Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select With E.P. Carrillo Allegiance

Recently I've been going back through some of the whiskeys on my shelves that have not been opened for a while. Sometimes they are ones that didn't excite me, or I just didn't like, when they were first opened. Others are simply ones that have been overlooked in the crowd. Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

The 375ml bottle was picked up in spring of 2022. I drank a bit, and then it slowly got pushed back and lower on the shelves as new bottles made their way in. Frankly, at this point I didn't recall too much about it. 

The 94 proof whiskey is reminiscent of the classic Jack Daniel's Old No. 7. There's a mild aroma of fresh baked bread, caramel, and a faint alcohol burn in the nose. Upon tasting, the "Tennessee Whiskey" charcoal filtered softness is there as expected. It's a milder, softer profile than the proof number might indicate. Sweet caramel, oak, and butter cookie come to mind. Although I don't have any No. 7 on hand for comparison, and have not tasted it in a while, this strikes me as a slightly enhanced Old No. 7. Of course, that's to be expected as these single barrels are the source of the classic whiskey's blend.

As for the cigar for this weekend afternoon pairing, I grabbed a E. P. Carrillo Allegiance Sidekick. The 5 x 50 stick is covered in a mottled, dark chocolate brown Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper. The cigar has a rustic appearance. The binder and fillers are comprised of Nicaraguan tobaccos. Looking at the cigar I wonder if I have overstepped the whiskey. The smoke starts off with a kick of cedar and pepper. As it warms, the flavor picks up bitter cocoa. It's a gritty, earthy smoke, unlike what the Jack Daniel's presented.

I spent some time taking fast sips of the drink and puffs on the cigar, varying which came first. I was trying to decide how they worked together. It was not a bust, but this was not a star pairing either. I went into the tasting with some apprehension. Sometimes there's just happens to be a cigar I feel like smoking and a whiskey I want to (re)explore, so I go forth nonetheless. The Jack Daniel's did not hit my usual preferences in a whiskey, while the cigar did. In any case, it was an afternoon spent sipping and smoking, so what's not to love?


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