Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker…it’s a heck of a tough choice as both brands occupy the most elite positions in the world of whiskey.
Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker are symbols of premium whiskey but from two different continents. Jack Daniel’s is the most famous American whiskey, and Johnnie Walker occupies the rank of the highest-selling Scotch whisky worldwide.
Hence since their inception, the battle for global dominance in the whiskey market has remained centered between these two brands. Interestingly, both brands’ names are derivatives of the names of their founders. Jasper Newton Daniel gave rise to Jack Daniels and John Walker to Johnnie Walker.
To learn more, I’ve written a detailed comparison between both of these popular whiskey brands.
Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker – History
Although the founders of both brands, Johnnie Walker and Jack Daniel, were born in distinctly separate areas, they both had a flair for creativity.
They were both born in the 1800s and became famous in history for charting distinctive pathways into the tradition of whiskey-making.
Old N.o 7 is the most popular and highest-selling Whiskey from the Jack Daniels brand. Its iconic black & white branding is instantly recognized and can be found in movies and TV series around the world.
Jasper Newton Daniel was from Lynchburg, Tennessee. He was born in 1849 and acquired great skill in the art of distilling from a talented worker called Nearest Green, who worked in a neighbor’s distillery.
After the Civil War, Jack Daniel employed Nearest to operate the stills of the distillery he established in 1875. Jointly, they introduced a unique style of whiskey and started marketing it throughout Reconstruction Tennessee.
Gradually the brand became very popular and amassed a large fan following. Hence the Brown-Forman company took ownership of the brand in 1956 and started pedaling it into live music venues to give it further clout.
Soon the people started associating the unusual square bottles of Jack Daniel’s having a black label embellished with a white font with party and luxury. Thus Jack Daniels quickly became the only American whiskey with the highest sales in local and global markets.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is my personal favorite whiskey (and that of Liev Schreiber in the TV series Ray Donovan!). The brand offers iconic "color" variations with the "Blue Lebel" variety selling for over $300 USD!
John Walker was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland. After his father died in 1819, his family sold the farm and bought a grocery shop and storehouse on High Street. Walker supervised the supply of drinks like brandy, rum, gin, and Scotch whisky at the shop.
This was a favorable time to be involved in the whiskey business because the distilled spirits industry was constantly evolving, and people anxiously waited for a new beverage every day.
John Walker was at the forefront in marketing the latest affordable grain whiskies that began flooding through the marketplace.
After his death, his son perfected the style of whiskey into a patent blended scotch whisky and focused all his energy on getting international recognition for the brand.
Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker – Ingredients
The mash bill is a term for the list of grain ingredients that experts use during fermentation to produce the liquid that forms the basis for the distillate.
They eventually pour the distillate into wooden barrels resulting in whiskey. The mash bill for both brands is slightly different.
The grains needed for creating Tennessee whiskey are the same as those for making bourbon. The mash bill should include at least 51% corn. Jack Daniel’s has a grain bill consisting of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8 percent rye. Experts follow a specific procedure while making Jack Daniels resulting in a sour mash whiskey.
Johnnie Walker Black Label is a blended variety of scotch. It is a unique integration of single malt whiskies containing 100% malted barley and grain whiskies comprising wheat or corn.
A small volume of malted barley is also present in the mix to enable the flavors to deepen.
Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker – Making
The making of Jack Daniel’s is at the distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, which is the most expansive distillation facility in North America.
The distillery features six huge column stills to make whiskey in large quantities. Of these, two are 72-inch column stills, and four are 54-inch columns.
During the production process, filtration occurs through maple charcoal in large wooden vats. Then the whiskey pours into new, charred oak barrels to undergo aging. This process develops an exceptional flavor in the liquor that consumers love.
Moreover, while preparing the mash, experts mix in some of the wet solids from an older batch to ensure that fermentation occurs more effectively. This is a common technique in the production of American whiskey, resulting in Sour Mash whiskey.
Johnnie Walker is a blended variety of Scotch whiskey. The primary difference between Jack Daniel’s and Johnnie Walker is that Johnnie Walker is a product of Scotland and arises from a combination of grain whiskey and malt whiskey, which experts produce separately at several distilleries. On the contrary, single malts stem from a single facility.
The grain whiskey that forms one of the main components of Johnnie Walker is manufactured mainly at the Cameron Bridge distillery. This is the most extensive distillery making grain whiskey in Europe. However, malted whiskey comes from the array of 28 single malt distilleries under Diageo’s ownership, such as Oban, Mortlach, Glen Spey, and Talisker.
The ratio of mixing malted and grain whiskey varies from one variant of Johnnie Walker to another resulting in a delectable selection of flavors. For example, Johnnie Walker Black Label has a blend containing a loftier percentage of single malt whiskies in contrast to Johnnie Walker Red Label.
Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker – Varieties
A common aspect of both brands is that they offer a wide range of products varying in terms of flavor and potency so that there is something suitable for all their customers, those new at drinking and the seasoned drinkers.
Varieties of Jack Daniel’s include the following;
- Old No.7
- Single Barrel
- Tennessee Rye
- Tennessee Apple
- Tennessee Fire
- Tennessee Honey
- Gentleman Jack
Johnnie Walker also offers a selection of several blends. You can recognize them by the Label color:
- Red Label
- Black Label
- Green Label
- Blue Label
- Gold Label
- Johnnie Walker Swing
Jack Daniel’s vs Johnnie Walker – Description
There are different varieties of both brands that vary in terms of flavor. To better understand the exact differences in the profile of both brands, a description of specific variants is given below.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Since it is a whiskey flavored with raw organic honey, it has a light golden appearance.
The most dominant fragrance is the sweetness of honey. Underneath the scent of honey, you can detect traces of oak, light grain, oak, and ethanol towards the end.
The first sip is proof of the statement that Jack Daniels uses honey to make this liquor because it tastes exactly like honey. The whiskey does not have a lot of depth to its flavor, but it has a slight alcoholic kick.
Hence it is an ideal choice for those who find the idea of whiskey enticing but do not like the bittersweet taste of the actual drink.
It has an aftertaste similar to one that lingers after consuming a spoonful of honey with a bit of whiskey. The flavor that persists is cloyingly sweet for some people, with a subtle suggestion of oak and caramel.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
This drink has a unique appearance. A breathtaking coppery orange greets you when you pour the liquid into a glass. Diageo often uses coloring agents to add beauty to each of its products.
On the first inhalation, you can detect light smoke. As the smell lingers, you can also notice the scent of apricots, malted grain, and ripe peaches. Underneath this playful mix of fragrances is a whiff of dry oak.
A single sip of this whiskey has a diverse variety of flavors that will leave you breathless. In the start, you can detect sweetness from caramel, vanilla, and honey.
Soon you feel the gentle taste of dry smoke roll off your tongue with wood and the tang of citrus fruits dominating the back of the mouth.
Many people claim that the smoky flavor deepens as liquid moves toward the throat but does not become overwhelming.
An enticing mix of flavors like oak, lemons, and malt remains on the tongue, making you crave more.
Jack Daniel’s vs. Johnnie Walker – Prices
The cheapest scotch whiskies cost around $20.00 for a 750 ml bottle. The prices of both brands vary depending on what variant you select.
Some are considerably cheaper and appropriate for those on a budget, while some varieties cost higher.
|Gentleman Jack||VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
|Jack Daniel's Old No. 7||CHECK CURRENT PRICE →VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
|Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey||CHECK CURRENT PRICE →VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
|Johnnie Walker Double Black Label||VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
|Johnnie Walker Blue Label||CHECK CURRENT PRICE →VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
|Johnnie Walker Black Label||VIEW ON DRIZLY →|
The two of the most popular whiskey brands, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker, have always been in cutthroat competition.
There are certainly differences and similarities between the two although, questions like which is better and which to buy will have varying answers depending on your taste and liking.