Review: Jailers Premium Tennessee Whiskey – 5 Noses

by Ernie Ayres on April 10, 2012


Imagine my surprise, pleasant of course, when I received a box of whiskey via FedEx a few days ago! Last week I sent an email to the Tennessee Spirits Company, a division of Capital Brands, asking for a sample and to have a few questions answered. Just a few days later I was staring at two bottles. One was Jailers Premium Tennessee Whiskey that I’m reviewing now and the other was Breakout Premium Rye Whiskey 8 Years Old that I’ll try later. **View Breakout Rye Whiskey review here**

Where to begin? Let’s start with my concept of a “daily drinker.” The daily drinker should be something that just feels natural. Not too sweet, not too woody or floral. Not even too *gasp* smoky. Just nice, pleasant, smooth and easy to drink. To this point I thought of Four Roses Yellow Label as my daily drinker. Keep in mind that I don’t actually have a pour every day. But if I did, it would be Four Roses Yellow Label…until now.

Look at the Jailers bottle. Plain and simple with the small flare of the copper emblem stamped into the glass. It reminds me of pennies smashed by trains on the tracks. The bottle is simple; slightly tapered with a simple metal screw top. There isn’t a lot of unnecessary writing on the bottle either. The back states simply:

If you have been searching for
the finest Tennessee Whiskey, you
needn’t look any further…
You’re holding it in your hand.

Jailers Tennessee Whiskey
Music City’s Whiskey 

The color is a light gold that actually looks a little pale for Tennessee Whiskey. I expected it to be a little darker, but as you’ll see, it doesn’t affect the whiskey one bit.

When I pour a whiskey for the first time I usually spend about 30 or so seconds just sniffing and swirling. Trying to get every last little bit of aroma before taking a sip is important to be able to pick the flavor apart. I swirled and sniffed for about 10 seconds before I couldn’t take it any more and just had to sample just a little bit. The nose is sweet and subtly woody with a spicy undercurrent.

I usually take a few small sips neat then add an ice cube and let it water down a skosh. However, I drank the entire first pour neat and only put a small cube of ice in the second. I actually recommend that you don’t put any ice in this whiskey. Even the small bit of ice watered it down too much. Jailers just tasted better without it. There’s a good deal of sweet balanced with a vanilla caramel bite that I wish could be made into hard candy. Or chewing gum. Yeah, gum would be better.

The finish is powerful and long lasting…then it just fades away. According to the Jailers website, it has a “long, pleasant and warm finish” and I just can’t say it any better than that.

All in all, this is my new daily drinker. The price has a lot to do with that also. Locally, it is $25.99 for a 750ml bottle. I expect once the rest of the U.S. finds out about Jailers that the price will go up to $29.99 at least, if not more. It’s a great new whiskey and will hopefully be around for a long time.

Jailers Premium Tennessee Whiskey gets a strong 5 out of 5 Noses! Get a bottle, sit back, and get ready to enjoy a simple, smooth treat that will probably (@ $25.99) become your daily drinker.

That does, however, bring us to the topic of the business itself. Capital Brands is a new venture so it makes sense that they haven’t had time to distill and age this whiskey. However, some purists would ask…no, demand…that the source be disclosed. There is no law *outside the NAFTA treaty* that specifies legally what Tennessee Whiskey is or is not. I asked of the source and several other questions via email shown here:

WN: According to the press release I saw (here), you have plans to build a distillery in Pulaski, TN. Where are you distilling and aging now? Do you have an agreement with a larger distiller like Dickel or Beam for the time being?

TSC: While planning the launch of The Tennessee Spirits Company, the founders came across a “secret” stash of premium whiskey that was too good to forget, and it became the basis for the company’s products. While we cannot share all the specifics on this premium stash, the company brought in Master Distiller Dave Scheurich to help refine the flavors to celebrate the time-honored tradition of Tennessee distilling.

WN:The same press release states the Jailers starts with aged Tennessee Whiskey, then is chill filtered. Are you following the Lincoln County process or is it simply whiskey that’s made or aged in Tennessee? Depending on who you talk to, that’s an important distinction.

TSC: Yes, the process does follow the Lincoln County traditions. After it’s distilled twice, it’s steeped in charred maple chips, before being cut to 125 proof, and entered into charred, white oak barrels for aging.

WN: Do you have a completion date for the distillery in Pulaski? How about a projected opening date for tours?

TSC: Our Tennessee distillery is still in the planning stages, but we plan to announce more details on the Pulaski operations in late spring.


WN: Are you planning on releasing a White Dog/Moonshine? That seems to be the route a lot of newer distilleries are going and I’d like your opinion on that.

TSC: The three products – Jailers, Breakout and Forbidden Secret – are our current focus, but The Tennessee Spirits Company, and its parent organization Capital Brands, continue to explore other product options.


Some might find the source being a “secret stash” from an unnamed distiller to be disconcerting. I’m not sure what the disadvantage of revealing the source of the “secret stash” would be, but it must be a real issue. This is the second company I’ve talked with that wouldn’t reveal the source of their whiskey. To me, simply as a reviewer of the product, I couldn’t care less other than the idea that this might run out some day soon. It would be very difficult to get this same product from a new distillery starting from scratch.

I hope Jailers Premium Tennessee whiskey has a big stash and that Capital Brands can keep this up.

Have you tried Jailers? Do you agree or disagree with my review? How about the secret stash and the business side of Capital Brands? Leave your comments below!

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