Bonded Rye: Jack Daniel’s launches its third bottled-in-bond whiskey in the UK

Bonded Rye: Jack Daniel’s launches its third bottled-in-bond whiskey in the UK

Iconic distiller Jack Daniel’s has been crafting whiskey for over 150 years. Now the brand is branching out with Bonded Rye, a new bottled-in-bond release that blends distilling innovation with traditional practices – and the result is delicious

Whisky Focus | 25 Mar 2024 | By Partnered Promotion

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This promotional feature was created by the Whisky Magazine team in partnership with Jack Daniel's

What’s in a grain? A whole lot of flavour. And when it comes to American whiskey, that all-important mash bill – or grain recipe – has a tremendous influence on the resulting whiskey. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Jack Daniel’s. The Tennessee distiller has become renowned for its craftsmanship, creating whiskeys for over 150 years. In recent years, its Jack Daniel’s Bonded Series has explored both mash bills and distillation season through its Triple Mash and Bonded expressions, and now Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher has turned his attention to the most potent flavouring grain of all: rye. The result is Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye — a bottled-in-bond Tennessee rye whiskey now coming to the UK.

 

From 25 March, whiskey lovers across the United Kingdom will be able to pick up a bottle via retailers The Whisky Exchange, Hard to Find Whisky, Whisky ShopMaster of Malt and Amazon, for an RRP of £42. Before then, a collection of renowned UK bars will offer a preview of the complex, bold and spicy spirit through a menu of unique serves – more on that below. But what is bonded whiskey anyway? And what’s the category got to do with rye?

The Jack Daniel's Bonded Range.

Bonded whiskeys offer a snapshot in time from a single distillery, guaranteeing the age, ABV, and provenance of what’s in the bottle. Originally introduced by the Bottled In Bond Act of 1897, one of the United States’ first consumer protection laws, bottled-in-bond whiskey (which may also be called ‘bonded’) has been a byword for high quality for over a century. Traditionally, distilling ran in sync with farming in ‘seasons’ from 1 January to 30 June and from 1 July to 31 December. Every drop in a bottle of bonded whiskey must have been distilled in a single season, at the same location, and the name of the distillery must appear on the label. The spirit must then be aged for a minimum of four years in a Federally bonded warehouse, before being bottled at exactly 100 US proof, or 50% ABV. For 127 years, makers have crafted their spirits to these exacting standards, and Jack Daniel’s is proud to be part of this tradition.

 

Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye is the first rye whiskey from the distillery with bottled-in-bond designation. It joins Jack Daniel’s Bonded and Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash Bonded – all three offering a remarkable insight into skill and craftsmanship of Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. The distillery wanted to create a bold, distinctive but balanced rye that also honoured the traditional charcoal mellowing process made famous by the flagship Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Tennessee Whiskey. What they’ve crafted offers an extraordinary drinking experience, both neat and in cocktails.

Jack Daniel's Bonded Rye is great for mixing, too.

Let’s start with the all-important grain. Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye is distilled from a mash bill of 70 per cent rye, 18 per cent corn and 12 per cent malted barley. After charcoal mellowing, the spirit is aged in new charred American white oak barrels. Through exacting blending – strictly from barrels within the singular distillation season – the expression delivers remarkable consistency. Inviting aromas of dried fruit, toffee and caramel notes, developing into elegant, bold and balanced rye spices. It’s rich, round and gently warming. And it’s come at a moment of innovation for Jack Daniel’s.

 

“Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye Whiskey is made to the highest quality at the Jack Daniel Distillery, as we’ve worked to refine and master every step of the process,” explained Fletcher. “Starting with the highest quality rye grain, each bottle ensures a unique and balanced taste profile in every sip.”

 

For Ben Kind, Senior Brand Manager at Jack Daniel’s UK, now is the time for rye – to celebrate both the flavour, and to highlight the distillery’s craft and innovation. “The bottled-in-bond designation demonstrates to our friends around the world that this Bonded Rye whiskey is revered, and created by people dedicated to their craft,” he explains. “It gives the highest reassurance to our friends of where their whiskey has been and that it is of the highest quality and character.”

Lexie Phillips, assistant distiller, and Chris Fletcher, master distiller, at Jack Daniel's

While it is the first bonded rye whiskey from Jack Daniel’s, the team has immense experience working with this characterful grain. Rye is widely known for its important role in imparting flavour to many bourbons and is of course the core ingredient of the historic category of rye whiskey, which in the USA must be distilled from a mash bill of no less than 51 per cent rye. “Rye has always served as a key ingredient in our Old No. 7 grain bill, and back in 2011, we began thinking about crafting a rye whiskey Jack's way – made at our own small-town distillery according to a recipe that’s ours alone, then lightly charcoal mellowed and matured in new American white oak barrels,” Kind continued. “We just felt like it was time to release a rye whiskey expression that is handcrafted with the same passion and experience our friends have come to expect from all of our products.”

 

The portfolio of bottled-in-bond whiskeys Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye joins is equally thrilling – and alongside each other, they showcase not just the flavour inherent in different types of grain, but the singularity of the distillation seasons, too. Jack Daniel’s Bonded Tennessee Whiskey is made using the Old No.7 mash bill of 80 per cent corn, 12 per cent malted barley, and eight per cent rye – as a result, brown sugar, vanilla and baking spice notes shine. Meanwhile, Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash brings together three straight whiskeys in one complex recipe: 60 per cent is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye, 20 per cent is Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, and 20 per cent Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt. The result is a complex blend of honey, toasted oak and light floral notes that jump from the glass. All the bonded requirements are the same – but the grains tell their own stories.

Burning sugar maple planks to make the all-important charcoal for mellowing the Jack Daniel's spirit.

To celebrate the launch of Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye in the UK, the brand teamed up with five celebrated bars to offer an array of specially crafted cocktails to celebrate the official launch. Throughout March and April, Present Company in Liverpool, Blinker Bar in Manchester, Filthy XIII in Bristol, Panda & Sons in Edinburgh, and London’s Hawksmoor (Air Street and Seven Dials) locations all showcased this versatile rye in a host of signature serves. From Hawksmoor’s ‘Rhuby Rose’, which sees Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye mixed with rhubarb cordial, calvados, Botivo, lemon and cherry; to Filthy XIII’s ‘Neon Rebound’ a cocktail of cranberry, raspberry and orange blossom, the richness of rye is being showcased as part of complex but approachable serves.

 

A progressive rye that speaks to tradition, heritage and distilling excellence, Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye is presented in packaging inspired by the brand’s original 1895 bottle. Informed by the past, and crafted by the innovation of the present, it’s time to add Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye to your collection.

 

Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye is available from The Whisky Exchange, Hard to Find Whisky, Whisky ShopMaster of Malt and Amazon from 25th March, priced at £42.

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