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Ep. 64 - Jack Daniel's Chris Fletcher Talks Sinatra, Legendary Distillers and the New Bottled-in-Bond

BOTTLED-IN-BOND // Today marks the official release of two new globally available whiskeys from Jack Daniels - at 100 proof and aged over 4 years.

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Show Notes

For the first time since Prohibition, Jack Daniel's has a major release of a Bottled-in-Bond Tennessee Whiskey - and not just one, but two!

In this episode, I chat with Chris Fletcher about the concepts behind the new Bonded Series as well as doing tastings of Bonded and Triple Mash, and we also dive into Chris' experience growing up in Lynchburg and Sunday's with his grandfather, legendary distiller Frank Bobo.

And once and for all, we'll find out where that unique banana note comes from in Jack.

Here are some of the items we talk about:

  • The Title of Master Distiller
  • Chris' Memories as a Child at Jack Daniels
  • Caves and fire trucks
  • Getting it right before it goes in the barrel
  • How Frank Bobo got involved in the whiskey industry
  • Jack Daniel's in the 1950s and 60s
  • Why Jack Daniel's was allocated for so long
  • Did Frank Sinatra ever get to Lynchburg?
  • Chris Fletcher as a tour guide
  • The benefits of working for corporate
  • Transparency with the mash bills
  • The Jack Daniel's traditional malting and fermenting process
  • How much malted barley is really needed without the aid of commercial enzymes
  • What Chris feels the Lincoln County Process does for Jack Daniels
  • The last word on that banana note
  • Jack Daniel's yeast history and development
  • Recent innovation
  • A nod to the 1895 Jack Daniel's bottle
  • DSP No. 1 and No. 4
  • The new Bonded Series and differences to travel retail Bottled-in-Bond
  • Small batch Jack Daniel's?
  • The availablility of these bonded whiskeys
  • A blended Jack Daniels?
  • Triple Mash Bonded Straight Whiskey and its components

Listen to the full episode with the player above or find it on your favorite podcast app under "Whiskey Lore: The Interviews." The full transcript is available on the tab above.

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Transcript

hello there Drew Hannush of whiskey lore time for another whiskey tasting and today i'm going to introduce to you a whiskey i have been waiting for for what seems like forever

whenever i'm in an airport there are two whiskeys that i have been eyeballing over and over one is laphroaig px cask and the other is the jack daniels bottled in bond for me once i really started getting into jack daniels by tasting single barrel and really diving into their rye i thought man you know i really would love to taste a bottled and bond version mainly because i'm also a sinatra fan and sinatra in his day was drinking 90 proof and if you get the single barrel you can get 94 proof but i thought wouldn't it be nice if they either brought back the 90 proof or they came out with a bottle and bond and so they did they put in travel retail they teased me forever with that i asked the last time i was on a tour of jack daniels do you think this will ever come out of travel retail the answer was yes well what they have introduced are two different bonded whiskeys i will do a review of triple mash coming up soon but right now i'm going to be doing a review of this bottle which is the jack daniels bonded tennessee whiskey and if you've bought a bottle of the travel retail the idea of the travel retail was they basically just took old number seven at a higher proof this is not the same whiskey yes it has the same mash bill it has the standard jack daniels tennessee whiskey mash bill of 80 corn 12 malted barley and 8 percent rye however it's all in cask selection and so they go through the warehouses they choose the ones that are darker and have a bit more robust flavor to them same as they do for their single barrel program and so it comes out as a darker whiskey if you put this up against the travel retail bottle it is going to be a lot darker something else is that i don't remember what the price point was on that travel retail but i don't think it was overly cheap this is going to be 30 a bottle so it's a great price point for this whiskey it is not going to be like the jack daniels 10 year that just came out where it is impossible to find and it's a limited release this is going to be a global release i was invited on the press trip to jack daniels amazing time chris fletcher master distiller and lexi phillips assistant master distiller took us on a tour of the distillery answered all of my 10 gazillion questions got to go in the yeast room uh where they where they're uh cultivating their yeast and got to smell the east and smell that banana note coming straight out of that yeast so we know that's where that note comes from and then you know we got to sit down and do a tasting of this and and me and the few people that we had on that trip got to taste this for the first time

first of anybody outside of jack daniels they said just come out of quality control and we were the first human beings outside of jack daniels to get a chance to taste it so pretty amazing has me psyched to share it and of course then we had to wait weeks until the uh official announcement came out and you can hear all about jack daniels bottled and bond and triple mash and everything that i discussed not everything i discussed with chris fletcher because we talked about a lot of stuff but uh listen to the interview that i do with him and you will get a chance to hear some of the deeper insights including his history at the distillery he is the grandson of frank bobo who was the distiller who was overseeing it when it was out in allocation when the rat pack got so interested in it and frank sinatra and the rest so anyway we'll talk a lot about that going on i want to talk a little bit about the bottle before we dive in and do a tasting on this of course bottled and bond you can go listen to the whiskey lore stories episode about bottled and bond if you don't know where that law came from but jack daniel was encouraged by lynn mutlow to start bottling his whiskey two years before that in 1895 and this bottle is somewhat of an homage to that design it has raised letters on it the same as that original bottle the shape is similar the original jack daniels bottle was square the idea behind the square bottle was it would line up on the shelves a lot easier you would be able to get more bottles up there on the shelf when looking at this gives a little idea of what the flavor is going to be of this but one of the things that caught my attention is that it actually shows that there are two dsp numbers and i don't know if i can get that to be clear enough for you to see it but there are two different dsp numbers on there which was explained to me that dsp tn 1 is the jack daniels dsp number which is to say this is distillery number one in tennessee and then dsp tm-4 is actually where they bottled this because with bottled and bond you have to be more specific of in where you are producing it and where you're bottling it and of course it has to come from one distilling season and all of those rules as well 100 proof meaning 50 alcohol by volume and so we're going to dive right into this thing now this is a four to five year old whiskey um

again it is old number seven boosted quite a bit and select barrels they have 200 barrel batches that they do so this isn't some massive amount of barrels that they are just blending in together 200 still sounds like a lot but when you consider that sometimes small batch whiskies are considered a small batch when there's a thousand barrels going in this actually could have the word small batch on it somewhere if they wanted to do that

especially since there is no legal definition of what small batch is and they are planning on doing some more bottled in bonds as well when i get into the triple mash episode we'll talk a bit about that aspect of what's coming from jack daniels

so on the nose the first thing that always stands out on the jack daniels whiskey is that that banana nut bread nope that i get but this actually has just as much amazingly rye rye and oak stand out and that this is likely why we have darker you know they're probably pulling barrels from the top of the warehouse where they're getting a lot of intense uh changes in temperature which are creating this darker whiskey and creating a more intense whiskey so similar to what they're doing with um single barrel i mean uh yeah single player so

there is a dusty oak component to this that i think that dustiness comes from how it marries with the rye smell a very verbally rye smell coming off of this

cheers

it's really interesting because i have said for the longest time

that the longer it stays in the barrel that rye stays in the barrel the more the rye disappears as the oak takes over what's interesting about this whiskey is that first of all it's only eight percent rye but the rye is so dominant in this and so i get that rye character but i think because it ages in those warehouses up near the top and there's some intense temperature changes it's like the rye doesn't dissipate but the oak rises and so it's almost like taking their rye whiskey and their tenure and putting them together it it has but they blend really nicely it's like one complements the other and i'm not a huge fan of oaky whiskey's this but it's that compliment with the rye that just keeps me coming back to this thing and tasting it again and again and it doesn't necessarily remind me of old number seven it really has its own personality i mean it really really does

there's a little cinnamon heat maybe a little baking spice in there but i'm also picking up a cola note so it's that infusion of wood almost like a cherry note some kind of a fruit note coming in there as well and where you might expect to have a lot of that banana nut bread in there the rye is really dominant on this whiskey and makes for an interesting an interesting taste it's very clean um there is a char note that comes in about halfway through towards the finish and then that charge lingers in there and so it kind of dries things out a little bit as you get towards the end not a lot but just just a bit so this is a very spicy whiskey to me and that just like i say it doesn't remind me of any other jack daniels whiskey that i have had so i think especially at 30 dollars a bottle it's worth a flyer to see whether you like it or not you know whether this is your cup of tea or not now if you're an old number seven fan you know this is going to be different and you're going to have to anticipate that if you're a single barrel fan this is going to be different and if you're a gentleman jack fan this is gonna be really different so um because there is definitely a lot more flavor punch to this than you're gonna get in a gentleman jack so fascinating whiskey and like i say very different from any other jack daniel whiskey that i have had in its flavor because of that herbally rye really working together with the oak to present its own distinct style i hope you enjoyed this video if you did and you learned something out of it or i've gotten you interested in going out and getting the bottle um leave your comments below and give me a like if you would and subscribe if you want to watch more of these videos especially the upcoming one on triple mash and until next time cheers and salon java

something has me just wanting to come back to this whole time i was on that press trip i just kept grabbing for this it's like i just there was something compelling me to keep tasting this to figure something out about it not sure what i was trying to figure out about it but it just has a flavor that had me coming back and coming back so cheers

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