I am a fan of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof. I was able to pick up a bottle of the Coy Hill Special Release, which differs from the regular Jack Daniel’s Barrel Proof in that it was aged at the top of one of two rickhouses on Coy Hill, the highest point on the Jack Daniel’s distillery property. But, this is the standard Jack Daniel’s extremely low rye bourbon mashbill, and while uncut in charcoal filtered like all Jack Daniel’s whiskey. This particular bottle was aged nine years and one month, and hit an incredibly high proof of 141.1. The range of proofs of the Coy Hill bottles are 137.4 to 148.3. I bought mine for $70, but a quick google search reveals that some retailers (and I emphasize this is not black market secondary but retailers I found via a search on Google) are selling this for ten times that amount. Such is the market for American whiskey today. I drink certain 151 proof rums neat, but this is probably the highest proof whiskey I have ever tried.
The color is an amazing mahogany color – this whiskey is so incredibly red that it is more comparable with whiskies much older. Gravity defying oily legs on the swirl. Nose is incredible – dark cane syrup, Amerena cherries, with hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, dark caramel. On the palate, you would not guess this was over seventy percent alcohol. Very rich mouthfeel, and drinks more like 120 proof. Juicy Amerena cherries, dark chocolate, rich Latakia and Perique pipe tobacco, baking spices and clove are present on the palate, with lovely oak in the background that is not overly done. On the finish the cherries fade and the clove mingles with the oak tannin, which starts out big then decrescendos to a drying oak mild finish before lingering for a long time.
For a $70 bottle of whiskey, this is an amazing bottle. It reminds me a lot of Stagg Jr. (soon to be Stagg) as far as the flavor profile and how it drinks at high proof. Sazerac and Heaven Hill have held dominance in the market for high proof whiskies in this age and price range, such as Stagg Jr., Weller Full Proof, Elijah Craig and Larceny Barrel Proof bottlings. Brown Forman has entered this ring with a strong bottle with Coy Hill. Hopefully, this will only be the first, and not the last, Coy Hill release.