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Our Review Of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Travelers Rye And Tennessee Whiskey

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There are a lot of bottles of Jack Daniel’s out there. It’s the best-selling American whiskey in the world, after all. But it’s more than that. Jack Daniel’s and their team, led by Master Distiller Chris Fletcher and Assistant Distiller Lexie Phillips, is constantly innovating, building, and pushing the boundaries of both whiskey in general and everyone’s preconceived notions of what their brand is.

Case in point, they recently released a set of whiskeys that highlight higher ABV versions of their beloved Tennessee whiskey and Tennessee rye.

The only downside? Those releases were for the traveler’s exclusive market — a world Jack Daniel’s knows well. Still, that means these bottles are only available at duty-free shops run by the Heineman group. That makes them pretty damn fleeting for the average consumer. But hey, that could be said for a lot of whiskeys these days.

Team Uproxx was able to get our hands on both bottles, so we’re reviewing them below in case you find yourself in a duty-free shop sometime soon. Let’s dive in!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of 2021

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Travelers Sweet & Oaky Straight Tennessee Whiskey

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Travelers Tennessee Whiskey
Brown-Forman

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $34 (Heineman Travel Shops Only)

The Whiskey:

This limited edition, traveler’s exclusive is classic Jack Daniel’s at a much higher ABV. The mash is 80 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, and eight percent rye. That whiskey is then aged in Jack Daniel’s vast warehouses after going through the iconic Lincoln County Process of sugar maple charcoal filtration. The barrels are then hand-picked by Master Distiller Chris Fletcher for their uniqueness and flavors that lean into what’s advertised on the label.

Tasting Notes:

The nose draws you in with a creamy mix of vanilla pudding drizzled with soft caramel, a dose of rain dampened oak, and a hint of sour cherry that slowly becomes Cherry Coke spritzed with tart lemon as you go back to the nose over and over again. The palate opens with a woodiness that’s almost almond shells that turn into Brazil nuts with a hint more of that cherry but now it’s tied to wood. The mid-palate really leans away from the heavier wood and nutty notes towards thin but dry wicker that’s dramatically smoothed out by a rush of vanilla creaminess on the finish. The very back end has this lingering sense of Brazil nut and almond shells and a slight Cherry Coke vibe that’s more like a soaked oak stave than drinking it from the actual can.

The Bottle:

The bottle is a smaller version of the classic Jack bottle. The off-white label stands out and gives you exactly all the information you need about what’s in the bottle. Still, the bottle feels very much like it was made for a non-English speaking market, making sure the simplest terms are front and center.

Bottom Line:

This is like Jack Daniel’s turned up to ten but pulsed through the clearest of speakers. It’s so distinctly what it says while layering in familiarity, nuance, and something new. Pour this over a rock and you’ll really be in for a treat.

Ranking:

95/100 — This is just a really freakin’ good pour of Tennessee whiskey. Maybe all Jack Daniel’s should be 53.5 percent? I’m just putting that out there.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Travelers Bold & Spicy Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Travelers Tennessee Rye Whiskey
Brown-Forman

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $34 (Heineman Travel Shops Only)

The Whiskey:

This version is Jack’s essential Tennessee Rye Whiskey, also at a higher ABV. That whiskey has a mash bill of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley. The spirit is then rested in those warehouses until it hits just the right mark to be bottled as the limited-edition “Bold & Spicy” rye.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this is super subtle and you really have to dig in there to find notes of sassafras that turn into black Necco Wafers next to a light leather and the plastic wrap from a box of caramel candies. There’s a nice vanilla layer on the top of the glass when you nose it that adds a nice creamy element that’s almost like a pitcher of fresh, full-fat cream with the slightest hint of fresh butter. The palate starts off subtly as well then explodes with flavors with dried dill leading towards dried mint that supports a savory note of what could be bison jerky with a slight dusting of white pepper.

What’s wild, when you go back to the nose after that first sip, you’re greeted with a dried chili powder and a hint of cumin right at the bottom of the Glencairn. Then back on the mid-palate that vanilla leads towards a soft stewed peach with mild dark spices, an echo of nuttiness, a hint of whiskey-soaked applewood, and a very small whisper of black truffle on the very, very back end of the finish.

The Bottle:

The bottle is a smaller version of the classic Jack bottle. The off-white label stands out and gives you exactly all the information you need about what’s in the bottle. Still, the bottle feels very much like it was made for a non-English speaking market, making sure the simplest terms are front and center.

Bottom Line:

This was a wild ride. At first glance, I didn’t think much would be there, and then it really opened up, kind of like the clouds parting to reveal sunbeams and rainbows but everything was still dripping wet and fresh … replenished.

Ranking:

96/100 — This is a killer rye whiskey. Again, this higher proof really works to help this rye shine. That black truffle savory note on the finish (if you really give it time to linger and settle) is still kind of blowing my mind.

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