With the explosion in popular of rye whiskeys, iconic brand Jack Daniel’s has tapped into its 150-year whiskey-making
expertise for the creation of its own rye whiskey.
The brand invited us out to its super secret speakeasy in Los Angeles, dubbed Room No. 7, in celebration of the launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye.
It was quite an experience, as noted by team member Ed Rios:
It’s a plain building. Men are working on the loading dock. A few feet past them is a door. A woman in a tight black dress asks for names. Our names are good. The man in a suit opens the door. “Have a good time gentlemen,” he says. It’s dark as we walk down stairs. We stop turn and walk down more but this time under the watchful gaze of Jack Daniel’s portrait. Halfway way down we hear a piano. At the bottom we hear voices. Down the hall the voices get louder. Through lattice we spy a bar. Another woman greets and welcomes us in. It’s Room No 7 Jack Daniel’s only private speakeasy. We take a spot at the bar. It’s top is made of stone from the distillery. Most of the furniture and decor is from there too our bartender tells us. He’s an older gent. Originally out of Detroit. He’s toured in a band and worked as a stuntman. We discuss various bars in various cities. He’s very cool. Amongst the small crowd of guest is Jeff Arnett. He’s Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. The piano player stops. Mr Arnett speaks about Jack Daniel’s history as well as his own. He comes to our corner of the bar and talks some more. Another JD person stops by and talks with us. It’s late and time to leave. Back up the stairs. Before walking out the the woman in the tight dress hands us Jack Daniel’s bags filled with a Jack Daniel’s new Rye glass engraved with our names. There’s a JD book too. Then we walk out and we’re back on the dark quiet street.
As for Jack Daniel’s Rye itself, its made in the brand’s hometown of Lynchburg, Tennessee. Its charcoal mellowed, as Jack is known for, and then matured in new American oak barrels crafted by its own coopers.
“Our whiskey-making process is so special, and it just makes sense for us to create our version of one of America’s first whiskeys,” said Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “This is rye whiskey made Jack’s way. We think our grain bill provides the ideal taste and character – one that’s bold and balanced and not dominated by one flavor.”
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye has a grain bill of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, while it is carefully charcoal mellowed for a finish that’s distinctly Jack. Its also 90 proof while offering rich flavors from start to finish. It has accents of caramel and dry baking spice followed by a warm, peppery rye character finish on the back end. The aroma features a blend soft fruit layered with an underlying rye spice and oak.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye hits shelves in October and will be available in 50ml, 750ml and 1-liter bottle sizes.