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Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniels: What’s the Difference? (2024)

Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniels

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 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 Daniels. 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. 

Read: Jack Daniel’s vs Wild Turkey

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]. 

Read: Jack Daniel’s Honey vs Jim Beam Honey

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 Related to Buffalo Trace vs Jack Daniels

What is Buffalo Trace bourbon?

Buffalo Trace is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey known for its smooth and balanced flavor profile, featuring notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

What is Jack Daniel’s whiskey?

Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey renowned for its distinct charcoal mellowing process, resulting in a smoother and slightly sweeter taste compared to bourbon.

How does Buffalo Trace differ from Jack Daniel’s?

Buffalo Trace is a bourbon whiskey made primarily from corn, whereas Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey made from a mash bill that includes corn, rye, and malted barley, and undergoes charcoal mellowing.

Which one is smoother, Buffalo Trace or Jack Daniel’s?

Both Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s are known for their smoothness, but Jack Daniel’s is often perceived as slightly smoother due to its charcoal mellowing process.

Are there any flavor differences between Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s?

Yes, Buffalo Trace tends to have a more robust flavor with notes of caramel and spice, while Jack Daniel’s offers a smoother, sweeter taste with hints of vanilla and toasted oak.

Can I use Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s interchangeably in cocktails?

Yes, Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s can be used interchangeably in many cocktails, such as Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Sours, and Mint Juleps, depending on your flavor preference.

Which one is more readily available, Buffalo Trace or Jack Daniel’s?

Jack Daniel’s is generally more widely available due to its global popularity, but Buffalo Trace can also be found in many liquor stores and bars, although availability may vary by location.

Are there any notable cocktails specifically tailored for Buffalo Trace or Jack Daniel’s?

While both whiskeys can be used in a wide range of cocktails, some recipes may highlight the unique characteristics of each, such as a classic Old Fashioned with Buffalo Trace or a Tennessee Mule with Jack Daniel’s.

Can I taste the difference between Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s in a blind tasting?

Some whiskey enthusiasts may be able to discern subtle differences between Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s in a blind tasting, particularly in terms of flavor nuances and mouthfeel.

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
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