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  1. #1

    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?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    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 ), Jack Daniel's ain't bourbon.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Berkeley, CA
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Decatur GA
    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.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Northern Kentucky
    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.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    ...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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Go with woodford reserve or JB black label.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    G'Town, TN


    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.
    "All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me".....Winston Churchill



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