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Jailers Premium Tennessee Whiskey

Jailers Premium
Tennessee Whiskey


By Robert Plotkin

The vast majority of start-up distilleries in this country produce spirits such as vodka, rum or gin in large part because of the challenging realities surrounding the making of great whiskey. Certainly the largest hurdle involves the extensive barrel aging required. Years must pass by before bottle one is ever capped and sold. Few entrepreneurs are stalwart enough to choose the road less traveled and produce a new brand of whiskey. Fortunately a few are. One example is the Tennessee Spirits Company who has just released the altogether marvelous Jailers Premium Tennessee Whiskey. Thank goodness for free enterprise.

In a category historically dominated by one brand, this Tennessee whiskey is a welcome newcomer. Although the exact composition of the mash bill is a trade secret, the master distiller David Scheurich—previously of Woodford Reserve—says it's comprised of about 80% corn with the balance being premium rye and malted barley. The mash is fermented using a proprietary strain of yeast, after which it is double-distilled in a continuous column still.

The Jailers Whiskey then undergoes the traditional Lincoln County process, the famed technique that differentiates Tennessee whiskeys from all others. Following distillation, the whiskey is transferred to vats and patiently steeped with charred maple chips. It is then lowered to 125 proof and matured in charred, American white oak barrels. The whiskey is chill filtered prior to being bottled at 43% alcohol by volume (86 proof).

Be fully prepared to have your senses wowed. Jailers Whiskey has a deep amber/gold hue, a light, lushly textured body and a captivating bouquet brimming with vanilla, caramel, spice, leather and toasted oak. Its wafting aromatics make for an impressive display and they're well worth the price of admission. The initial entry is warm and semisweet. Within moments the whiskey fully expands lavishing the palate with the long-lasting flavors of maple, caramel, baking spices, vanilla and a touch of black currant. The lingering finish is supremely satisfying.

Jailers Tennessee Whiskey is loaded with character, which makes it an ideal choice for drink making. It's perfectly cast in an Old Fashioned, Ward 8, or as the featured player in a classic whiskey sour. But before you start mixing and shaking behind the bar, do yourself a favor and sample this superb whiskey neat or with a touch of spring water.

The company has also launched Breakout 8 Year Old American Rye Whiskey, a vivacious spirit made across the border in neighboring Kentucky. Master distiller David Scheurich crafts the whiskey from a mash bill consisting of roughly 70% rye with the balance corn and malted barley. The mash is fermented and double distilled in a continuous column still before being aged in new, charred, American white oak barrels between 8-9 years. The whiskey is bottled at 43% alcohol by volume (86 proof).

Rye whiskeys are enjoying resurgent popularity here and abroad and Breakout 8 Year Old American Rye Whiskey will assuredly fan the flames. The whiskey has a fetching deep amber hue, a satiny lightweight body and a generous bouquet of spice, toffee, cocoa and tropical fruit. It warms the palate and fills the mouth with caramel, vanilla, spice and the delectable flavor of maple. The lingering finish is spicy and touched with whiffs of toasted oak.

Kudos to Tennessee Spirits Company and master distiller David Scheurich. Simultaneously launching two new whiskeys—along with utterly delicious Forbidden Secret American Cream Liqueur—and doing a masterful job of it is the kind of gumption that landed Americans on the moon. Bottoms up!