View Full Version : Makers Mark, Knob Creek, Gentleman Jack, or????
Hello - Last week I was introduced to Gentleman Jack by a friend, and really enjoyed it. I'd like to go by a bottle, but want to get the most for my money. Being mostly a beer drinker, I get a little put off by the price. But, I think, after tasting GJ, it is worth it.
As I poke around, I see so many different options. People are saying great things about Makers Mark and Knob Creek. Also, JD Single Barrel. Furthermore, a local liquor store has a great deal on an Irish Single Malt named "Michael Collins".
Your opinion please? Looking for a nice smooth sipping whisky or bourbon. I like G Jack. But, is there better out there?
Of the Jack Daniel's products, my preference would be Gentleman Jack, too. But, generally, I don't prefer JD at all -- it's very expensive for young whiskey compared to many bourbons.
You might check out the "Other American Whiskey" and "Other American Whiskey Tastings" threads as, I'm sure you know (and others here will tell you:lol: ), Jack Daniel's ain't bourbon.
Maker's Mark and Knob Creek are both good bourbons, though I'm not sure Knob Creek is really "smooth sipping whiskey" so much as flavorful bourbon with a kick. You may like Maker's Mark, though I think you should add one more option to your list...
I think you should go get a bottle of George Dickel No. 12. Dickel is the other Tennessee whisk(e)y, and I prefer the No. 12 to any of the Jack Daniel's products. Also, at less than 20 bucks, it comes in cheaper than anything else on your list, except possibly for Knob Creek. It's a great value. Dickel No. 12 is a nice smooth sipping whisky, which has many fans on this board.
I like the Dickel 12 suggestion. Also, "nice smooth sipping whisky" for a bourbon beginner makes me think of either Maker's Mark or Basil Hayden. If prices are turning you off, the Basil Hayden is probably out, and maybe Maker's too. I'd also say Old Charter 12 year old, "The Classic" fits the phrase, and is under $20 here.
I'm also not much of a fan of JD products. While I like Irish, I don't know Michael Collins.
Gentleman Jack is undeniably one of the smoothest American whiskeys you can buy. If that's a trait you value, it's tough to do better in that regard. Maker's Mark is a decent bourbon but I don't think it's as smooth as GJ. As BobA noted, Basil Hayden's might come close but it's a notch higher on the price scale.
As to whether others are "better", there's no right answer to that question. Just because certain brands or expressions are popular here does not mean that they are "better" than less popular whiskeys; it all comes down to your personal taste.
Having said that, for what it's worth, I like Jack Daniel's products, more than a number of perennial board favorite bourbons. Gentleman Jack is a fine whiskey. What sets it apart from other JD expressions is that it undergoes a second round of charcoal filtering---hence the smoothness. JD Single Barrel is drawn from particularly good barrels of the standard JD expression (it may be a little older---I don't recall---and it's bottled at a higher proof) but it doesn't go through the additional charcoal mellowing, so don't expect it to be as smooth as GJ, even though it does cost more. :grin:
I'll add my voice as well... if smooth is what you are looking for GJ is definitely it. Not as harsh or "oily" as regular JD. IMHO, worth the price.
Michael Collins is a new product from the Cooley Distillery, which also makes the highly regarded Connemara. Sidney Frank, the creator of Grey Goose vodka, actually owns the brand, but Cooley is producing it for him. They will sell both a blend and a single malt under the Michael Collins name.
Sledwith, you seem to be saying you are new at this, so don't get ahead of yourself. An irish whiskey such as Michael Collins will be very different from the Gentleman Jack you experienced. The bourbons you are considering will be much nearer to the mark, but still different.
The problem with your question is that "better" is so subjective. The people on this board are familiar with a wide range of whiskeys and if you ask any ten of us to name the best one, you will get about 30 different answers.
If you want a good American whiskey but the Gentleman Jack seems a bit too expensive, try the George Dickel 12, Jim Beam Black Label, Maker's Mark or Old Forester.
The only problem with that recommendation is that if you don't like one of those, you are still left wondering if you would have liked the Gentleman Jack.
That's why I suggest that you get the Gentleman Jack, get to know it, and use that as your baseline for investigating other American whiskeys. Stay away from the Irish for now.
...Sidney Frank, the creator of Grey Goose vodka, actually owns the brand, but Cooley is producing it for him...
Make that 'owned' -- Mr. Frank died in January.
Go with woodford reserve or JB black label.
I've had GJ on more than one occasion, and, it is very good and very smooth. However, based only on personal experience alone, a smooth pour can get you into trouble before you know it......so smooth, you end up downing much more than intended when you started! So, I would steer you more to the middle-of-the-road bourbon in terms of smoothness: Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey 80, Knob Creek, Old Charter Classic, Jim Beam Black, etc.
In any event, if you are going to spend money for the asking price of GJ, for goodness sake give a few others a shot such as Weller Antique, Maker's Mark, Eagle Rare Single Barrel, and others. Maybe GJ is not too pricey in your area but it is in mine and I would rather throw the money down for much better and real bourbon.
I agree, for the money (at least for me) there are many other bottlings I'd get before GJ.
Make that 'owned' -- Mr. Frank died in January.
Thanks for that, Tim. A fascinating guy and one of the true giants of the industry. I read a profile about him not long ago (but before he died) and he was quite a character. He loved golf but in recent years had balance problems that made it impossible for him to play, so he hired a stable of pros whose job it was to play golf while he watched and made suggestions. It's mentioned toward the end of the Forbes obit.
What I find interesting about this gentleman was his dogged persistance. He spent a lifetime in the wine and spirits industry and never gave up trying to find the golden goose, and he did, although it was a grey goose, wasn't it.. He must have been in his 70's when he created the concept for that vodka. It is a bit like Colonel Saunders, he never gave up and only really hit the big time at around 70. Even after Grey Goose Frank was still trying to do it, with schnapps and Michael Collins and so forth. Personally I think he had something of a break with Grey Goose, who could have "planned" for such a phenomenon (like Corona)? A name that isn't fake Russian/Slavic or is referential to very much, a product that isn't (in origin) American or French, a product made in France (not known for vodka expertise), a nice bottle (but not that different from some others), a nice (i.e., little) taste but again no different from many others, but he grasped the ring and all the credit to him because I suppose after a lifetime of trying he had learned a few things, and maybe luck finally went his way, but it all came together. Ditto the old Colonel and his chicken. Never give up. There is something quintessentially American about these stories, too, and I like that.
. . . he hired a stable of pros whose job it was to play golf while he watched and made suggestions.
If I had the money, I'd consider hiring you to taste bourbon for me and tell me about it. :grin:
I have a very good friend who used to drink Gentleman Jack regularly. The last time he brought his family out to california to visit I introduced him to Maker's Mark. He went home with a 1750ml bottle of Maker's Mark from costco, never to buy Gentleman Jack again.
It's only one story, but it might help you make a decision. I would suggest buying a bottle of Maker's Mark, it's usually not too expensive, and give it a go. If you are scared of buying a whole bottle, go to a quality bar or nice restaurant and order a maker's mark either straight or on the rocks. That was my first taste and I was instantly hooked...
I second the suggestion for Geroge Dickel No. 12. That is very easy to drink, but with real character. Around here, it can be found for about 17 bucks a bottle - all in all, it's just about the best combination of price and quality I can think of.
Hello folks. I want to thank you all for taking time to reply to my question. As someone who was recently introduced to whisky/bourbon (my past experiences were bad, $4.99 whisky mixed with coke) I really wanted to make sure that I don't blow a lot of money on something I really did not like in the end.
I picked up a bottle of Makers Mark last night ($15.00 for a 750ml) at our local discount liquor store. And, I did really enjoy it. Nice taste, pretty smooth (maybe not as smooth as GJ, but then again that is good because as someone posted earlier, you may then drink too much). I'll definitely purchase this again. But, not until after I try G Dinkel No. 12. That did get a lot of comments in my post.
Anyhow, thanks for writing back. Please continue to do so - I've enjoyed monitoring this.
Hi. Thanks everyone for the George Dinkel #12 recommendation too. Picked up a bottle of that ($11.99 for a 750ml). It was very nice. And, a very nice price too.
Glad you're enjoying them. You picked up a couple of fine whiskeys. Thanks for letting us know what you decided.
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