Spirit: 2021 Special Release Coy Hill High Proof (Barrel House #08)
Distillery: Jack Daniels
About Jack Daniel’s Distillery:
“Crafting something that endures for over 150 years takes time and character. You’ll find plenty of both in the people and history that make Jack Daniel’s.
In 1866, Jack Daniel Distillery was officially established, making it the very first registered distillery within the US, with Jack as the Master Distiller. The opening of his now-famous distillery would follow shortly thereafter, right next to Jack Daniel’s prime resource: the mineral-rich Cave Spring Hollow.
Jack Daniel’s is in an exciting new era of innovation that’s sure to please new and veteran whiskey enthusiasts alike.”
About the 2021 Special Release:
Our fourth annual special release is here – Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 2021 Special Release Coy Hill High Proof.
This year’s annual special release celebrates Coy Hill which is the highest-elevated rolling hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property. This rare high-proof release honors the art of the whiskey-making process, as well as showcases how a barrelhouse location along with the extreme weather and maturation conditions produces an exceptional whiskey flavor. The Coy Hill High Proof is bottled in its purest form straight from the barrel, with minimal filtration, uncut at 137.4 – 148.3 proof. This one-of-kind Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel bottle should remain upright at all times unless you are pouring it into a glass to enjoy.”
Heat vs Proof
Notes & Review
Nose: Oak, Leather, caramelized roasted nuts, maraschino cherry, cinnamon
Palate: Hot Tamales candy, Warm toffee, and fruit… a lot of dried fruit.
Finish: Long warm cinnamon and spice
I wouldn’t put Jack Daniel’s 10 Year on the same playing field as their Special Release Rye from last year. But, when I was able to try it, I remember thinking to myself, “this is some of the best product I’ve had from Jack Daniel’s.” I also remember thinking that it would probably be the best that I’d get from them for a while. Then, I stumbled across this year’s Special Release. I don’t know that I would say that it is better than last year’s Special Release Rye, but it’s darn close.
There is a lot to unpack with this bottle. It’s often hard to put into words why a bottle is as impressive as it is. The first thing that I noticed about this bottle was the color. It is probably the darkest deep amber, beautiful “rich mahogany” (if you know, you know) that I’ve ever seen. Then comes the nose. The nose is … about what you’d expect from a 139.6 proof (as reviewed) whiskey. At first, the ethanol is a bit overwhelming. But after the first smell of the alcohol passes, you can really dive into this juice. There is a lot of dried fruit, especially cherry, cinnamon, and “many leather-bound books” (ok, I’m done with the Anchorman references). The interesting part of the nose comes with the aroma of caramelized or candied nuts. It’s like walking through a mall during the holiday season and passing the pop-up carts offering a variety of fresh roasted, candied nuts. The smell is very recognizable and reminiscent of the holiday season. It took me back to my childhood, Christmas shopping with my mom. The scent is buried within the depths of this nose but once you get past the ethanol, there is a lot to be explored.
Something to keep in mind when tasting this bottle is that this is still the same ole, No.7 juice that you find in the black label from our good friend Jack Daniel’s. I think it’s important to remember this because the product in this bottle is nowhere near the same product that is aged down the hill from Coy Hill, the highest point of elevation of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery property. These barrels were aged in the “Buzzards Roost” of two rickhouses, #08 and #13. The buzzard’s roost is the highest part of a rickhouse, thus the hottest. I say all of this to explain the importance of where a barrel is aged plays a huge part in what the juice takes from the barrel and what comes out of the barrel when it’s bottled. This product tastes more like some of the heavily allocated bottles that we seek every year than anything close to Jack Daniel’s namesake black label.
Upon first taste, my palate was overwhelmed with the flavor of a Hot Tamales candy. On my second sip, the deep cinnamon burn opened up to rich toffee pudding, toasted oak, and dried fruit. The finish offers a long warm cinnamon and spice end to a fantastic pour. The finish is coupled with a pleasant 139.6 proof “Tennessee hug” as it makes its way down to the stomach. With that said this whiskey drinks waaaay smoother than expected than that of a nearly 140 proof spirit.
This is just a fantastic, intense, and fun dive into a bottle that really shows you what Jack Daniel’s really is. If you can find this bottle at or around retail, don’t hesitate to snag it while you can.