictability.

If anyone buys me a drink in the next month and it’s Jack, I will punch you. Fair warning.

At a glance:

Jack Daniel’s Silver Select 50% ABV
Nose: 
A mix of sweet corn and wood. Has a slightly dry, almost white wine quality to it with some white pepper. Some cherry notes and light vanilla. Lightly influenced by cinnamon. A wet clay note provides some earthy balance. 
Palate: 
Woody palate initially with some cherry sweetness above it, with a touch of toffee behind. Heat comes from nothing and slowly builds. Wood builds with the heat but it’s just a solid wood influence, not a painfully bitter one. Cinnamon and some light pepper. Has a slightly earthy, wet clay note tagging along as well. 
Finish: 
Corn sweetness, wood and cherry which dries relatively quickly and leaves some light wood traces, some root vegetable notes and a touch of wood again at the end.
Comment: 
An interesting profile that’s less overtly sweet than most Jack Daniels I’ve had. Similar to the Single Barrel in ways but a bit bitter in comparison. The earthy and cherry notes being in balance raise this up a notch for me. 
Rating:  
B-

Jack Daniel’s Holiday Select 2011 50% ABV
Nose: 
An interesting mix of sweet corn notes and richer wood and black cherry notes. There’s a slightly nutty note – peanuts (actually, more satay than straight peanuts). A bit salty as well. Light toffee. Caramel fairly present. 
Palate:
Distinctly woody – kind of young wood and bitter too. Dry and somewhat salty – reminds me of potato chips or popcorn. Builds heat quickly. Light toffee but more caramel. Some pepper and cinnamon. Light cherries and the faintest trace of vanilla ever. Mostly dominated by the wood note that is just kind of green and young.
Finish: 
Leads with the peanut note and then the saltiness. Still quite warm on the finish. Black cherries early. A bit of slightly dry and bitter wood. Toffee and caramel dance around through the finish but never take prominence. 
Comment: 
This is kind of a mess. I’ve encountered the peanut note on other BF whiskeys in the past and it hasn’t worked for me. The salty note goes hand in hand with it and it doesn’t have a solid counterbalance. The heat is out of balance and gets away from the whisky and it just doesn’t really pull together in any coherent way. 
Rating:
C-

Jack Daniel’s Bonus: Jack Like You Remember?

One of the bottles I found while preparing to do this vertical run through Jack Daniel’s line was a bottle of the Jack Daniel’s Angelo Lucchesi 90th Birthday bottling. Normally I steer clear of commemorative bottles as they tend to be more expensive and it’s either just a slightly different bottle or a slightly different label. As I looked at this bottle though, I did see one point that immediately caught my eye.

Wait a second... 90 proof?

Jack Daniel’s hasn’t been at 90 proof in ages. That means that the Angelo Lucchesi bottle is the easiest way to compare Jack as it is now versus the Jack of several years ago. There’s also the possibility of finding a dusty 90 proof Jack, but I’m terrible at finding dusties and I think any liquor store that hadn’t moved a bottle of Jack in over a decade is probably a closed liquor store. So here’s the opportunity.

The nose is a decent balance of sweet corn notes with moderate wood influence, and a little white pepper that adds some spice. Black cherry and some vegetal new-make sour notes stand fairly close together. Similarly there’s a bit of toffee sweetness that sits very close to a slightly charred note that is reminiscent of a barbecue.

On the palate, the sweetness of corn and toffee is cut slightly by the sourness of the new make notes. There’s some gradually building heat but it never overwhelms. It also has a slightly grainy presence and to my surprise, there’s a bit of the earthiness I recall from the Green Label tasting – but it’s quite faint. Later on, there’s a gentle waft of black cherries.

The finish is led by the black cherry notes, with toffee and light vanilla close behind. Sweet corn notes and vegetal corn husks follow and provide the body of the finish, with a little wood to round it out. It’s a reasonably lasting finish – certainly more than #7 – and slowly becomes bitter. The bitterness is more root vegetables than bad wood.

It’s an interesting trip and certainly reminds me more of the Jack I remember. I definitely remembered a bit more sourness in the mix several years back. It’s not out of control and wildly young like Jim Beam can taste to me, but it definitely doesn’t have an aged-out mellowness to it. I don’t think this is a slam-dunk improvement worthy of agitating for a return to higher proof, but it does add a bit of dimension that seemed to be lacking in #7. That said, it’s more of a curiosity than something worth hunting down.

For those who are wondering, there’s one more review coming in the next couple days and that will be the end of the Jack Daniel’s experiment. Back to other stuff!

At a glance:

Jack Daniel’s Angelo Lucchesi Edition 45% ABV
Nose:  A decent balance of sweet corn notes and moderate wood influence, with a little white pepper adding some spice. Faint notes of black cherry are fairly closely intermingled with hints of vegetal new-make sourness. Slight notes of toffee also are close with faintly charred notes that bring a barbecue to mind.
Palate:  The mix of sweetness from the corn and toffee notes has the slight sourness of new make to cut its intensity. There’s some slowly building heat to it. There’s a bit of grainy presence to it and even traces of the earthiness that I find in green label – but it’s quite faint. Later on black cherries waft around.
Finish:  Black cherries lead the way and toffee and vanilla are right behind. Sweet corn notes with vegetal corn husks continue behind it. There’s a bit of wood influence. The finish is reasonably lasting and becomes slightly bitter (more root vegetables than wood).
Comment:  This has a little more dimension than the standard #7 we have today, but it’s not such a slam dunk improvement that I’d say people should start agitating for the proof to be raised to 90 again by virtue of a vastly better product.
Rating: C+

Gentleman Jack

I’ve been going through the Jack Daniel’s lineup. If there was ever a day I would have gone for “the hard stuff” (to clumsily tie this back to the first of the four reviews), it would have been last night. My respect to anyone who can endure shooting schedules; this was my second shoot since I’ve moved to LA 8 years ago, and it was as unpleasant as my prior experience. How my friends who do that stuff for a living stay sane, I will never know. Hats off.

The last of the Jack line that had not been covered at this point is Gentleman Jack. Gentleman Jack is a little different from the other expressions – whereas the others we’ve looked at are filtered through charcoal right off the still, Gentleman Jack is filtered again after maturation.

Emphasis added because that, to me, is a sirens flashing point. If Matt Drudge reviewed whisky, you would see a crude animated police light next to an all-caps headline on that point.

WARNING: DOUBLE FILTERED

Barrel influence helps develop the flavor and does great things to the new make. New make spirit can be disagreeably sweet or have a strong, unpleasant burn. If you haven’t, you should try some white whiskey to get a sense for what an unaged whiskey is like (It’s not pleasant but there are a couple decent ones). Over several years, the wood brings in its own flavors – commonly the vanilla and toffee flavors you get on bourbons.

But filtering can get rid of that. Filtering will remove some of the “stuff” that helps round out the flavor. Sure, it may be “smoother” than the the barrel proof version and you might not have those icky scary bits of barrel char, but don’t be fooled: the good goes out with the bad – charcoal isn’t really a selective filter. Also, there’s still a difference between an older whisky and a young whisky that’s been filtered to death.

Finally, there’s just a matter of decency. This sort of multiple filtering reeks of the crap that the vodka producers go through to differentiate themselves – assuming they’re not making a cornish-pasty-and-neufchatel-cheese flavored vodka. Aside from that, the only other option of ways to make an OK product palatable is to distill the living crap out of it. (Suggestion: Dalmore MDCCCXXXIX – distilled 1839 times to commemorate the opening in 1839. Suggested price $1,839,000. 43% ABV, filtered + colored. NAS.)

So, back to Jack. Gentleman Jack is like regular Jack, except they take whatever good has happened (and my Single Barrel experience says good can happen), and make sure to run it through a filter. Great plan.

The nose is lightly woody, with some light toffee and a fair amount of corn. There’s a faintly piney note. On the palate, it’s watery – big surprise. There’s light wood, light caramel, slight pepper, faint cherry notes, slight alcohol heat and some gentle corn sweetness. The finish has some faint earthiness, a little kick of alcohol, some vanilla early, and a little bit of wood and sugar. And then it’s gone. The finish is seriously as there-and-gone as some of the lighter Irish whiskies I’ve had. This is not a good thing.

There’s a lot of “faint” and “light” in that description. Thank filtering for that one. This is really ho-hum to me – trying to stake out a classy and refined market segment and having absolutely no character at all. Milquetoast Jack was probably considered first but rejected because people expected it to taste like breakfast in a bottle.

No thanks.

This brings me to the end of the standard line of Jack Daniel’s offerings. However, I have a couple interesting ones that will get covered in the next few days as well. Thanks for checking out the standard range with me. For my money, the best bottle you can buy is Single Barrel. Beyond that it’d be a toss-up between Green and Black, and I’d probably be inclined to mix them. Gentleman Jack is just best avoided.

At a Glance:

Gentleman Jack 40% ABV
Nose: 
Lightly woody, very light toffee, a fair amount of corn. Faintly piney.
Palate:  Watery. Light wood, light caramel, gentle corn sweetness. Slight alcohol heat. Slight pepper. Faint cherry notes.
Finish: 
A little bit of alcohol kick, some vanilla initially, a bit of faintly earthy character and some wood. A touch of sugar. And then it’s gone. 
Comment: 
Turns out when you filter something after being in the barrel you get rid of even more of what makes it unique and distinctive. Yet another “classy” product that is devoid of substance. Don’t waste your money. 
Rating:
C-

Nowhere to Hide: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel

I was briefly delayed from continuing the Jack Daniel’s sequence with a cold that fired up after the review of the standard offering. The server moves that prompted this vertical run have been going well and are over halfway complete; things are generally coming together. Soon it’ll be time to move from “the hard stuff” to “the good stuff”. Maybe today’s the day?

After a ho-hum Green Label and the black labeled Old #7, I was curious about Single Barrel. The first thing I noticed was that it was barreled at a higher proof – interesting though not entirely an indicator of quality. I’ve had plenty of bogus high-ABV whiskies. I was also curious which Jack would emerge – the earthy, woody and vegetal green label, or #7′s top-note heavy profile. Being a single barrel product, there’s always going to be some variance and it’s entirely possible that some barrels are drastically better than others. Whatever the case, this is a pretty pure experience and hopefully a good indicator of what Jack can be before blending and dilution.

I’m no stranger to single-barrel offerings and know that’s part of the fun of the game. So what is this Jack?

The nose presented itself initially with the familiar corn note and then some grains that weren’t present in the other expressions. The familiar caramel and toffee from #7 showed up, but then the differences began: a little malt (dry malt, e.g. malt powder, versus a sweet beery malt) was faintly evident as well as some vanilla. Well, an interesting enough nose.

The palate was light initially – unsurprising, this is Jack’s thing. Slightly warm initially, no doubt to the higher ABV, with some earthy claylike notes as well as some vanilla. Caramel and toffee showed up shortly thereafter, as did a bit of the elusive marshmallow note I catch on some bourbon. Corn and grain show up later, as do some moderate but definitely not overpowering wood notes. It’s lightly tannic; there’s a definite note of black tea late in the palate.

The finish continues with some black tea and tannins which gives way momentarily to faint cherry notes. The earthiness and marshmallow notes are faintly present, which fades to corn. It slowly dries to the woody notes, and then dries further to a root vegetable sort of bitterness. The finish is nicely lasting.

I can’t lie: this whiskey surprised me. I was expecting a slightly tarted up version of black label and I got absolutely everything I’ve been missing in Jack so far – very close to what I’d imagine a mixing of green label (sans the youth) and the black label to be. I was pretty much ready to write off Jack, but this is far and away the best whiskey I’ve tasted with the Jack Daniel’s name on it. It’s really close to my preferred bourbon profile, just needing a bit more push and a slight dialing down on the sweetness to be a real star in my mind. However, my profile isn’t for everyone and this might be perfect for a lot of people. Honestly, this bottle is what Jack should aspire to as the general profile for Jack Daniel’s – I know I’d buy it if it were.

That said, it’s a single barrel and as much as I liked this, it must mean there are barrels out there that are average to downright crummy. Don’t say you weren’t warned if you buy one and it tastes like Grandma’s perfume and rosewater.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (Rick L-4, Barrel 11-5368, Bottled 10-19-11) – 47% ABV
Nose: 
Corn and a fair amount of grains as well as a fairly strong wood influence. Caramel, toffee, and just the faintest hint of maltiness (more like dry malt than a sweet beer malt). A touch of vanilla on the top end. 
Palate: 
Light mouthfeel, initially somewhat warm, with a bit of an earthy note and some vanilla, some caramel and toffee, a faint marshmallow kind of note. Heat builds slowly. A little bit of corn and grain later. Some moderate but not hugely substantial wood notes. Lightly tannic; a definite black tea note.
Finish: 
Initially leads with a bit of black tea and tannins. Some faint cherry notes, the earthy and marshmallow notes faintly present early, fading to corn and then drying further to wood. Over time it dries even more and there’s a slight root vegetable note. 
Comment: 
I can’t lie. This is pretty good. Has all of the balance I’ve missed in Jack. However, as a single barrel, who’s to say what the next barrel is like? 
Rating:
B

A Jack of All Trades: Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 (Black Label)

The quick run through the Jack Daniel’s expressions continues today with one of, if not the best selling whisky in the world right now: Jack Daniel’s.

It’s hard to even know where to begin. Jack is so iconic, so huge in stature, and in many ways part of the American cultural landscape that it’s almost unassailable. In many ways, it’s as American as apple pie and baseball (or Coca-Cola and McDonald’s if you want to keep it in the food realm). Even people who aren’t hopeless whiskey nerds like myself may have a bottle of Jack as a part of their bar stock.

Jack is at once wholesome and rebellious. I’ve seen a bottle of Jack at home when I go to visit. It’s a staple of college tailgates. It’s also practically the corporate sponsor of the Sunset Strip – take a drive down and you’ll see the banners every 500 feet as you pass the Viper Room, the Key Club and the Roxy, all fixtures of the Sunset Strip scene. Jack Daniel’s is the both backyard barbecue and the abyss-skirting oblivion courted by countless rock stars throughout history.

LIke any good zillion-seller, Jack is cross-marketed to the Nth degree. T-shirts bear the label design; playing cards have a Jack Daniel’s brand on them; steak and barbecue sauces bear the name. Bobby Flay works Jack into his recipes. It’s ubiquitous and nothing less.

The question is, does this zillion-seller suffer from the inevitable decline of corporate profit interest, or is it built on something real? Is Keith Richards or a benevolent fraternity alum making sure the under-21s get a little taste of something they can’t buy on their own at a football game?

The only way is to pour some in a glass and find out what we can.

The nose has some moderate wood influence up front – aged out to a more normal level where the wood does not have a young or intensely green character to it. There’s a faintly piney note to it, mingled with toffee and caramel but somewhat obscured with a slightly spirity top note.

The palate is quite light but tending ever so slightly toward a syrupy character. It’s got extremely mild wood influence evident. It brings along caramel and vanilla and a touch of corn sweetness. The finish is rather quick as well – slightly warming, with some vanilla and a touch of caramel holding on. After a while you get a slightly tart apple note lingering at the top.

Overall, it’s not bad. For my taste, it feels like it needs something to anchor it – perhaps the earthy notes of Green Label in moderation would anchor it? It’s likely some of that body is lost through the charcoal filtration that is part of the storied Lincoln County Process, and it’s a shame. The top end of this has a lot going on that’s quite interesting.

It’s surprising how light it is though – for a whiskey that is more Harley than Honda, it’s actually rather soft. If there was a little more heft to it this could be safely into B-range, but as it is, it’s just a bit lopsidedly light. It ends up being more … And Justice For All than Master of Puppets.

It feels cliched to bag on top-sellers — I had no problem saying Johnnie Walker Blue was overrated; yet somehow it feels like a cheap shot to say that Jack just doesn’t do it for me. It’s such an ever-present, fully pervasive part of society that anything less than rote praise or highly equivocating criticism feels like you’re being ungrateful and knocking your heritage.

The fact is, I like the idea of Jack Daniel’s – rock music, rebellion, and yet paradoxically family and friends – more than I do the actual product. I don’t recall ever being crazy about Jack, but I’ve never disliked it. I’ll never turn my back on it and I’ll probably have some on hand because it’s a can’t-fail whiskey to have for mixing or drinking. Ultimately I think it’s because Jack has been part of some of my favorite events, even if it was not particularly amazing on its own. I guess there’s something to be said for being the social lubricant for a thousand informal get-togethers, parties, decompression sessions, post-work complain-a-thons, tailgates and so on. As for the whiskey, it can be mixed, it can be drunk straight, it can be used for baking and for cooking. Taste-wise, unfortunately, it’s a jack of all trades and a master of none.

At a glance:

Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 (Black Label) 40% ABV
N: 
Some corn sweetness and moderate wood influence. Very faintly piney. Faint top notes of toffee and caramel but somewhat spirity for the ABV. 
P: 
Light but slightly syrupy mouthfeel initially. Some mild wood notes to it. Caramel, vanilla, a trace of corn sweetness. 
F: 
Quite fast but slightly warming. Vanilla hangs around with a bit of caramel, a touch of fruit like apples late in the finish. 
Comment:
It always surprises me how light Jack is. There’s some nice stuff happening on the top end but there’s not a lot to anchor it. If there was just a little more this would slide up just a bit, but it’s just a little shy of being into the B range for me. Again, not bad, totally drinkable, a fine mixer and very versatile. But a jack of all trades is a master of none…
Rating:
C+

The run through the Jack Daniel’s expressions will continue in a few more days!

“The Hard Stuff”: Jack Daniel’s Green Label

Over the last week or so, I’ve been fighting some underperforming servers for my various sites. Scotch & Ice Cream was unfortunately one of the slower-performing sites of the batch. This led to the unfortunate conclusion that a move off the old server was inevitable.

Server moves are my absolute least favorite thing in the world. They’re not difficult, but there’s a ton of t’s to cross, i’s to dot (don’t forget the lowercase j gotcha cases as well), and the inevitable differences that spring up between environments requiring some additional manual tweaks.

Early signs are that things are running better (for now), so hopefully this is the last I write about it while I screw around with fine-tuning performance. However, this is as I noted, my least favorite thing to do in the world, and I recalled some of those startup evenings where people would realize a ton of work lay ahead of them and they would say they needed a drink. “Beer?” would be the inevitable response.

“No,” would come the reply, “it’s time to break out the hard stuff.”

For some reason, Jack Daniel’s has been one of those whiskeys that is synonymous with “the hard stuff” – likely a byproduct of their marketing. It’s a bit ironic; Jack is now bottled at a sad 40% ABV and doesn’t have as much to justify its image as the Hell’s Angel of American whiskey.

Hell's Angel or Heck's Cherub?

But that’s neither here nor there. This seems like a good opportunity over the next few days to review some of the expressions of Jack Daniel’s. Today we’re starting out with the Green Label offering. The Jack Daniel’s site says Green label is “a lighter, less mature whiskey with a lighter color and character.” The barrels are from a portion of the warehouse that is more central and thus, we must assume, more temperature stable – they say the whiskey matures slower here.

The nose on Green Label is pretty light and straightforward – it’s got some lightly woody notes and some corn sweetness. At the edges of it, there are toffee and molasses notes. The molasses is pretty light. On the palate, it’s initially light but develops a bit more body. It’s a pretty sweet whiskey but not syrupy or stuck in caramel hell – just a good, clean sweet corn flavor. Honestly, it reminds me of sweet corn from the late summer more than any other whiskey I’ve had. The toffee and molasses are present; there’s a slightly sour and slightly earthy funk on the palate that gives it a bit of dimension. It finishes quickly with wood, more sweetness and a touch of the earthy molasses note.

Truthfully, the earthiness on this makes it stand out from a host of inexpensive bourbons. I keep coming back to molasses because it has that rich, almost savory character but there’s a bit of a vegetal kick to it. It also has moments where it’s not dissimilar to Marmite. However, this is a counterpoint and not a main stage note, so it’s at the edges. It definitely adds a degree of dimension to this inexpensive whiskey. It’s got a mark of younger wood and younger whiskey, no question about it, but it’s not bad at all. This would be a totally fine mixer, it’s inoffensive on its own and that’s not bad at all. There’s nothing here that makes this a must-try, but I wouldn’t send this back or opt for beer if it was all that was available (which I can’t say of Rebel Yell).

At a glance:

Jack Daniel’s Green Label, 40% ABV
Nose: 
Lightly woody, with some corn sweetness. Some toffee and a faint note of molasses. 
Palate: 
Light on the palate, initially sweet with some wood to it. It again has that toffee and molasses note to it but there’s a slightly sour and earthy undertone to it. 
Finish: 
Very fleeting. Sweetness, wood, and a bit of molasses. 
Comment: 
The earthiness in conjunction with the wood makes this stand out from the crowd of inexpensive whiskeys. It’s young wood and a young whiskey – make no mistake – but it’s not bad at all. It’d be great to mix, it’s inoffensive on its own, and that’s not bad. It doesn’t have anything to vault it into the “worth trying” arena for me, but it’s not something to avoid (like Rebel Yell). 
Rating:
C+