Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack are two very different whiskeys, despite the fact that they both come from the same distillery in Tennessee.
As such, each has its own set of tastes and smells that appeal to customers, and their loyal customer base tends to be fiercely loyal to one or the other. But what makes them different?
Are you interested in finding out what makes Jack Daniels turn into a gentleman?
Read on to learn more about the distinctions between these two variations of Tennessee whiskey so you can decide between Jack Daniel’s vs Gentleman Jack to decide which one is right for you!
Jack Daniel’s vs Gentleman Jack – A Brief History
Jack Daniel’s Distillery was the first licensed distillery in the United States when it opened its doors in 1866. Jasper Newton Daniel, who was born around 1846, was the one who initiated it and gave the distillery its iconic name.
After the death of both of his parents around the year 1850, Daniel made his way to the land of Dan Call, a Lynchburg pastor, grocer, and distiller who is claimed to have instructed Daniel in the art of whiskey production. Jack Daniel made the purchase of the site on which the distillery presently stands in the year 1884.
In 1988, many years later after Jack’s death, the brand introduced Gentleman Jack to appeal to customers with a premium liqueur and has seen many modifications since then.
Gentleman Jack is a sophisticated drink that pays tribute to the legendary Gentleman Jack and his lineage. The product is intended for those who love Jack Daniel’s in any form but particularly for those who prefer a smooth and sweet whiskey.
How are both Tennessee Whiskeys similar?
Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack are both American whiskeys that have a strong presence at the bar. While they have stark differences that set them apart from each other, they also have many similarities.
This is due to the fact that they fall under the same umbrella as Jack Daniel’s and have its fair share of admirers and enthusiasts around the world.
Both Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack have the same alcohol content of 40% owing to the almost similar production process. Both whiskeys follow production methods that have been around for more than a century and were introduced by Jack himself.
The mash bill consists of 80% corn, 8% rye, and 12% malted barley and is responsible for the signature taste and color of the whiskeys.
Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack have a reasonable percentage of corn (51%) and go through the aging process in traditional oak barrels. This has led these liquors to earn the title of being authentic Tennessee whiskeys.
Jack Daniel’s Vs Gentleman Jack – What Sets Them Apart?
Let’s take a look at some of the most important differences that most whiskey enthusiasts overlook when comparing these premium Tennessee whiskeys!
The production process of both whiskeys starts from the same ingredients in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The mash bill is combined with spring water and enzymes and is cooked slowly.
The sour mash is further combined with yeast and fermented. After going through distillation, the beer then goes on for charcoal mellowing (the Lincoln County Process). Here both whiskeys part ways because Jack Daniel’s is mellowed once for about 3-4 days.
However, Gentleman Jack goes through another filtration and mellowing in charcoal taken from sugar maple trees, giving the whiskey its smooth and ultra-refined texture. This process is induced in the whiskey before and after aging and maturation in charred oak barrels.
Gentleman Jack is also picked in better barrels from premium spots in the barrel house that are aged slightly more. The result is cleaner, smoother, and less raw bourbon.
When it comes to taste, both Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack are smooth with a slightly sweet finish. The main difference is that Gentleman Jack has a more complex flavor profile due to its double charcoal filtering process.
The flavor profile of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 whiskey is predominantly sweet, with notes of honey and caramel. The finish is long and smooth, with a subtle hint of smokiness that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
The whiskey has a subtle nose with hints of spice, nuts, honey, and charred wood due to the oak barrel’s aging. It has a malt and honey finish and leaves a woody and peppery aftertaste in the mouth.
Gentleman Jack is a smooth, easy-to-drink whiskey. It has a light amber color with a nose of honey, oak, and nuts. On the palate, it has a much more gentle caramel sweetness with hints of pepper, banana, and wood.
The finish is long and smooth with a hint of smoke. Chewing makes the sweetness from honey and vanilla come through, accompanied by nuts, pepper, and corn.
A bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey costs around $25- $29 per 750 ml bottle, while a bottle of Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey costs around $40- $45 per 750 ml bottle.
Both are made with the same recipe of corn, rye, and barley. The difference is that Gentleman Jack is charcoal mellowed twice, while Jack Daniel’s is only charcoal mellowed once.
This extra step results in a smoother taste and a hefty price tag for Gentleman Jack.
Color and Design
The bottle design of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is a bold, colorful, and simple design that is instantly recognizable.
The bottle is made out of glass with a traditional black label that gives the bottle a vintage feel. The whiskey itself has a dark copper amber color and is much deeper as compared to its lighter counterpart, Gentleman Jack.
Gentleman Jack’s bottle has been through multiple modifications over the years, halting in 2007 with a sophisticated slim design that increased the value of the premium whiskey.
The new and refined bottle is a contemporary and minimal masterpiece in a long lineage of traditional designs. Gentleman Jack also has a comparatively lighter amber hue due to its double mellowing.
What Is The Best Way To Drink Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack?
The best way to drink both whiskeys is neat, on the rocks, and with a lemon twist. But when you want to give your drink some extra kick, mixing it with something like Cynar or Fernet Branca is often the best way to go.
The second, more adventurous approach is using them as an ingredient. In other words, adding them to a cocktail and experimenting with this sweet and smooth whiskey.
The Lynchburg Lemonade, Jack Knife, the Red Zone, Old Fashioned, and Manhattan are a few of the most iconic drinks made with Jack Daniel’s vs Gentleman Jack.
Which Is Better For Sipping, Jack Daniel’s Or Gentleman Jack?
Gentleman Jack is a much better choice for sipping. It is a smooth, easy-to-drink whiskey that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in a classic cocktail.
If you’re new to drinking whiskey, start by trying it neat. Pour a small amount into a glass and take a sip. Don’t be afraid to add a little water to your glass if the flavor is too strong for you.
Once you’ve acquired a taste for neat whiskey, try it on the rocks. This means adding ice to your glass. The ice will help mellow out the flavor of the whiskey!
Is Gentleman Jack stronger than Jack Daniel’s?
Both Jack Daniel’s and Gentleman Jack are produced and bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV) but have slight differences in their palate. Gentleman Jack is a much more refined and calmer variation of its cousin, Jack Daniel’s.
Jack Daniel’s Vs Gentleman Jack – Which is better?
This is an interesting question and one that most likely depends on the individual. There are plenty of people who swear by Jack Daniel’s, while others are convinced that Gentleman Jack is the only way to go.
There may not be a right answer here (some may say there is never a right or wrong when it comes to alcohol), but there are a few points worth mentioning.
For instance, some would argue that Gentleman Jack isn’t all that gentlemanly (or ladylike). Although made by the same distillery, it’s lighter in taste than its older brother and thus easier for some to consume.
Of course, if you want something a bit more classic and high-end, then Jack Daniels might be the more appealing option for you.
While Gentleman Jack may be a more superior and well-refined version of Jack Daniel; it misses out on something very important, i.e., excitement. All the modifications and double mellowing strip the whiskey of its traditional rugged charm and makes it flat and watery. The prices certainly don’t help in this matter.
If you are someone who fancies something expensive and with a smoother finish to it then gentleman jack is a drink that suits your bravado. However, if your whiskey consumption revolves around a classic bold Tennessee whiskey taste and not luxury then Jack Daniel’s Whiskey might fancy you a bit more than gentleman jack.
At the end of the day, each person has their own preference – one sip of either and you’ll know which one you prefer better!