Jack Daniel’s is probably the most iconic brand of American whiskey. It is the fourth best selling whiskey worldwide, and its iconic bottle design and logo have been re-appropriated countless times. Due to several unfortunate experiences in my college days, I have refrained from reviewing Jack Daniel’s for some time. However, in an effort to confront my past, I am taking the time to review Jack properly and responsibly.
Jack Daniel’s is not a bourbon because the whiskey is charcoal filtered before it is placed in the barrels for aging, which disqualifies it from being a straight bourbon. Just because something is not a straight bourbon does not mean that it is any better or worse of a whiskey; it is simply different. In Jack Daniel’s case, the charcoal aging gives the whiskey a smooth, mellow mouth feel, which comes out even more in Gentleman Jack.
As for Old No. 7, it is quite a unique whiskey. The nose is truly distinct. It mostly smells like banana caramel cream pie. There is some oak and corn to support it, but the most dominant aromas on Jack Daniel’s are banana and caramel. On the palate, the whiskey has a wonderful, viscous mouth feel. The same flavors of banana, caramel, and corn are replicated on the palate just as they were on the nose. The finish is sweet, with caramel and corn being the primary players. Over time, the lingering flavors move to a deeper oak and some bitter-ish tannins.
Overall, Jack Daniel’s is a very distinct and unique whiskey. Personally, I am not a fan of it, but there are plenty of folks on the planet who claim that Jack Daniel’s is whiskey. I am not one of them, especially since Jack Daniel’s usually costs about $25 for a bottle. My grade: D. Price: $25-30/750ml. At that price point, there is a laundry list of whiskeys I would rather drink than Jack Daniel’s. However, don’t take my word for it; try it yourself, and let it ride!