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Jack Daniel’s vs Bulleit Rye

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Jack Daniel’s vs Bulleit is a million-dollar question everybody wants an answer for! These are two of the most famous American brands of whiskey that successfully initiated the American whiskey boom in the 1960s. However, it is also true that they’ve been battling each other ever since.

Some people think that Bulleit is the best brand of whiskey while others think that Jack Daniel’s is miles ahead of all other whiskey brands. Both of them have their own history, but they do have a lot of similarities as well.

This article is a comprehensive guide on Jack Daniel’s vs Bulleit. We will be discussing their origins, similarities, differences, and a lot more.

So, let’s dig further and find out which of the two is the best.

The History of Jack Daniels

jack daniels tennesse sour mask whiskey

Tennessee residents immediately think of Jack Daniel when they hear someone say “whiskey.”

This is due to the association between Southern tradition and Jack Daniel’s famous whiskey flavoring. The background of how Jack Daniel became the state liquor of Tennessee is as inspiring as it is unique.

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey was established in 1866, and its liquor was the first to receive a license in the country. Its namesake, Jasper Newton Daniel, is the brains behind the well-known Old No#7 flavoring.

In 1904, St. Louis World’s Fair awarded the legendary Jack Daniel’s Whiskey a gold medal. The original portions of corn, rye, and barley are still included in his traditional recipe, which hasn’t been modified since it was introduced.

The land on which the factory is now situated was bought by Jack Daniel back in 1884. Since he did not marry or have children, he transferred the brewery to Lemuel “Lew” Motlow, his nephew, after personally operating it until 1907.

Motlow ran the business for 40 years after Daniel. After a government restriction was passed in Tennessee in 1910, the legal extraction of Jack Daniel’s became prohibited. The firm later relocated manufacturing to St. Louis, Missouri, but was unable to match Tennessee’s level of whiskey purity.

Both Missouri and Alabama had similar prohibitions in place, but after a number of years and several modifications to the law, the brewery was eventually allowed to operate.

Tennessee currently permits the distillation of whiskey, although the winery is situated in an arid county. This means that even though the product can be legally produced here, it cannot be marketed lawfully.

But Jack Daniel’s is allowed to market one special item, therefore, there is a catch. Between 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, the bottle shop offers Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, and Old No. 7.

The factory offers free tours every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year. Since alcohol cannot be sold in the dry land, visitors are given a little cup of lemonade after each tour.

The History of Bulleit Rye

bulleit rye bourbon botle
Image: Mike McCune

Tom Bulleit established the Bulleit Rye brand and hired the Ancient Age distillery to produce the product. The bourbon was produced and barrelled in Tom’s name. The 90-proof and 100-proof “Thoroughbred” Bulleit bourbon were among the first bottles made available in 1995.

The word “Bulleit” is printed on an orange label that can be found in any bar across the nation. The bottle is marked with the words “Frontier Whiskey” . Over the past 20 years, Bulleit (pronounced “Bullet”) has served as a starting bourbon for new drinkers. In contrast to the typical “shelf” bourbons, Bulleit’s High-Rye Mash Bill offers a unique depth of flavor.

The aroma is like bananas fostered and toasted marshmallows. There are traces of red fruit and cedar. It is undoubtedly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. It tastes like peppery maple candy. Orange peel and vanilla are present in the palate’s midsection.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma might have you believe. The flavor also has a charred or mineral undertone. There is a hint of spice and not a lot of oak in the finish. With notes of oak and bananas foster, it lingers nicely.

All things aside, this pour is superb. It’s distinct from the Bulleit High-Rye bourbon that we’ve grown to recognize.

Jack Daniel’s Vs Bulleit – What are the similarities?

Jack Daniels and Bulleit are both parts of the whiskey family, and they’re both made from a single distillation process.

Both Jack Daniel’s and Bulleit are made with a blend of corn, rye, and barley, which are then fermented and distilled in the same way. However, there are some key differences between these two whiskey brands: Jack Daniel’s uses honey as a sweetener in their whiskey while Bulleit uses sugar syrup.

Another similarity between the two companies is that both Jack Daniels and Bulleit are known for their boldness in product design and marketing.

Both companies have strong marketing strategies that focus on their products’ unique characteristics.

What are the main differences?

The differences between Jack Daniel’s and Bulleit are highlighted next.


A mixture of corn husks, wheat, barley, plus yeast is used to create Jack Daniel’s whiskey. This creates a smooth, mellow flavor that is easy on your taste buds. You can find this whiskey at most liquor stores or bars across the United States of America.

Bulleit is made from a mash of corn, wheat, rye, and barley (not just any kind of barley though —it must be malted barley!). This creates an earthier flavor than Jack Daniels because it contains more bittering agents such as hops and peat moss.

It has an intensity level more than Jack Daniels, which means it will burn slower on your tongue so you can enjoy its full flavor before it starts tasting like alcohol.


man in shirt holding whiskey glass

The key difference between Jack Daniel’s and Bulleit Rye is that the latter has been spiced with various ingredients to give it a distinct flavor.

The rye in it comes from Indiana, but that doesn’t mean it won’t taste like the traditional whiskey. What makes it different is that it has been spiced with cinnamon, allspice, and orange peel.

The other main difference between the two brands is the age of the product. While Jack Daniels is aged for at least four to seven years in barrels, Bulleit Rye is aged for five to seven years in the barrels.


The best way to tell the difference between Jack Daniel’s and Bulleit is by looking at their labels. Jack Daniel is named after Jack Daniel, who founded the company in 1866.

The label features a black-and-red checkerboard pattern with the initials JD on it—a symbol that has become synonymous with the brand.

Bulleit Bourbon, on the other hand, comes in an old-style, iconic frontier-inspired bottle – a throwback to Tom’s great grandfather.

The crooked label has a unique angle with a big font so that you can see the name clearly from across the bar.

Alcohol Percentage

glass with whiskey on table

Jack Daniel’s Single Malt Whiskey has an alcohol content of 45% by volume. Bulleit Bourbon is slightly lower, at 40%.

These numbers are based on the product’s proof, which is a measure of how much alcohol a liquid contains by volume. The higher the proof, the more alcohol there is in a product.


Bulleit is more expensive compared to Jack Daniel’s. The price, in USD, of Jack Daniels and Bulliet is $27 and $33, respectively.

Jack Daniel’s vs Bulleit: Which one of them is better and why?

two whiskey glass in bar

In terms of quality, both Bulleit and Jack Daniels are great whiskeys, but we would go with Bulleit.

The main reason for this is that both of them are made from corn. However, the rye in Bulleit comes from the famous Thomas Jefferson seed, which makes it even more special.

We would recommend Bulleit to those who like rye-flavored whiskeys and those who don’t care about the brand because it tastes great no matter what they call it. Bulleit tastes great on the rocks or in select cocktails, like the Manhattan, that call for a peppery touch.

On the other hand, we would recommend Jack Daniels to those who are new to whiskey because it gives a great introduction to the world of distilled spirits.

Given its sweetness and suitability as a whiskey to blend with soda, Jack Daniel’s is a preferable choice for beginners.

Final Verdict

In the battle of Bulleit vs Jack Daniel’s, the real winners are consumers. Both provide a good bang for your buck as high-quality spirits with plenty of taste. But which one takes the cake? We would have to say Bulleit on this one!

Consider its sweeter flavor and overall drinkability while you’re kicking back with a glass of bourbon. The flavor tends to linger longer on the tongue and even after it is gone, you still feel like you had something nice.

That’s not to say that Jack isn’t tasty, because it is, very so. It just doesn’t stand up well in comparison to Bulleit.

If you’re looking for a spirit that has more of an enjoyable taste and isn’t as strong and hard-hitting, then Bulleit is a solid choice for your next night with friends or a picnic under the moonlight.

We think that taste is a rather subjective thing in this case, and it will come down to your personal preferences. Enjoy!

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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