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biglarry
09-19-2007, 23:10
Hey to all. I'm VERY new to bourbon. I'm currently working my way through a bottle of Knob Creek. My first question for all of you here is, what about Jack Daniels? I know it's not a bourbon, but I had some Jack black a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I'm also interested in learing more about their line of premium/small batch stuff like Gentlemen Jack and others. Thanks for your input in advance.

bluesbassdad
09-20-2007, 00:13
B.L.,

Welcome! You'll find a few folks here who enjoy JD. There's even a forum called "Other American Whiskey", or something like that, where you will find discussions about it.

I've been drinking bourbon for only a few years now. In contrast you'll find many members who compare today's bottlings to those of decades past. Living in an area where there's no chance of finding a so-called "dusty bottle" of an old bottling, I usually skip over those discussions.

Although the term "small batch" is a marketing term with no agreed meaning, its application to Gentleman Jack is probably not appropriate. As I understand it, GJ is the same as No. 7 but for being filtered not once but twice through a 10 foot-deep vat of hard maple charcoal. I used to drink it regularly, but I haven't had an open bottle on the shelf for a few years.

JD does have a premium bottling that I drink a few times a year. It's the Single Barrel. I hadn't had any for a while, and then I bought a bottle last year right after I had a drink of it at the Prescott (AZ) Rodeo, of all places -- served in a plastic cup. I'm not sure it's worth its cost on a regular basis (I feel the same about $40+ bourbons that I enjoy), but the first bottle is probably worth the cost just for the educational value -- all the more so for fans of JD No. 7.

The only other JD whiskey I'm aware of is the green label; I forget the actual name. I've never tried it. IIRC, it's a lesser aged version of the same whiskey that's bottled as No. 7. I could be wrong about that.

I do know that when I toured the Lynchburg facility around 1980, I was told that it came from the center of the rickhouse, where interaction with the barrel is less due to more stable temperatures. That may have changed in 25+ years.

Before you finish the Knob Creek, I suggest you pick up a bottle of a bourbon that has wheat in the mash in place of rye. It will be a marked contrast to KC, possibly less assertive and a little sweeter. The Weller 12 y/o would be a reasonable choice. Weller also has higher proof bottlings, but I'm not familiar with them.

Somewhere on this site there must be a list of the relatively few wheat-recipe bourbons (aka, "wheaters"), but I don't know where, off-hand. Others include the Van Winkles (Pappy or Old Rip), Old Fitzgerald and Rebel Yell. I'm probably forgetting one or two.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Hedmans Brorsa
09-20-2007, 03:25
I like the standard JD for what it is. Character tends to merit high ratings in my book and I think JD passes that test with honours. I´m a bit disappointed that they lowered the proof, though.

As for the single barrel, don´t listen to that old fart Morefield( :p ) It is simply great. As with all single barrel products, it varies from bottle to bottle but I´ve never had one that has been less than very good.

If you´re out travelling, explore the tax-free shops at the airports and you might bump into a 100 proof version of the single barrel called Silver Select. A bit different in profile from your standard JD but well worth checking out.

mozilla
09-20-2007, 06:49
Hey Big Larry,
IMO, JD sucks! High $$, low proof and filtered flavor. This is not what I look for in whisky value. I would pass on the whole line. I would also pass on most of the JBeam line for the same reason. If you would like to stick with one distillery....I would look for Wild Turkey or Buffalo Trace and explore thier lines. Both serve excellent flavor and great value. They also have a large variety of labels and profiles.
Good luck!

ggilbertva
09-20-2007, 09:16
Welcome BL.

Jeff didn't waste any time getting to the point regarding JD or JB but he's on target (in my opinion). What I have found over the years is that the palate will mature as you explore bourbons and whiskey's. You will quickly determine what you like and don't like as time progresses and you are able to sample various whiskeys. I too started off with the simple Jacks, Beams, Turkey 80 early in my bourbon and whiskey drinking years and I pretty much stuck with those because I didn't know any better. I'm not saying for a second that those who drink these various offerings are wrong or uninformed, but for me, I found that there were so many other bourbons out there that I quickly moved away from these mass produced whiskey's and started drinking a much wider variety that challenged my taste buds and drinking experience. You will find many members here on SB.com have a "daily pour", and then many that do not. My daily pour is whatever I feel like having. For instance, this week I've varied between rye and wheat mashbill, high/low proof, young and old. I take a very eclectic approach to drinking and don't want to stagnate in any one brand or offering. Bottom line, drink what pleases you and drink it any way you want. If you like JD, have at it and enjoy but expand as you can because there are many fine whiskey's out there to be had. :cool:

OscarV
09-20-2007, 12:26
B.L.,

Before you finish the Knob Creek,

I would like to expand a bit on what Dave mentioned in the above post.
Save some of that Knob Creek, also save a few shots of everything so in the future you can go back and compare notes and/or see how your taste buds have matured.

T47
09-20-2007, 16:38
BL,
I don't know if this would be the forum to defend JD, but I will stick up for at least some of the JB products. Bookers and Bakers are both JB products and I have enjoyed them very much. I would love to have Buffalo Trace and Van Winkle Products all the time, but here in WA they are hard to find and frequently can't be found. I am still working through my first ever bottle of JBB 8 Year old, and I am enjoying that as well. So at least for those JB products I would not write them off. WT 101 is a great Bourbon and good value, and readily available as well.
A lot of what you can try depends on where you live, you should add that to your profile because there are folks here from all over and they will help you to find some nice bottles when possible.
Welcome to SB...lot's of great information and folks here.

:toast:

melting
09-20-2007, 17:24
I would absolutely second the opinion that not all JB products are bad. Jim Beam Black is above average and a good deal when on sale around here. About 4 bucks more than Jim Beam white and 4 bucks cheaper than Wild Turkey 101.

Jump around a bunch and see what you tend to prefer but keep trying different things. I always try to keep a varied supply on hand and mix things up quite a bit.

As for a daily pour I tend to go back and forth between Wild Turkey 101 and Wild Turkey Rye. Kind of the baseline that all others are judged against.

Chris

ILLfarmboy
09-20-2007, 18:48
You'll find a lot of anti-Jack sentiments on this board. I for one occasionally drink the Single Barrel both neat and in the odd JD and Coke. But I suspect I'm in the minority.

As for Beam whiskey. I prefer Booker's but occasionally drink KC in bars and restaurants.

Drink what you like. You're the one paying for it.

ratcheer
09-21-2007, 15:36
What about Jack? I can't stand the stuff. Honestly, it reminds me of paint thinner. Also, I have nothing against that type of whisky, as George Dickel "white" label (I think they call it No. 12) is a perfectly decent pour. I just don't like Jack Daniels.

Tim

mythrenegade
09-21-2007, 23:31
Jack? It took me years to get through a bottle of No. 7. Gentlemen Jack is a little better, but not even in the same league as something like Knob Creek to me, and yet about the same price.

I have tried the single barrel, and I did like it, but not enough to buy a bottle. I got it in a bar when I asked what bourbons they had and they replied "Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, or Jim Beam Black" I ordered the JBB only to watch them pull out the JD Single Barrel and pour it. As I looked over the bar, I realized they didn't have JBB, but I had wanted to try the JDSB so I accepted it.

Joel

JDKnaebel
09-22-2007, 07:07
What about Jack? I can't stand the stuff. Honestly, it reminds me of paint thinner. Tim

When I smell Jack Daniels it reminds me going into an old dry cleaners and the over powering smell of cleaning fluid. In being able to sample the product off of the still before and after the sugar maple charcoal, it is this step that give it that "character". I would actually like to taste the unfiltered product that had been aged about 6 to 7 years, probably would be quite good. But then it would not be Tennessee whiskey would it.

As far as other products to try, don't overlook Bakers in the Beam small batch line, the Vanwinkle products (12 and 15 year old), Four Roses Single Barrel and the Antiques from Buffalo Trace.

JD

BourbonJoe
09-22-2007, 08:07
When I smell Jack Daniels it reminds me going into an old dry cleaners and the over powering smell of cleaning fluid.
JD

Couldn't have said it better myself JD.
Joe :usflag:

Frodo
09-22-2007, 10:49
Jack? It took me years to get through a bottle of No. 7. Gentlemen Jack is a little better, but not even in the same league as something like Knob Creek to me, and yet about the same price.

I have tried the single barrel, and I did like it, but not enough to buy a bottle.

Interesting. This is exactly my view!

whiskeyhatch
09-26-2007, 18:49
I simply don't understand the appeal of JD. But that's just me. I'm still interested in sampling some of the other expressions (Gentleman Jack, single barrel, etc.) and comparing it all with Dickel. If you like JD then by god drink up! But if you are inquiring about where to go for bourbon, then I, like some folks above, would suggest BT and WT products. I think that they are the best. (EC12 by HH is also outstanding.) So what do you think of the KC? Under certain conditions I can enjoy JBB and JBW but KC seems to be about the best they've done. That's my measly $.02. Drink what you like and welcome to the site!

nickynick
10-01-2007, 09:14
I agree with what some others said. If you like Jack, then by all means drink it. I usually keep a bottle on hand for friends, although sometimes I have a pour. It also is nice to use it to compare with other whiskeys. And I will admit that Jack and ginger ale is good simple cocktail that I enjoy. Gentlemen Jack is nice if you like things on the sweet side, and have never had the Single Barrel. When it comes to Tennessee whiskey, Dickel is much better IMO. Try the no. 12(White) and the Dickel Barrel Select is great if you don't mind paying a little extra.

Now if you are looking where to go with bourbon, lots of choices. As for Buffalo Trace, I'd start with Elmer T. Lee, or Buffalo Trace. Wild Turkey 101 is great, and other Wild Turkeys are great as well. Try as much as you can, that is the best way to figure out what you like.

Gillman
10-01-2007, 09:34
Yes, but I'd consider the single barrel JD, it is well worth the extra money. It has a full rich taste and some bottles approach the typical bourbon palate more than Jack Daniels.

I bought two recently, both bottled literally weeks ago according to the labels, each from a different barrel.

They are similar but far from the same. One is rainwater soft with only a modest banana-like (acetone?) JD signature; the other is a little more earthy and typically Jack. Both also are quite full-bodied.

While Jack will never have the greatness of the best bourbons (IMO), in this form it is better than many bourbons commonly seen or spoken of.

Gary

ggilbertva
10-01-2007, 10:04
I had a bottle of Jack Daniel Silver Select in my bunker and decided to take it along during a tasting this last weekend. I have never been a JD fan but that single barrel was quite nice and I would buy another bottle. If has a full mouthfeel, good flavor and a long pleasant finish. I also brought along a bottle of Blanton's Silver which went over very well also. I was surprised by both of these bottles. Both good pours that I would go to again.

OneCubeOnly
10-02-2007, 03:49
I had a bottle of Jack Daniel Silver Select in my bunker and decided to take it along during a tasting this last weekend.

Despite the prejudices the room of bourbon fans had against JD, this pour really stole the show! What a wonderful treat...thanks for sharing!

Gillman
10-02-2007, 05:58
I think some here simply won't drink Jack in any form, but many do appreciate it once in a while, especially the Single Barrel and Silver Select (same thing but 100 proof, Single Barrel is 94 proof). The whiskey, even at its best, does not seem to approach complexity of the best bourbon, but it has its own profile and the single barrel bottlings do vary somewhat in palate (some seem more bourbon-like than others, basically). Recently to 3/4's of a half pint of regular JD I added 1/4 of a JD Single Barrel. The advantage of doing this is you retain the complexity (relatively) of the regular JD, clearly put together from hundreds of barrels, but can improve the taste and proof by adding to it from a single barrel bottling. Anyway, JD has its place, but after some experimentation with it I feel the extensive, preliminary maple charcoal treatment really does alter the product (Dickel too), they do stand apart from bourbon in this respect.

Gary

nor02lei
10-02-2007, 07:50
I think some here simply won't drink Jack in any form, but many do appreciate it once in a while, especially the Single Barrel and Silver Select (same thing but 100 proof, Single Barrel is 94 proof). The whiskey, even at its best, does not seem to approach complexity of the best bourbon, but it has its own profile and the single barrel bottlings do vary somewhat in palate (some seem more bourbon-like than others, basically). Recently to 3/4's of a half pint of regular JD I added 1/4 of a JD Single Barrel. The advantage of doing this is you retain the complexity (relatively) of the regular JD, clearly put together from hundreds of barrels, but can improve the taste and proof by adding to it from a single barrel bottling. Anyway, JD has its place, but after some experimentation with it I feel the extensive, preliminary maple charcoal treatment really does alter the product (Dickel too), they do stand apart from bourbon in this respect.

Gary

Must admit I had language difficulties here. By “alter” do you mean change or make less good Gary?

Leif

nor02lei
10-02-2007, 08:02
When I did visit Stockholm beer and whisky festival for the second time on Thursday I did struck lucky and got to taste JD white dog filtered and not filtered. Must say the unfiltered spirit tasted simpler and more neutral than the white dogs I did taste in Kentucky last year. However the filtered one was very different and had lots of nice flavours from the maple charcoal and in the same manners as the Kentucky white dog this was really a nice positive surprise.

Leif

Gillman
10-02-2007, 08:06
Leif, my feeling is that the extensive charcoal leaching treatment removes many of the fusels and other congeners that stay in, and give additional character to, straight bourbon. As Chuck has noted in his book, much of the flavor of JD seems on the surface, I think he wrote you have to "tease out the flavours" and I agree with that. This was of course an intentional result of the Lincoln County process, the idea was to pre-age the drink and render it palatable without years of barrel aging (or other means of rectification).

Today, JD is given, and this has been so presumably for a very long time, at least 4 years of barrel aging too. I wonder if perhaps the earthy/woody notes of JD would be reduced if it was aged only two years. Possibly, but I don't think it would taste better at 2 or 3 years of barrel age. The Green Label shows that a presumably less mature JD - whatever any actual differences in age between the black and green labels - does not (IMO) result in a better palate. In fact, JD is complete after its 4-5 years of aging but, to get back to my main point, in single barrel form you can best appreciate it: it is easier to tease out those flavours, in other words, and they can be quite good.

One of my current two single barrels is excellent, the other is okay. My blend I mentioned is superb and has a marked fruity note, not just banana, but dark fruit, similar in this respect to a Silver Select I had last year and which does not generally obtain with JD. This is what a mingling can do and by the way, JBBL also sometimes acquires that dark fruit note and that is when I like it best.

Gary

polyamnesia
10-24-2007, 20:41
Hey Big Larry,
IMO, JD sucks! High $$, low proof and filtered flavor. This is not what I look for in whisky value. I would pass on the whole line. I would also pass on most of the JBeam line for the same reason. If you would like to stick with one distillery....I would look for Wild Turkey or Buffalo Trace and explore thier lines. Both serve excellent flavor and great value. They also have a large variety of labels and profiles.
Good luck!

when there is nothing else around and you want a decent COCKTAIL, then ok...the JD mystique is part of it's power. not the actual product...

but then, i will give the gentleman jack a try if ever offered it. for scientific purposes, of course...!

and i do prefer JB's higher end selections over anything by JD distilleries.

but speaking of tennessee, i'll take GD sippin' whiskey anyday over that black label pop culture image!

and over that? give me Wild Turkey 101. any day!

Megawatt
10-31-2007, 09:48
I really enjoyed Gentleman Jack the first time I had it. Definitely smoother and sweeter than their regular No. 7. Tasted to me like apple cider more than anything else, but had a strange, almost salty quality on the tongue that kind of threw me off at first.

squire
12-05-2007, 11:20
I like the Daniels products, always have and keep them on hand. Gary has covered the tasting notes so I won't repeat them here. Oh I don't drink the brand everyday, or ever month for that matter, but its on my list of top five recommendations because it simply is a classic.
Regards,
Squire