For the first time since Prohibition, Jack Daniel's will offer a "white dog" whiskey -- a colorless, un-aged rye whiskey -- in U.S. stores next year.
Jack Daniels' master distiller Jeff Arnett described the whiskey's taste to The Spirits Business as spiced, natural and complex, adding that "as good as this new offering is -– it’s just a taste of what’s to come.” Arnett is likely hinting at Jack Daniels' speculated intention to release an aged rye expression.
Arnett went on to explain the significance of the new offering:
“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.”
The "white dog" whiskey is a combination of 70 percent rye (19 percent above the legal minmum for a rye whiskey), 18 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley.
Serious Eats' Andrew Strenio managed to snag a sample of the whiskey and offers more insight into its taste:
The aroma if this unaged spirit is surprisingly sweet. There are loads of fresh fruit notes—banana, raspberry, cherry—and sweet honeyed grain. It's hard to spot the rye spice or the jagged edge that I've come to expect from other unaged whiskey offerings. Once you take a swig, it starts to skew a bit more dry, with the rye beginning to assert itself. But it's not the flavor profile you expect from an aged rye whiskey, rather, it's a grassy bite with a bit of spicy hay. The finish is scarily smooth, with a pleasant lingering of warmth and just enough alcohol to finish and carry off the spirit.
Strenio concludes that the liquor is "easily the best white whiskey [he has] tried in quite some time."