Jack Daniel’s to release unaged rye whiskey

29th October, 2012 by Becky Paskin

Jack Daniel’s has announced its long-awaited entry into the American rye category with the release of Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye.

Jack Daniels Unaged Rye

Jack Daniels Unaged Rye will only be released in the US

The whiskey is not only the first time Jack Daniel’s has formally released a “white dog”, it is also the first release by the Tennessee distillery to use a new grain bill in over 100 years.

Containing a combination of 70% rye – 19% above the legal minimum for a rye whiskey – 18% corn and 12% malted barley, the white spirit has gone through Jack Daniels’ signature charcoal mellowing process, resulting in a taste master distiller Jeff Arnett describes as spiced, natural and complex.

Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye will only be available in the US, with an initial December launch in select retail outlets in Tennessee, before an exclusive rollout into other US markets in January 2013.

“We feel that whiskey enthusiasts and Jack Daniel’s aficionados alike will enjoy discovering the new and unique tasting experience that Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye offers,” said Arnett. “And we hope that they’ll remember that, as good as this new offering is – it’s just a taste of what’s to come.”

Jack Daniel’s has hinted at its intention to release an aged rye expression in the near future, although a bottling date has not yet been released.

“We’ve produced just a little bit to experiment around and let some mature in case should this be a long term offering,” Arnett explained. “We’ve done a couple of rounds of it and from that we’ll decide whether or not we officially enter ourselves into the rye market.”

Prohibition renaissance

Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye is the first white dog produced by the distillery since the months following Prohibition. Back then the master distiller Lem Motlow released young versions of Jack Daniel’s to the public before a fully-aged product was available for sale.

“It was a less mature, lesser quality spirit. Because of that Lem named it after himself to protect the Jack Daniel’s name; he became the fall guy by putting his own name to a cheaper bottle of whiskey, but he needed to make money and sell something.

“He put out a 6-12 month product along the way while inching back up toward getting something that was of a character that people would have remembered as Jack Daniel’s pre-Prohibition. For me, the barrel is still one of the finest things you can do to a white dog.”

Wary of experimentation

Arnett added that the distillery has been wary of getting carried away with experimentation, to refrain from altering the general public’s perception of Jack Daniel’s and its core offering.

“Jack Daniel’s has a unique quality where we are similar to a bourbon but not quite. One thing we have to consider if we do a rye is that we become like everybody else and we are enjoying having this spot over here by ourselves. You don’t want to go and mimic the number two seller when you’re the first.

“We have to be careful what we do with the Jack Daniel’s name because when we do something it’s going to mean more than if someone smaller did it.”

Arnett told The Spirits Business he has been looking at producing a rye expression for the past two years, but had held out to ensure his own product remained unique in line with the Jack Daniel’s brand.

“Rye was the predominant form of whisky prior to prohibition in our country. It has a long history but afterwards people’s interest in rye went away and bourbon took over. We are producing a whiskey that’s more in the vain of bourbon today, but there’s no doubt it’s a different type of product. We don’t have to chase fads; as a brand we want to be very methodical and make sure we stick it out there.”

Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye will be available in a 750ml bottle with an RRP of US$49.99.

13 Responses to “Jack Daniel’s to release unaged rye whiskey”

  1. Ernie Ayres says:

    Technically it’s not whiskey. There is a specific process involved for it to be called “whiskey” and this product doesn’t follow those guidlines. I think that’s why it’s being called “Tennessee Rye“, not “Tennessee Rye WHISKEY“. I’ve even heard more than one industry professional mention a lawsuit or, at least, a complaint with the FTC.

    Ernie Ayres

  2. Butch Siehl says:

    As a totally dedicated Jack Daniels “sipper”, I am eager to try this new sipping material. (?) When it does make it to other markets in 2013, will those markets include the Maryland area ? Also, what do you consider “select retail outlets”in Tennessee that might see this product in December ? Thank you.

  3. Ed Griimes says:

    How do i buy a bottle of this unaged white Rye jack daniel rye whiskey…….

    • BJ says:

      Jack Daniel’s White Whiskey is in the Tennessee stores NOW!!!! Just bought some and what the stores received will be all they get according to the distributor. It is $50 a bottle but online going for over $100 a bottle……….IT IS GOING FAST!

  4. Jimmy Thompson says:

    I personally do not care what they call it. I shall try it. It rather reminds me of some other clear, distilled, back-hills beverages in which I have imbibed on occasion. Mmmmm


  5. Judy says:

    I need a bottle for my brother. He has done so much for me in the last couple years, this would be a great christmas present for him.

  6. Claire Neil says:

    I want a bottle but live in scotland
    Its not fair its only avalible in the US
    How can I get one for my collection x

    • Ted says:

      I live in Tennessee, and I am enjoying the new JD rye right now! I also love single malt scotch, could we consider a barter of bottles? You get JD rye, I get a lovely single malt scotch unavailable here in the U.S

    • matt says:

      global wines and spirits in Paducah, Kentucky zip code 42003 or 42001.. there are many limited edition bottles not sold in the u.s.of a. i.e. japan but this one is a def collectors batch 001…

  7. Dennis Kirkpatrick says:

    Tried some at whiskey Fest SF. Can’t wait to get my hands in a bottle. Reminded me of High West oat whiskey. Very distinctive. Not for the faint if heart it does have a kick.

  8. soloaim says:

    I just bought a bottle. Can’t wait to try it out.

  9. toddman says:

    Living in a border town comes with it’s advantages, I scored a bottle of this sure to be very hard to find J.D. Rye, duty included $105 Canadian dollars. Haveing sampled it already I would have to say that it reminds me more of a scotch or Japanese shochu than a rye, very smooth with no burn or aftertaste. I believe they have something here. An aged version of this would be awesome.

  10. squire Le Roy Huffman says:

    i purchased a bottle of tennessee rye. ineed to know if i can get a neck band for this bottle.i have neck bands on 5 other bottles that i have in my collections

    let me know. thanks

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