(From The Lynchburg Times) It’s Tuesday and Jack Daniel’s Distillery Master Distiller Chris Fletcher sits in an office once occupied by his grandfather, Frank Bobo, who served as Master Distiller from 1966 to 1989. Behind him are paths once walked by Jasper Newton Daniel himself. As he begins a virtual tasting for lucky media folks like me, he talks about the single thread that one could pull from Jack’s days in The Holler to the bottle he holds in his hand, the new Jack Daniel’s 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey. And that thread is the DNA of Old No. 7.
“This 10 year-old whiskey is based on the traditional Tennessee whiskey recipe that we do here, which is 80 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, and eight percent rye,” he explains. “Everything is made the same as Old No. 7 all the way through except for the maturation.”
Fletcher says the project is meant to be a nod to the generations of whiskey makers that came before him while using innovation to make the best whiskey possible. It’s first aged-stated whiskey to come out of the Lynchburg in over 100 years.
“This wasn’t about chasing a number. It was about recreating a product that Jack himself would have done and putting the best liquid in the bottle that we possibly could.”
A Long History of Aged-Stated Whiskey
Aged-stated whiskies are not a new concept at Jack Daniel’s just one that hasn’t been visited in a while. Anyone who’s ever walked the halls near the Master Distiller Chris Fletcher and Assistant Distiller Lexie Phillips offices has passed shelves lined with historic bottles from Jack’s time labeled as 10-year, 12-year, even 21-year whiskey.
“I think leaning into our history is very interesting,” Fletcher says. “When you see all these older bottles with these age statements that are also labeled Old No. 7, it made me think if Jack could do it then, why can’t we do it now? I would love to recreate a whole series that mimics exactly what Jack did.”
The new bottle looks like something that might have come from Jack’s days. In fact, the label on the new iteration pays tribute to those first age-stated bottles. Each label of the new 10-Year-Old features a hand-drawn version of the original cartouche that appeared on those early bottle over a century ago. The distillery also plans to make the aged-stated bottles an annual release and each will be labeled with a batch number.
The 10-Year-Old bottle design is also inspired by the brand’s history, featuring a hand-drawn iteration of the original cartouche that appeared on Jack Daniel’s aged-stated bottles a century ago. (Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)