When it comes to American whiskey and bourbon, there are two schools of thought: Jack Daniel’s vs Buffalo Trace.
While both of these distilleries make great American liqueur, each has its own particular appeal that has made it gain a strong following among bourbon connoisseurs and whiskey enthusiasts.
Both Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace have been producing high-quality bourbon and whiskey for years, but which one reigns supreme? To find out, let’s put the two of them up against each other in a head-to-head battle!
Jack Daniel’s Vs Buffalo Trace – History
Jack Daniel’s Distillery opened in 1866 and was the first legal distillery in the U.S. It was started by Jasper Newton Daniel, who was born around 1846 (the exact date remains unknown). Daniel, who gave it its name, is the one who came up with the Old No. 7 taste that everyone loves.
Around 1850, Daniel, who had lost both of his parents, found his way to the property of Dan Call, a Lynchburg preacher, grocer, and distiller who is said to have taught Daniel how to make whiskey.
The land where the distillery is now was bought by Jack Daniel in 1884. From 1910 to 1947, the company ran into a lot of trouble because there were laws against legal distillation, but those laws were eventually changed.
Buffalo Trace is a family-owned distillery that was founded in 1885, whilst under a number of names including George T. Stagg, Ancient Age, and Albert B. Blanton, slowly shifting to its most recent and permanent brand identity.
These are the names of the men who invested their lives and money to create one of the oldest distilleries in the world. The spirit’s label,
Buffalo, symbolizes the independence of early Americans who fought for the exclusive brand through Prohibition, fires, and floods.
How is Jack Daniel’s Made?
One of the best-selling whiskeys in the world, Jack Daniel’s is made in Lynchburg, a small town 70 miles south of Nashville.
The company uses the same traditional methods that are combined with the latest technology to make the process more efficient. According to the brand, the primary ingredients that make the mash are 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye.
The main secret to an incredible Jack Daniels whiskey is the limestone-infused water that is taken from the nearby springs. The combination of mash and water is cooked slowly using natural enzymes. The sour mash is later combined with yeast and fermented in one of the 64 fermentation tanks.
The beer is distilled in column stills and then goes through the meticulous process of charcoal mellowing that turns this bourbon into a classic Tennessee Whiskey.
The result is further matured in white oak barrels, bottled, and ready to be served across the globe.
How is Buffalo Trace Made?
Buffalo Trace starts off with somewhat similar ingredients as Jack Daniels, although the percentage is not released officially.
The corn, rye, and malted barley are cooked separately at high temperatures. The grains are cooked in six massive grain silos that go around the clock.
The spirit is then fermented, double distilled, and goes off for aging in charred American oak barrels. The wood of these barrels is seasoned six months prior to aging, resulting in a whiskey that has an enhanced smooth flavor.
Jack Daniel’s Vs Buffalo Trace – Similarities
Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace Distillery have a lot in common. Both are steeped in the rich history of whiskey-making and have survived through the struggling time of Prohibition.
Both brands have been synonymous with the distinct southern lifestyle and have become household names in the states. They share somewhat similar production processes which result in bourbon whiskeys that dominate the world.
Jack Daniel’s Vs. Buffalo Trace – Major Differences
If you know anything about bourbon or whiskey, then you’ve probably heard of Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace.
In fact, there are plenty of people who mistake the two liquors as being one and the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
While they may both be well-known whiskeys on the market today, each has its own distinct features that set it apart from the other. Let’s find them out!
Taste and Aroma
There is nothing difficult or complicated about the Buffalo Trace bourbon; it is just a sweet whiskey with a wonderful creamy taste, with vanilla, oak, and spice coming through, and it has a slight sting to it.
The bottle has a cinnamony nose with hints of earthiness and spice. This earthiness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness with hints of fruits.
The aftertaste is roasted and sweet, the sense of flavor doesn’t last on the tongue for very long, but it leaves a reviving feeling in the mouth along with a pleasant and warm taste. The flavors are not too complex, but they have just the right amount of intensity, depth, and character that make it an enjoyable drink.
On the other hand, Jack Daniels has a fruity sweet taste with hints of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. If you enjoy sweet whiskeys, then Jack Daniels is definitely your cup of tea.
The biggest difference between Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace is that the former is not bourbon, but rather a Tennessee whiskey. This is because Jack Daniel’s is made from 80% corn while most bourbons are made with 90%-100% corn.
Jack Daniel’s has also adapted the old barrel aging which gives the whiskey its iconic smokey flavor. The aroma is sweet with elements of oak, toffee, and dark chocolate.
The smell is strong but not overpowering with an incredibly satisfying woody scent.
Jack Daniel’s is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee while Buffalo Trace is made in Frankfort, Kentucky. Both whiskeys are quite popular, but they differ in terms of availability and production quantity.
Buffalo Trace is not as common as Jack Daniels, so you can find more bottles at a good price when buying Jack Daniels than when buying Buffalo Trace.
However, if you are looking for a bottle with higher quality and better taste, then Buffalo Trace may be your best choice. Here is a price comparison of the most basic and popular flavors made by both brands:
|Buffalo Trace Bourbon||750ml||90||$17.99 – $24.99|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee||750ml||80||$34.99 – $38.99|
Both Jack Daniel’s vs Buffalo Trace are exceptional spirit brands that have set the bar of liqueurs too high with their exceptional whiskeys and consistent brand identity.
While they have amassed a huge following for their traditional flavors, there are countless variations that are just as exclusive and popular. Here are a few of those well-known flavor variations of both brands!
- Old No. 7 – This original blend was made by the Maestro Jack himself and has sweetness mixed well with slight hints of oak and charred nuts.
- Tennessee Apple – This famous variation adds a refreshing fruity twist to the classic whiskey. The apple cider liquor retains the originality of Jack Daniels whiskey and has a smooth texture.
- Gentleman Jack – This is a top-shelf premium whiskey that is double charcoal mellowed to give the spirit a unique character and a much more refined taste. It has a taste of caramel, oak, and banana and leaves an earthy and roasted spice to feel in the mouth.
- Single Barrel – This exclusive variation is a signature of the brand and is aged for up to 8 years, resulting in a whiskey that is bold, incredibly smooth, and rich in flavor. The slight hints of chocolate and brown sugar are the cherry on top.
- Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon – This is a classic Kentucky bourbon that is aged for up to 8 years and has a soft mouthfeel and a pleasant sweetness, with gentle notes of caramel and oak.
- Eagle Rare – This perfectly crafted bourbon whiskey is aged for at least 10 years and offers a distinctive taste to enthusiasts. The taste is dry and delicate and has a complex nose with aromas of orange peel, honey, and oak.
- Benchmark – This affordable brand offers a fantastic tasting whiskey at a very low cost. The whiskey has a robust palate with hints of oak and dried cherries, accompanied by a smooth finish.
Uses in Cocktails/Mixed Drinks
The best way to drink Jack Daniels whiskey and Buffalo Trace bourbon is from a glass, with ice. If you have a good whiskey, and you want to take advantage of it, then there’s no better way than to drink it neat.
Drinking it straight up offers all the flavors in the whiskey without any interference from other additives that could ruin its flavor and make it less enjoyable. You can try to mix with a little bit of water if you’re trying both brands for the first time.
The whiskey drinker is a hard-to-please bunch. They love their bourbon, their scotch, their Irish whiskey. And when they want something different, they go for rye whiskey or tequila.
But what about mixing the two? Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace have been used as key components in countless popular cocktails and drinks including the Revolver, Bourbon Old Fashioned, Lynchburg Lemonade, and Jack Knife.
Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniel’s – Which is Better?
The question of which whiskey is better, Buffalo Trace or Jack Daniel’s, is a tough one. Both are excellent choices for premium whiskey around the world. The biggest difference between the two products comes down to taste.
Both whiskies have strong flavor profiles that are reminiscent of sweet honey and smokey oak barrels. However, there are some subtle differences in flavor between the two whiskeys that make them very different from one another.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option that is better used in mixed drinks then Jack Daniels is your best option and if you want something delicate yet expensive that is perfect on its own, then I would recommend you, Buffalo Trace!
What to explore more comparable whiskey? Check out our articles that show how Jack Daniel’s stack up against Crown Royal and Jameson.