Sipping and spinning go hand in hand. For this week’s Whiskey & Vinyl, we’re pairing Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof with Chris Stapleton’s debut album, Traveller. And yes, Stapleton’s 2015 breakthrough album is as smooth as this Tennessee Whiskey (see what we did there?).
Stick around for the highlights.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof
- Distillery: Jack Daniel’s Distillery
- Location: Lynchburg, Tennessee
- Style: Tennessee Whiskey
- Proof: 130.9 (ranges 125-140)
- MSRP: $65
- Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof – Full Review
Jack’s SBBP has some 130-proof power. The nose opens like Old No. 7 on steroids. It’s intense, yet inviting—with wafts of banana, charred oak, baking spices, and brown sugar. You can definitely tell a high-proof sip is on the horizon, but it’s not hair-raising.
The first sip delivers on the banana nose, with notes of fresh-baked banana nut bread, layered with vanilla and Hot Tamales candy. There’s also a tinge of citrus, like the pleasant tartness in some acidic coffees. The medium finish provides more warming heat of sweet cinnamon with some oaky tannins. At 130 Proof, SBBP is remarkably sippable—even neat—but the addition of a small ice cube really opens up the palate to the layers of banana, vanilla, and sweet cinnamon.
- Artist: Chris Stapleton
- Year: 2015
- Billboard Top Country Albums Chart: No. 1 for 29 weeks
- RIAA: 6X Platinum
- Singles: “Traveller” (No. 17), “Nobody to Blame” (No. 13), “Parachute” (No. 12)
Prior to 2015, Chris Stapleton was Nashville’s best-kept secret. While he had fronted the bluegrass troupe the SteelDrivers (2007-2010) and Southern rock outfit the Jompson Brothers (2010-2013), Chris was still relatively unknown outside of Music City, where he had also developed a reputation as a top songwriter. However, Chris became a household name thanks to his back-and-forth duet of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away” with Justin Timberlake at the CMA Awards in November 2015. “Tennessee Whiskey,” which was penned by Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove, was originally recorded by David Allan Coe in 1981 before George Jones put his other-worldly pipes on it in 1983.
Of course, Chris had included “Tennessee Whiskey” on his 14-track debut album (May 2015), one of only two songs he didn’t pen/co-pen. Sure, it’s impossible to out-duel George Jones’ vocal chops, but if anyone can come close, it’s Chris Stapleton. Additional standout tunes on Chris’ debut album include the title track, “The Devil Named Music,” and another bourbon-soaked tune, “Whiskey and You.” Certainly, you can make the case that every one of the 14 tracks should be earmarked “standout”—the album spent 29 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey / You’re as sweet as strawberry wine / You’re as warm as a glass of brandy / And honey, I stay stoned on your love all the time. – Chris Stapleton, “Tennessee Whiskey”