The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2015

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DEPARTMENT HEADER 100  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2015 LOS ANGELES BARTENDERS GIVE LOVE TO THE ICONIC JACK DANIEL'S by Rachel Burkons / photos by Adam James F ew places are more iconic "Jack" than Los Angeles, where the mere suggestion of the Sunset Strip con- jures up images of rock and rollers swigging from the bottle and Hollywood's leading men calling for a Jack and Coke. But today's L.A. offers a different take on the classic brand, thanks to an elevated, informed and interested craft cocktail community looking to explore and untap the true Jack Daniel's potential, well beyond the rock 'n roll lifestyle. "When I started getting into craft bartending, Jack was one of the brands I didn't know a ton about—but it was everywhere," explains Zach Patterson, award-winning bartender and co-owner of West Hollywood's Melrose Umbrella Co. "I had to make the extra step to learn more about how it is made and what its story is." To further his education, Patterson was among a group of L.A.'s top 'tenders to head to Lynchburg, TN, where Jack Daniel's Brand Ambassador Eric "ET" Tecosky led them on a distillery tour, where they delved into the famed "drop by drop" mellowing. "It's no joke! They really have it figured out: One drop, another drop over ten feet of sugar maple charcoal." Patterson pauses before musing, "It's actually a very handcrafted whiskey!" And that is the contradiction of Jack: Big brand recogni- tion, but also big craftsmanship, big quality, big flavor. Patterson admits it's not a combination bartenders often eas- ily reconcile. "Jack Daniel's hasn't gotten the look it deserves from some of today's up-and-coming bartenders. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in looking for everything to be small batch, super boutique and made in a three-liter still. But you absolutely can do quality on a large-scale level, and Jack is a perfect example of how that can be done. For a company that's been around as long as it has and has grown the way it has to produce millions of cases per Eric "ET" Tecosky is the Jack Daniel's Brand Ambassador. •   ON THE ROAD WITH JACK •  J.D. Loves L.A.

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