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View Full Version : What's The Woop-De-Doo About Jack Daniel's?



MJL
12-24-2009, 10:52
Could someone please explain the big woop-de-doo about Jack Daniels's? Since they lowered the proof of the booze in the bottle I've been having a hard time justifying a purchase. I'm not saying it is gut rot but I would put it about the same quality as a regular run of the mill Bourbon. To my mind not worthy of the extra money they seem to be asking. So what am I missing here? Is the extra price of Jack Daniel's all about hype and advertising or do some of you understand where that extra money goes into the bottle?

marco246
12-24-2009, 12:16
Yeah, I can remember when it was 7 years old and 90 proof. It is now pretty pedestrian stuff. I don't buy it any more since it has been cut down to 80 proof. Too many really good bourbons out there in competition.

Special Reserve
12-24-2009, 13:06
Synthetic pseudo-culture, also know as marketing.

Sin
12-24-2009, 14:23
Plus, it's decent enough stuff. I drunk a lot of it when I drank. (I just "sip" now) However, I've moved on to fine Scotch and now fine bourbon.

I guess you can thank Van Halen. They made the stuff hugely popular in the early 80's and late 80's. They even have a song titled "Take Your Whiskey Home" that I posted in the Whiskey Lyrics thread and the former bass player Michael Anthony has a bass guitar shaped and painted up like a bottle of JD.

Gillman
12-24-2009, 16:00
The current bottlings are actually excellent straight whiskey, not to mention the Single Barrel bottlings. The flavour is quite pronounced with notes of pear-like fruit, candy and light earth. A distinctive and quality product. I believe some people tend to overlook it based on it coming from outside Kentucky, but it is a solid product and (again IMO) rather improved in recent years.

Gary

silverfish
12-24-2009, 16:03
On the BE board a similar discussion was raised a few
months back and someone asked "...is Jack Daniel's
still relevant? ".

My reply was that "...I think Jack projects a certain "attitude"
which may account for some of the popularity. It's not at
the cheap end and there are certainly more expensive pours
out there but maybe it's just "cool" to say you drink JD. "

Maybe goes back to the Sinatra days - JD was a "mans" drink
and that just kinda stuck or the image they wanna project.

Gillman
12-24-2009, 16:11
No question the image was and is a big part of it. But I don't think it could have sustained its popularity based just on image. I will say that until a few years ago, I felt Jack Daniels (any version) was not as good as I remembered it from the 1970's, but in recent years I feel it has improved and is on form. Even the 80 proof offers a fair amount of taste and character compared to most 80 proof bourbons.

Gary

MJL
12-24-2009, 16:35
OK, good answers. I posted that question as I was headed out to a local booze shop that had the 1.75 liter bottle on sale for $28. I was headed out the door to pick up a few bottles and still waffling about if I should drop the cash on the Jack Daniel's or something else. To me it is just a drinking whiskey....not, as has been stated, a sipping whiskey, so I wanted to know if it was good enough to spend more for it than any other regular drinking whiskey. I will tell in a few weeks when I get around to opening one of the bottles I picked up. Still, I think it is whole lot of hype so the stuff in the bottle better be worthy of the money or this will be the last Jack Daniel's purchase by myself.

Gillman
12-24-2009, 16:42
Well, my suggestion would be if possible to purchase the Single Barrel. I'd rather have less of that than more of the other iterations. It really showcases the brand to its best.

Gary

polyamnesia
12-24-2009, 20:11
The current bottlings are actually excellent straight whiskey, not to mention the Single Barrel bottlings. The flavour is quite pronounced with notes of pear-like fruit, candy and light earth. A distinctive and quality product. I believe some people tend to overlook it based on it coming from outside Kentucky, but it is a solid product and (again IMO) rather improved in recent years.

Gary


i agree. it's like the hoopla over it is what sells it for some folks, but for me, it gets in the way...and last year, i finally got that out of the way, tried some and have some respect for it. i am sure it is can't compare to the original stuff, but i get my virtual sense of what it might've been like but trying those commemorative 90 proof bottlings. actually very nice and i get a small sense of spectrum (not value-laden!) that goes from TN whiskey (banana/esters) to bourbon (caramel, dried fruit) to rye whiskey (spicy old leather)...i know that's very generalizing, but it's close. i think.

i almost bought the SBarrel today in Delaware for $38...but i am in a mad belgian lambic mood. and my hopbomb mood isn't taking it lightly...:grin:

loose proton
12-26-2009, 00:18
I like it. It's been 30 years since this was a regular pour for me, but every three or four months I pull it out to remind me that I like it. It compares favorably to other drinks that cost much more. The other day I enjoyed it as a complement to Jefferson Reserve Small Batch.

TNbourbon
12-26-2009, 00:25
"Over-priced" is different than "bad whiskey". It IS the former, in my (and many others') opinion. It isn't the latter -- though, it also may not be your cup of tea, particularly, if you like standard bourbon.
But, even the 'over-priced' judgment is an opinion. It's no secret that they sell all they can make. Some would say that makes JD under-priced.
It would NOT be me, however.

unclebunk
12-26-2009, 10:41
Well, my suggestion would be if possible to purchase the Single Barrel. I'd rather have less of that than more of the other iterations. It really showcases the brand to its best.

Gary

A friend of mine bought a sealed bottle of the JD Single Barrel at an estate sale last week for $4 (:shocked:) and it was excellent. We loved it! But for the fact that it typically sells for just over $40 around here, I'd buy it with regularity.

ILLfarmboy
12-26-2009, 12:42
Once in a blue moon I pick up a bottle of the Single Barrel. But I have to be flush with cash and in just the right mood. Make that once every several blue moons.

The standard offering is just as over-priced as the Single Barel, if not more so, and under proofed to boot.

I remember the year I got married, 1999, I could pick up a fifth of 86 proof Jack for 13.99, when it was on sale.

Slob
12-26-2009, 15:20
I don't dislike it. There are just hundreds of other bottles I'd buy before I bought Jack. Also, Jack fundamentalists are really annoying. I worked with one guy who would trash any bourbon you would mention and swear on his mother's grave that Jack was the absolute pinnacle of quality. It was amusing for about 12 seconds.

gblick
12-26-2009, 20:27
I don't know what it is about JD, but it makes me sick. The last two times I drank any (many years ago), I ended up throwing up. I can drink twice as much WT101 and not get sick at all.

Cmurfs73
01-04-2010, 17:30
Jack drinkers are hardcore brand loyal drinkers and you could offer them the best tasting whiskey in the whole world and they will still say they like their Jack better. Trust me i have tasted many of people on other stuff and they still go back to jack. Its all about the image and name not quality to most of em...

theDon
01-09-2010, 17:32
I enjoy the JD Single Barrel. I drank a bottle of late 90's vintage over the holidays. I have also drank several of the 90 proof Gold Medals. The higher proof is the way to drink Jack no doubt, but the price does not justify what's in the bottle. JD at 80 proof is not near as flavorful as another overpriced 80 proofer 4 Roses. Both are good, but one should never have to pay over $20 for 80 proof anything. That's why vodka and all the other bastard liquors can kiss my @$$!

Megawatt
01-13-2010, 19:11
I think it's strange that Jack Daniels has this reputation of being a bold, even harsh drink, as someone pointed out a "man's drink", when in fact it is fairly sweet and mellow.

I think as far as hype vs. quality, it is in the same boat as Crown Royal, Glenfiddich, Jameson, Johnnie Walker, etc. The casual drinker swears by it, claims it is the best out there, and that becomes the common perception. Then there is a backlash from connoiseurs who claim it tastes like paint thinner or gasoline and shoulder be poured down the drain. I think the truth falls somewhere in between: none of the above whiskies are "the best" in their respective categories, but they are far better than a lot of connoiseurs give them credit for.

As to whether it is overpriced, I guess it depends where you live. Jack Daniels is one of the three cheapest American whiskies where I come from, the others being Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. I would probably take JD over those other two myself.

BigRich
01-14-2010, 07:04
I agree with those who chalk a lot of it up to image and marketing. That said, JD's not bad and I'll never turn one down if offered. However, I don't keep a bottle at home.

gblick
01-14-2010, 07:46
Similar to some folks that don't know any better thinking that Cuervo Gold is the best tequila, when actually it's one of the worst. Not saying that that JD is one of the worst whiskies, just that there are a lot of people out there that may have accepted it as the best without having tried anything else.

theDon
01-14-2010, 08:32
I think it's strange that Jack Daniels has this reputation of being a bold, even harsh drink, as someone pointed out a "man's drink", when in fact it is fairly sweet and mellow.

I think as far as hype vs. quality, it is in the same boat as Crown Royal, Glenfiddich, Jameson, Johnnie Walker, etc. The casual drinker swears by it, claims it is the best out there, and that becomes the common perception. Then there is a backlash from connoiseurs who claim it tastes like paint thinner or gasoline and shoulder be poured down the drain. I think the truth falls somewhere in between: none of the above whiskies are "the best" in their respective categories, but they are far better than a lot of connoiseurs give them credit for.

As to whether it is overpriced, I guess it depends where you live. Jack Daniels is one of the three cheapest American whiskies where I come from, the others being Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. I would probably take JD over those other two myself.

Wild Turkey 101 is in a class of it's own far far above the likes of a Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Far Far Far above. If just comparing 80 proofers I would still choose Turkey. Those three names should NEVER be used in the same sentence. How dare you!!! I kid of course, to each his own, but your wrong none the less.:grin:

p_elliott
01-14-2010, 10:39
Wild Turkey 101 is in a class of it's own far far above the likes of a Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Far Far Far above. If just comparing 80 proofers I would still choose Turkey. Those three names should NEVER be used in the same sentence. How dare you!!! I kid of course, to each his own, but your wrong none the less.:grin:

What he said!!!!!!

CorvallisCracker
01-14-2010, 10:53
I think as far as hype vs. quality, it is in the same boat as Crown Royal, Glenfiddich, Jameson, Johnnie Walker, etc. The casual drinker swears by it, claims it is the best out there, and that becomes the common perception.

I Absolutely agree.

Megawatt
01-14-2010, 18:23
Wild Turkey 101 is in a class of it's own far far above the likes of a Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Far Far Far above. If just comparing 80 proofers I would still choose Turkey. Those three names should NEVER be used in the same sentence. How dare you!!! I kid of course, to each his own, but your wrong none the less.:grin:

I wouldn't know about 101, as only the 80 proofer is available here. To my palate it seemed rather dull and lifeless. Maybe I was expecting too much. I would take Jim Beam Black any day, for roughly the same price.

wadewood
01-15-2010, 10:06
It's all de-doo and no whoop?

theDon
01-15-2010, 11:02
I wouldn't know about 101, as only the 80 proofer is available here. To my palate it seemed rather dull and lifeless. Maybe I was expecting too much. I would take Jim Beam Black any day, for roughly the same price.

Well Jim Beam black is a higher proof and tastes better than 80 proof WT I agree. But straight 80 proof comparisons I would still go with WT. I would rather go with dull and lifeless than JB white "tastes like ass" and JD Black "dull and lifeless" with a big kick in the rear of "costs too much."

polyamnesia
01-23-2010, 14:42
Wild Turkey 101 is in a class of it's own far far above the likes of a Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam. Far Far Far above. If just comparing 80 proofers I would still choose Turkey. Those three names should NEVER be used in the same sentence. How dare you!!! I kid of course, to each his own, but your wrong none the less.:grin:

yeah, turkey has it's own marketing strength, but it's done with class...and it's a class pour. i admit i've missed out on the 80 and the bottles that cost over $100...

i admit, i wish i had a bottle of the old jack. i like the banana notes. alot.

theDon
01-23-2010, 22:58
I wouldn't know about 101, as only the 80 proofer is available here. To my palate it seemed rather dull and lifeless. Maybe I was expecting too much. I would take Jim Beam Black any day, for roughly the same price.

I just caught this. Forget Haiti, we have a much bigger crisis on our hands. There is NO WILD TURKEY 101 available in all of Canada (I exagerate a little for affect), but seriously. No 101. You guys have universal health care and NO Turkey 101. The UN is on it's way with supplies. Please don't hold the US accountable.

leebo
02-01-2010, 19:51
Not a fan of regular Jack, but I enjoyed a sample of the single barrel. George Dickel is the other Tenn. whiskey, which I think is a much better product at almost 1/2 the price and 45% vs 40%.

ggilbertva
02-05-2010, 09:51
I don't buy regular JD. The export Silver Select is excellent and at 100 proof, loaded with flavor. I just wish it was available stateside and not so pricey.

nblair
02-05-2010, 12:21
I did a side by side with JD Single Barrel and Lot B. They are both around $45 in my area. IMO the Lot B, which I find lacks the complexity of some other bourbons, tasted like GTS next to JDSB (ok so its an exagerration). Still, the JDSB did nothing to impress me. I was surprised it got so much love on the board, maybe I'll have to give it another chance...

theDon
02-06-2010, 06:47
I did a side by side with JD Single Barrel and Lot B. They are both around $45 in my area. IMO the Lot B, which I find lacks the complexity of some other bourbons, tasted like GTS next to JDSB (ok so its an exagerration). Still, the JDSB did nothing to impress me. I was surprised it got so much love on the board, maybe I'll have to give it another chance...

I think it's more a, "If I was going to buy Jack, it would be the Single Barrel," type situation.

Now if I was going to spend $45 on a bottle, it surely would be bourbon.

Josh
02-06-2010, 06:52
I did a side by side with JD Single Barrel and Lot B. They are both around $45 in my area. IMO the Lot B, which I find lacks the complexity of some other bourbons, tasted like GTS next to JDSB (ok so its an exagerration). Still, the JDSB did nothing to impress me. I was surprised it got so much love on the board, maybe I'll have to give it another chance...

I think a fairer head to head would be JDSB vs. Dickel Barrel Select, both being Tennesee Whiskeys. Not that I think JDSB would do any better, mind you...

thanis
03-11-2010, 00:11
One good thing about Jack, it makes a good and unique sour.

I just purchased a bottle of Jack in my quest to go back to basics and try it from the bottom up. Memory was correct, and though once my favorite, I just can't take it now. I think the only think left for me and Jack is my sooner or later comparison to George Dickel to see if it is just Jack, or all TN whiskey. Depending how that goes, might be a while before I even try the premium versions (hopeful on my trip down south later during the summer I might find 50 ML or 200 ML versions).


I don't know what it is about JD, but it makes me sick. The last two times I drank any (many years ago), I ended up throwing up...

As I have stated many times in ten years, I can become sick just by the taste (maybe I just over consumed in my youth with Jack, and it is a Pavlov’s dog situation).


... I think as far as hype vs. quality, it is in the same boat as Crown Royal, Glenfiddich, Jameson, Johnnie Walker, etc...

Some valid points, however you should be bit kinder to Johnnie. The black is good for the price, even if it costs a bit more then the other scotch brands' step ups. I would agree with you on the red.

OscarV
03-11-2010, 14:42
I wonder if it is the water?
I love bottled spring water, I can tell the difference between spring water and filtered tap water like Aquafina or Dasani and others.
My current favorites come from springs in PA and MI.
Recently I haven't been able to get them and I picked up a case of spring water where the source was from a spring in TN.
This stuff blows!!!
It's just there, no life, hard to swollow, irony and hard.
I would like to try the water that Jack uses, I'll bet it's not so good.

Dramiel McHinson
03-11-2010, 18:58
I live just a 45 minute drive from the Jack Daniels distillery. Jack Daniels or Brown Foreman to be exact, puts on a heck of a show. They have a great tour presentation, distillery only limited editions and an entire town square dedicated to all things Jack. I still can't drink their whiskey with any degree of high level enjoyment straight.

But! Old Number 7 goes very well with coke as if it were formulated for it. The Gentleman Jack blends perfectly with good quality ginger ale. The single barrel is the only JD brand I can drink straight and it doesn't rate as high (on my taste buds) as Elijah Craig 12 which in my area is much cheaper ($19 vs $43).

I believe JD's popularity is primarily brand identity and image as well as the great job they do with their annual BBQ, race car, Miss Bo Bo's, tour, collectibles etc. In the end, JD is much more than just whiskey. For some, it's also a way of life.

All of this is at great risk in the hands of Brown Foreman bean counters who demand tweaks for profit and spend millions on non-whiskey marketing of the JD way of life instead of concentrating on a whiskey whose taste alone would put it on the top shelf.

Last of all, that underground spring has ducks swimming in it all the time and anybody that's been around ducks knows the secret recipe in JD is duck poop. Just kidding. I'm sure they get the big pieces out before they bottle it.

cowdery
03-14-2010, 01:12
I believe JD's popularity is primarily brand identity and image as well as the great job they do with their annual BBQ, race car, Miss Bo Bo's, tour, collectibles etc. In the end, JD is much more than just whiskey. For some, it's also a way of life.

I agree pretty much with everything in your post except the paragraph above, plus I'm not so sure about those underground ducks.

Your last sentence above is more correct than your first, which is an insult to every happy Jack Daniel's drinker who thinks it tastes better than every other liquid on the planet. You're saying they're so flummoxed by marketing that even their taste buds deceive them. I don't think you mean to say that, but you do.

Also, other than the proof cut from 86 to 80 that was made more than six years ago, what have the 'bean counters' at Brown-Forman done that has degraded the product, in your opinion?

Dramiel McHinson
03-14-2010, 16:22
I agree pretty much with everything in your post except the paragraph above, plus I'm not so sure about those underground ducks.

Your last sentence above is more correct than your first, which is an insult to every happy Jack Daniel's drinker who thinks it tastes better than every other liquid on the planet. You're saying they're so flummoxed by marketing that even their taste buds deceive them. I don't think you mean to say that, but you do.

Also, other than the proof cut from 86 to 80 that was made more than six years ago, what have the 'bean counters' at Brown-Forman done that has degraded the product, in your opinion?

Let me see if I can elaborate. But first a caveat. I never intend to disparage someone of enjoying whatever drink or brand they prefer. I do have my own ordered list of preferences and while I remain rigidly flexible, I still have to say no sometimes.

I don't dislike JD at all. I can't drink the Old #7 and Gentleman Jack straight. It just doesn't work for me so when I drink it, I mix it. I also enjoy a lot of the other aspects of the JD community. For all the folks that just like the whiskey and don't care about the extended JD community then I believe this is simply a matter of personal taste and there is no right or wrong. For me, I enjoy the total more than the piece. I think they do a great job of making JD more than just a shot in a glass.

The ducks are almost always swimming in the area shown to the public as the cave entrance and also in the stream that flows in front of the entrance to the visitor center. I'm not alone in some of the observations there about the ducks. It's a joke. We all have commemorative bottles under our arm from the White Rabbit saloon while we are questioning the duck's contribution to the whiskey.

With regard to bean counters. I could have left that statement off. That is a personal glitch in my appreciation for all things artisan in the making of bourbon. Although I poked at Brown Foreman, many spirits corporations past and present are in the same boat in my opinion. Sometimes when they get it wrong. They and their product go away and their dedicated followers mourn the loss.

In spite of all that Jack Daniels or other brands are to all consumers, whiskey is often a product of corporate decisions. In every effort there is trade space. Often the final product is the result of necessary compromises in cost, schedule and performance. I suppose if it was easy, the world wouldn't be littered with defunct distilleries and the lineage of iconic brands wouldn't be traced through a long list of owners.

What is my nebulous point you ask? I guess I'm trying to say I am more fond of the artisan skill that produces fine bourbon than I am of all the business decisions that got it to my table. That's not realistic, I know. But, that's how I compartmentalize size ten thoughts in my size 5 brain.