Classification: Tennessee Whiskey
Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Release Date: July 2022
Age: NAS (At least 4 years according to TTB regulations)
Mashbill: 80% Corn, 12% Malted Barley, 8% Rye
Color: Dark Amber
MSRP: $55 (375mL) (2022)
Raw honey | Graham cracker | Maple syrup | Burnt brown sugar | Barrel char | Delivered with plenty of heat
Intense heat | Black pepper | Barrel char | Stewed cherries | Molasses | Rich & hot
Heat fades to peppery spice | Caramel chews | Leather | Cigar | Raw cane sugar | Long
Clocking at the extreme edges of proof for any whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Special Release Coy Hill High Proof is a wonderfully fun expression that showcases the world’s most recognizable whiskey at this high proof extreme.
According to the press release, “During the bottling of the 2021 Single Barrel Special Release Coy Hill High Proof, around 55 barrels were found where the Angel’s Share – the whiskey lost due to evaporation – was so high the liquid inside could not be bottled as Single Barrel selections. The high level of evaporation resulted in a unique flavor and character as well as a higher proof. The barrels were instead batched together by profile to create the Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Special Release Coy High Proof, featuring five unique batches at 143.6, 147.3, 149.8, 153.2, and 155.1 proof – the highest proof whiskeys ever released from Jack Daniel’s.” As the press release points out, Jack Daniel’s even had to design a new higher compression cork to handle the high proof of this release, and made a point to note the bottles should be stored upright at all times.
The bottle in review is from Batch 04, and is the second highest proof batch. As expected, it’s hot through and through, with typical Jack Daniel’s flavors (with the exception of the banana note), coming forward intensely from behind the heat. It takes Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof and ups the potency on all fronts, making for a pour that is not for the faint of heart. While it is fun to experience at such a high proof, adding a few drops of water pulls the curtain back on the heat and allows the flavors to come forward much more readily. It’s wonderfully rich, but hides behind the heat at full strength and struggles to find the perfect balance even with varying amounts of water added. As expected, it’s not a whiskey you would regularly sip, but instead one that offers something unique to contemplate when you do.
I appreciate the fact that Jack Daniel’s master distiller Chris Fletcher and the Jack Daniel’s team recognized the value of putting together a release with these high proof barrels (instead of just blending them into another product), and I like the fact that they released this in 375mL bottles so that more people could have access to it. It’s a whiskey that tells a story about how proof can change over time, and making it accessible to more people is a good thing. It showcases what the world’s most recognizable whiskey tastes like at the extreme edges of proof in the world of whiskey.
Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Special Release Coy Hill High Proof is only being released in Tennessee and at the White Rabbit Bottle Shop at the Jack Daniel Distillery.