When you think of Jack Daniel’s, you’re probably thinking of parties and wild nights. After all, that’s what Jack Daniel’s is also known for, given its high alcohol content and presence in numerous cocktails! However, there’s more to learn about Jack Daniel’s!
For instance, there’s the question: What does Jack Daniel’s taste like? Some people (we’re guilty of this, too) might have been too preoccupied with mixing it with other cocktails or drinking a ton of Jack Daniel’s at once to look into its flavors!
Short Answer: Expect the classic Tennessee whisky flavor profile with Jack Daniel’s, with that sweet fruity flavor and elements of chocolate and vanilla.
We were as well and decided to give it a more detailed taste test!
Read on to find out what we’ve got and learn more about one of America’s most popular whiskey brands.
- About Jack Daniel’s
- What Does Jack Daniel’s Taste Like?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping It Up
About Jack Daniel’s
Jack Daniel’s was created by Jasper Daniel Newton back in the 1850s, whose nickname was Jack! He began distilling whisky when he was 14 years old, selling whisky in his local neighborhood. He built his own distillery and from there, and it grew in popularity from there.
Fun fact: As you can see from the bottle, Jack Daniel's has a No. 7. The reason why remains a mystery, and no one really knows what the number is about!
What Does Jack Daniel’s Taste Like?
It isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact flavor of Jack Daniel’s as the company offers different kinds of whiskies! Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect in each bottle:
1. Old No. 7
Old No. 7 is the original and standard Jack Daniel’s whisky, which is made of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye. It’s filtered through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal, giving it a smooth taste. Afterward, it’s aged in new charred oak barrels for at least four years.
This liqueur will have a sweet and oaky flavor, along with various flavors like corn sour, caramel, mint, vanilla, charcoal, honey, cinnamon, maple, nuts, and pepper. There are more sweet flavors here, with more of the banana flavor the brand is known for.
2. Tennessee Rye
Tennessee Rye is 70% rye, 12% malted barley, and 18% corn. The production process is similar to the Old No. 7.
Tennessee Rye is a smooth whiskey with many sweet flavors thanks to the barrel. It also has a distinctive banana flavor, though with the added spicy rye flavors from the higher presence of rye.
3. Tennessee Honey
This isn’t really supposed to be considered a whiskey given its lower ABV of 35%, but it’s a blend of Jack Daniel’s honey liqueur and Old No. 7.
As you can expect, this liqueur would have honey, cinnamon, oak, spices, vanilla, maple syrup, bitter, and barrel char when you taste it. It may be too sweet for some, but beginners or those with a sweet tooth will appreciate it.
4. Tennessee Fire
This is similar to the Tennessee Honey, though it’s mixed with Jack Daniel’s cinnamon liqueur this time. As the name suggests, you’ll get some spiciness and cinnamon heat. You’ll also enjoy the nutmeg and sweetness as you sip the smooth drink.
Pro-tip: Mix the Tennessee Fire and Tennessee Fire for an enhanced sweet and spice blend.
5. Tennessee Apple
Again, this isn’t considered a whiskey but combined with Jack Daniel’s apple liqueur. Expect flavors like green apple, caramel, cinnamon, and honey, like an apple pie! Some people say this doesn’t taste too sweet since apple is the dominant flavor.
6. Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack goes through the charcoal filtration process twice – Once before being placed into barrels for maturation, and another after maturation and before bottling. That is done to remove impurities and mellow the whiskey, making it far smoother than the other whiskies available.
When sipping this whisky, expect flavors like banana, caramel, corn, oak, char, vanilla, maple, pepper spices, and fruits. The familiar flavors from Jack Daniel’s profile are more muted, so the flavors have gone down because of the added filtration step.
7. Sinatra Select
This whiskey was made to pay tribute to Frank Sinatra, who was connected with the brand. The Sinatra Select is aged in Sinatra Barrels with deep grooves carved into the staves, allowing the whiskey to have more oak exposure.
Because of that, the Sinatra Select has even more flavor! There are flavors like oak, vanilla, caramel, banana, orange, cinnamon, butterscotch, oak spice, honey, clove, cream, nuts, and even leather and tobacco!
Expect bolder and more intense flavors with this whisky, though it comes at a costly price tag!
8. Single Barrel Select
This is basically the Old No. 7, but this time coming from a single barrel and having a higher ABV of 45-47%. This whiskey matures from barrels in the uppermost part of the warehouse, so the increased temperature changes cause the color to deepen and flavors to intensify.
Flavors include oak, spices, corn, vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, banana, pepper, and brown sugar. It’s an upgrade from the Old No. 7 as it’s sweet, smooth, and with more flavors. Because of the higher ABV, you’ll want to dilute it a bit with water or ice to make it taste sweeter.
9. Single Barrel Rye
This is essentially the Tennessee Rye but with a higher ABV and coming from a single barrel. Like the Single Barrel Select, the barrels it matures in are located in the uppermost area of the warehouse for a bolder rye flavor. Expect flavors like banana, caramel, rye spice, oak, vanilla, spices, fruit, and honey.
It’s an upgrade from the Tennessee Rye as it has sweet and spicy flavors, though it isn’t as complex compared to different rye whiskies.
10. Single Barrel Barrel Proof
If you’re looking for something way stronger, then this is it. It’s single barrel and barrel proof, so it’s bottled right from the bottle at full proof without being diluted.
Fun fact: This liqueur has an ABV of up to 70%! Given the cask strength, it’s best to add water or mix in cocktails. It’s worth trying on its own over ice to really get the intense flavors.
As such, expect extremely bold flavors, though still well-balanced with some sweetness there. You’ll taste flavors like banana, cinnamon, oak, spices, cloves, pepper, menthol, maple syrup, licorice, wood, smoke, brown sugar, and other fruits.
In general, Jack Danie’s would have soft caramel and vanilla aromas with a hint of woodiness. There is a smoky sweetness with a strong note of corn syrup when sipping it, though it depends on the type of Jack Daniel’s you purchase. A warm and slightly peppery finish follows that flavor.
Pro-tip: Jack Daniel's isn't a sipping whisky for everyone! It's strong and can burn because of its peppery notes. That's why we recommend adding it to cocktails or drinking it with a mixer, like Coca-Cola. If you don’t want to change its flavor, you can use soda water instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve got more! Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about this famous alcoholic beverage:
1. How do you drink Jack Daniel’s?
While it’s possible to enjoy Jack Daniel’s neat or on the rocks, it’s also better enjoyed in cocktails! Here are a few cocktails Jack Daniel’s is popularly added to:
- Jack Knife
- Lynchburg Lemonade
- Love Punch
- Jack and Coke
- Apple Cider Whisky Cocktail
- Red Zone
2. Is Jack Daniel’s unhealthy?
Jack Daniel’s does not contain any carbs, protein, or fat, though one ounce contains 65 calories because of the alcohol content. Having too much of it can lead to consuming too many calories and alcohol, adversely affecting your health. Make sure to drink in moderation to avoid health issues and nasty hangovers.
3. Is Jack Daniel’s considered a bourbon whiskey?
No, Jack Daniel’s isn’t a bourbon but a Tennessee whisky. It’s filtered through charcoal using the Lincoln County Process. It doesn’t pass the bourbon standards but is similar to bourbon with the added step of charcoal filtration.
Fun fact: The charcoal filtering step is called “mellowing,” which is to remove all impurities to give the whisky ta smooth and pleasant flavor.
Wrapping It Up
Did our article answer your question, “what does Jack Daniel’s taste like?” Now that you know the answer, this is your sign to taste-test the different bottles of this Tennessee whisky… in moderation, of course!