Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Did you know that it takes at least ten minutes for an average person to decide between two choices? But choosing between two high-volume brands like Jack Daniel’s and Evan Williams can take more than that.
But worry no more because our team will help you pick your next drink according to your preferred flavor profile.
Evan Williams or Jack Daniel’s: What’s Their Difference?
The main difference between Jack Daniel’s vs Evan Williams Bourbon lies in their flavors, place of distillation, and alcohol content. One brand has hints of banana and contains 40% ABV, while the other tastes like buttered caramel and apple with 43% ABV.
And when it comes to the appearance, ingredients, and labeling of each bottle, the two brands have undeniable similarities. They have an almost identical golden-colored liquor, presented in a 750ml square glass container. Their ingredients contain corn, barley, and rye in almost identical percentages.
Head To Head Comparison
The Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey started in 1783 in Louisville, Kentucky. A Welsh immigrant, by the name of Evan Williams, created Kentucky’s first commercial distillery as he settled in the United States. It was built at a riverbank in Ohio, a good source of good quality water.
In 1866, Jasper “Jack” Daniel founded the United States’ first registered distillery in Moore County, Tennessee. But Jack’s history was not less colorful because it won the World’s Best Whiskey gold medal in 1904. The recognition cemented the Tennessee Whiskey legacy.
Centuries later, both distilleries became high-volume brands of American Whiskey.
The distinctive tastes of both brands have a lot to do with the recipes, and it was all premium quality and natural. Aside from good water, grains are the main star of the two brands.
Jack Daniel’s fine corn, which made up 80% of the recipe, came from the Midwest parts of the United States. The Kentucky Straight Bourbon used 78% corn in its ingredients, a little lower than Jack’s.
Each brand has 12% malted barley, which is essential for yeast processing to produce alcohol later. They also used rye to add the spicy and peppery taste to the spirits.
Mash bills or mash ingredients are the grains used by a distiller to make bourbon. The two brands used almost the same percentage of ingredients as mentioned above.
Jack Daniel’s have a little advantage when it comes to corn–a grain responsible for the sweetness of the spirit. But when it comes to rye, Heaven Hill’s standard has a slightly higher percentage.
Both products use sour mash on their mash bills. Using sour mash combines the spent fermentation with the new one to maintain the PH level properly. The mash will be left alone for a few days to help improve the spirit quality. But is Jack Daniel’s bourbon or whiskey?
Distillation & Production
Lincoln County Process is the mellowing of whiskeys before aging them in oak barrels. It results in special sweetness not present in a straight bourbon. The use of the Lincoln County Process makes Jack Daniel’s a Tennessee Whiskey.
Like the Gentleman Jack, each product of Jack Daniel’s is bottled and distilled in Tennessee, unlike Heaven Hill, where they bottled and distilled their products in separate places.
Although the Kentucky Bourbon does not involve Lincoln County Process in making their products, they still used “charcoal filtration.” It is a step that helps in giving a smoother texture to the spirit.
Heaven Hill is the current owner of the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It is a family-owned distillery and a traditional bourbon maker founded in 1935. To this day, The Kentucky Bourbon is their best-selling product, ranking among the top globally.
On the other hand, Jack Daniel took over the distillery originally owned by Dan Call to start his own business in 1866. In 1956, Brown-Forman became the owner of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Both brands came from world-class companies with their products like Black Label and Gentleman Jack as the most popular.
Like sour mash, the oak is another important factor determining a liquor’s distinctive character. A straight bourbon requires a spirit aged for at least two years.
Each brand was aged using the American oak barrels, but Jack Daniel’s produced their own .
The American oak barrels are the most commonly used in bourbon-making, and it gives hints of vanilla, baking spices, and toasty oak flavor.
The maturation period depends on the weather and temperature of the distillery.
Higher temperature calls for a fast maturity of the whiskeys, while a cooler surrounding slows it down.
Jack Daniel’s nose has nuts and peppery spice hints, with a toasty aroma from the barrels used. The dominant palate flavors of Jack Daniel’s are banana and caramel with vanilla sweetness. And it finishes with a long and smooth touch to the throat.
Evan Williams’ nose has an oaky and corn smell. The palate boasts a fresh apple and vanilla undertone. It has tasting notes of buttered caramel and baking spices with hints of oak, nuts, and honey. The finishing touch of this brand is complete spice notes.
Although Jack’s has a smoother finish, the two brands have almost the same tasting profile.
Also Read: How Do You Make Whiskey Taste Better?
Price Point & Value
Jack Daniel’s traditional No. 7 has a price of around $20. While the mystery of number seven in the bottle is still unsolved, this is one of the best-selling of Brown-Forman. Another style is the exceptionally smooth Gentleman Jack, priced at around $25 and known as “double-mellowed.” Here are the most expensive Jack Daniel’s varieties.
The Evan Williams Black Label is relatively cheaper for not more than $19. The Single Barrel of this brand, priced at around $35, is one of the top bourbons in the market.
For the price range, Jack is the more expensive brand. Check out our list of the best whiskeys under $30.
Alcohol By Volume Levels
American Whiskey should not exceed 80% alcohol by volume or ABV. Although Jack Daniel’s Whiskey usually contains 40% ABV, the brand recently released a product that contains around 75% ABV.
The limited-edition Coy Hill High Proof, bottled at proof 138 to 150, is a new addition to the family.
Evan Williams Black Label has 43% ABV, while the White Label is relatively higher at 50% ABV.
The White Label has a bottled-in-bond description which means it must follow certain government guidelines.
A 40% ABV is already high in alcohol, but the full-flavored White Label at 100 proof is worth trying out. Check out our favorite Evan Williams bourbons here.
Which is more popular, Jack Daniel’s or Evan Williams?
Jack Daniel’s is the most popular among the top American Whiskey brands; Jim Beam takes the second spot, while Evan Williams is third . Find out the difference between Jack Daniel’s and Crown Royal here.
Which makes you get drunk faster, Evan Williams or Jack Daniel’s?
Drinking Evan Williams will make you drunk faster than Jack Daniel’s. A bottle of its Black Label contains 43% ABV, a tad stronger than Gentleman Jack at 40% ABV. However, the alcohol content is not the only factor that can get a person drunk faster.
Between Jack Daniel’s and Evan Williams, which gives a worse hangover?
Evan Williams can give a worse hangover than Jack Daniel’s. It has a higher ABV level, and it can cause a bad hangover if drunk without moderation.
And The Winner Is…
Evan Williams has an edge in pricing and ABV content, but Jack Daniel’s is more popular. The rich history of the two brands has been going on for centuries. Both use almost the same ingredients, sour mash, and charcoal filtration.
Jack Daniel’s has a strong flavor of banana and vanilla, while the other one offers a flavor of apple and spice. They were both barrel-aged. The Evan Williams Bourbon spent more time maturing, while the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey produced their cask.