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Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniels: What’s the Difference? (2023)

Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Jack Daniel’s is one of the best-selling American whiskeys in the world, while Buffalo Trace can be hard to find because of its high demand and good price point. 

Both distilled spirits have their appeal among whiskey enthusiasts, but which brand reigns supreme? 

Here’s a detailed comparison between Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniel’s. Keep scrolling. 

Buffalo Trace & Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Compared 

Bottles of Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniels

Buffalo Trace is a Kentucky straight bourbon, while Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey.

Buffalo Trace has higher alcohol content and is more expensive than Jack Daniel’s.

Both whiskeys share fair similarities, like their base ingredients and production process, but Jack Daniel’s has to undergo an additional process called Lincoln County. 

They both have geographic restrictions (like Scotch whisky) since BT should be made in the USA, and JD should be made in Tennessee only. 

Key Differences 

Origin & History

Buffalo Trace was initially released in 1999 as the flagship spirit of their distillery.

The bourbon whiskey came from the distillery with a rich history that started way back in 1775.     

On the other hand, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 was released in 1866 by Jack Daniel, and until now, it is well-loved by people with a soft spot for drinking whiskey. 

Production & Maturation 

Distillery Equipment

Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s undergo similar production processes and maturation.

However, Jack Daniel’s undergoes another step of mellowing the whiskey using a charcoal filter. 

Buffalo Trace uses their fermented low-rye proprietary mash bill, then undergoes twice distillation before aging in newly charred oak barrels for a developed flavor profile. 

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey starts with the mash bill and sour mash.

It is fermented, distilled at 140 proof, and then undergoes charcoal mellowing for three to five years for a better taste. 

Traditional Bourbon vs Tennessee Whiskey 

Buffalo Trace is a traditional bourbon whiskey, and bourbon whiskeys should contain at least 51% corn on their mash bill. 

While the mash bill ratio is undisclosed, Buffalo Trace uses less than 10% rye as the secondary grain [1], and the remaining grains are malted barley. 

“This is Jack Daniel’s, and it’s the nectar of the Gods.”

– Frank Sinatra, American Singer 

On the other hand, Jack Daniel’s uses 80% corn, 8% rye, and 12% malted barley as their mash bill ratio.

Filtration Process

Bottles of Jack Daniel's on a cabinet

Jack Daniel’s undergoes Lincoln County Process or sugar maple charcoal filtration for an incredibly smooth texture and unique flavor profile.

The charcoal filtration process of the spirit differentiates bourbon from Tennessee whiskey [2]. 

Tasting Notes

Buffalo Trace

Palate: Sweet with rich notes of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, black pepper, baking spice, anise, and dark fruit

Aroma: Complex aroma of caramel, mint, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and molasses  

Color: Deep amber 

Finish: Long, smooth, with rich oak, spice, and caramel 

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey 

Palate: Smooth, soft, banana, nuts, caramel, creme brulee, 

Aroma: Sweet, light with hints of oil nuts, maple, dry spice, nuts, and ok. 

Color: Medium amber

Finish: Sweet, medium length, with toasty oak and little cereal sweetness. 

Use In Mixed Drinks/Cocktails

buffalo trace Bottle and glasses of cocktail drinks

Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s are versatile whiskeys; you can consume them neat, in a glass with ice, or in cocktails. 

Buffalo Trace is a good quality bourbon; you should take advantage of the good whiskey by drinking it neat.

Most bourbons like Bulleit Bourbon, Knob Creek, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve small batch, and Ezra Brooks are widely enjoyed in cocktails because of their bold flavor profile. 

Jack Daniel’s has an amazing taste that blends well with mixers. 

Product Line Up

Buffalo Trace Products on Top of a Barrel

Jack Daniel’s has a wide selection of product line up while Buffalo Trace is a flagship spirit with other brands under the same company.  

Some of the products from Jack Daniel’s are the following: Rye Whiskey, Gentleman Jack, Single Barrel Select Series, and Frank Sinatra Select. 

On the other hand, aside from Buffalo Trace, you can enjoy Eagle Rare, George T. Stagg, and E.H. Taylor Jr from the same distillery. 

Price Point

Jack Daniel’s is cheaper than Buffalo Trace. Based on Drizly online, Jack Daniel’s costs around $26.52, while Buffalo Trace costs approximately $34.99 per bottle. 

If you are looking for an affordable option that blends great with mixers, Jack Daniel’s can be a solid option.

In addition, BT bottles can be more challenging to find, unlike Jack Daniel’s. 

Do They Have Similarities?

Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s share similarities, like their base ingredients. Both whiskies contain at least 51% corn on their mash bill.  

In addition, both spirits undergo double distillation and are matured in new charred oak barrels to develop a nice taste profile. 

FAQs 

Is Buffalo Trace Distillery older than Jack Daniel’s?

Yes, Buffalo Trace Distillery is older than Jack Daniel’s. Buffalo Trace was established in 1775, while Jack Daniel’s began in 1866. 

Which is a better sipper, Jack Daniel’s or Buffalo Trace bourbon?

Buffalo Trace is a better sipper than Jack Daniel’s. The brand is a well-rounded bourbon with rich notes of vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, oak, and a medium spicy finish. 

Final Verdict

Jack Daniel’s and Buffalo Trace are good quality whiskeys, but Buffalo Trace reigns supreme. 

Buffalo Trace delivers a pleasant and satisfying drinking experience. It may contain higher alcohol proof than Jack Daniel’s, but it is tasty and a good everyday bourbon

Jack Daniel’s is cheaper than Buffalo Trace. Also, it can be a nice option for mixed drinks. However, BT juice is rounder and tastier than Jack Daniel’s. 

References:

  1. https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/whiskey/buffalo-trace-bourbon-rye-buying-guide-prices-brands-value/#eagle-rare 
  2. https://www.britannica.com/story/the-story-of-nearest-green-americas-first-known-black-masterdistiller