Jack Daniel's Masterclass On The Tennessee Whisky Trail And The Brand
Jack Daniel's staple
With commonly believed traditions of whiskey tasting, Scottish whisky tends to be taking in the leads as favorites of connoisseurs and consumers at large. It was not until Jack Daniels decided to hold a masterclass at the Taj Hotel in Diplomatic Enclave in Delhi, that the intricacies of American, and more specifically Tennesse whiskey, became more clear. The masterclass was hosted by Cam Dawson, the UK brand ambassador of the Jack Daniel's brand, who himself is a Scot, but took to the American variety after developing a taste fairly early.
Cam Dawson, UK brand ambassador of Jack Daniel's, at the masterclass
During the interactive session with Cam Dawson, there was the obvious interaction going on (which he encouraged), some of which really stood out. When Cam asked as to how or what does one classify Jack Daniel's whiskey into, the most common assumption to simply reply 'Bourbon', but it seems like an unaccepted parlance in the JD circles. The specialized term to be used here is Tennessee Whisky, which again as it own unique characteristics, including processes such as 'charcoal mellowing', apart from using specialized wooden barrels for aging.
Jack Daniel's samples in various pallets
Cam, who happens to be the UK brand ambassador of the Jack Daniel's brand, was himself raised in the heart of Scotland, a country known for it's rich legacy of whiskys. However, with his work which took him to various bars across the world, it was only during the tasting of Jack Daniel's Old No.7 that drew him towards trying out American whisky, specifically JD. Needless to say, this journey had always been a tad bit controversial, as him being a Scot promoting an American brand, could still be unfamiliar an idea for a whole lot of people.
Cam Dawson is a more candid mood
During the tasting session, there were 3 main products from the JD stable to taste and savor; the classic Old No.7, Gentleman's Jack, and the Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. The stories attached to each of these whiskeys making and unique character are as follows:
Gentleman's Jack: The most obvious thing about this Tennessee whisky is the caramel laced flavoring; one of the strongest during the nose, tasting, and even the tongue. Apart from the traditional charcoal mellowing, after which it is transported to the oak barrels for maturity, there is a post maturity charcoal mellowing process. Much like the initial one, this one involves dripping the whisky slowly through the charcoal beds, and giving it the extra refined touch. Other the caramel, there is a pleasant outlay of vanilla, apart from fruits and spices, part of which comes from the barrel they are stored in.
The Gentleman Jack
Old No.7: Perhaps the most prominent face of the Jack Daniel's stable, this Tennessee whisky is like a flag-bearer of the brand hallmark charcoal mellowing process. Each bottle of this whisky is dripped from a bed of charcoal before being stored in American oak barrels, which give it the oaky flavor balanced with sweetness. Also, the whisky is not deemed to be ready until the master taster says it is, which is actually the traditional way of doing things at the company, back during Jack Daniel's days. The name itself has a history behind, as till date, there are numerous guesses as to what it could be. Some even say that, Jack Daniel's who was known to a 'ladies man' with an impeccable dressing sense, had 7 prominent ladies in his life. The name could be attributed to that, or even the exact distillery number, from where the first successful batch of whisky was released by the company.
The Old No.7
Tennessee Honey: If one has a sweet tongue, this is exactly one needs to get their hands on. With a very strong and omnipotent molasses flavor, which is accompanied on a mellow note with honey, this specialty product comes with blending the Old No.7 with proprietary honey liqueur. This way the traditional No.7's bold characteristics with the whole blend of sweetness, makes it the go-to product for the sweet-toothed once. Cam Dawson was generous enough to share his idea where he mentioned, garnishing vanilla ice-cream with a peg of Tennessee Honey to give it the magical touch.