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Jim Beam Honey vs Jack Daniels Honey: Whiskey Comparisons

Jim Beam Honey vs Jack Daniels Honey

Jim Beam and Jack Daniels undoubtedly dominate the honey whiskey category, but if it comes down to the wire, which one ultimately reigns supreme?

The team gathered and embarked on a taste test mission to answer this question.

So, if you’re as curious as we are, we’ll spill the honeyed beans and help you decide which one deserves a place in your home bar. This is our take on Jim Beam Honey vs Jack Daniels Honey. 

Jim Beam Honey vs Jack Daniels Honey Comparison 

Bottles of Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniels Honey

Jim Beam Honey is known for its pronounced sweetness, perfect for those with a sweet tooth. There’s a gentle spiciness in the background to round out the palate, but the sweetness tends to be a bit overwhelming.

Honeyed whiskey: where the sweetness of nature meets the warmth of tradition, one sip at a time.” – Liquor Laboratory

Jack Daniels Honey offers a more balanced and nuanced flavor profile. While it’s undeniably sweet, the honey doesn’t overpower the entire drinking experience, and notes of caramel and smoky undertones from the oak barrels complement it.

However, we feel it’s essential for you to understand that whiskey or bourbon can’t have flavors added beyond the grains and barrels, so “honeyed whiskey” is neither pure nor bourbon.

The American Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) categorizes this bourbon category as “Bourbon Liqueur,” “Flavored Whiskey,” or “Distilled Spirits Specialty.”

Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s Honey Cheat Sheet

AspectJim Beam HoneyJack Daniel’s Honey
TypeFlavored whiskeyFlavored whiskey
Distillation & Production Clermont, KYLynchburg, TN
Alcohol by Volume35%35%
Mashbills75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley80% corn, 8% rye and 12% malted barley
Serving Suggestions60ml 60ml 
Price RangeAround $25Around $32 
Special FeaturesBourbon whiskey with real honey liqueurTennessee whiskey with real honey liqueur
AwardsNoneSilver, Honey Whiskey/Bourbon Category (2018)
Distillery LocationClermont, KYLynchburg, TN
Food PairingsCreamy desserts (mousse)Creme brulee, poached pears
How To DrinkIn cocktails Sipping, on the rocks
Similar ToWild Turkey American HoneyEvan Williams Honey

Jim Beam Honey

Bottle of Jim Beam Honey

Quick History: Jim Beam Honey entered in 2011 and aimed to capture a younger audience with its intense honey sweetness.

Crafted by infusing Jim Beam White Label Kentucky bourbon with a real honey liqueur, it offers a sugary entry point to the bourbon category.

Read: Top Jim Beam Honey Drinks

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, oak, mead, toffee, cinnamon 

Palate: Caramel, vanilla, honey, and a slight spiciness

Finish: Short and sweet, with leftover caramel, oak, and vanilla.

Our First Sip: Our initial sip of this sweet bourbon introduced us to its syrupy character. The unmistakable sweetness of honey blends with creamy caramel and lingering notes of vanilla.

We detected a slight spiciness in the flavor profile, which reminded us of the oak barrel-aging process. Overall, it is full-bodied yet light on the tongue. [1]

Final Taste: Despite Jim Beam’s claim of using real honey and natural flavors, the flavored bourbon comes across as cheap and artificial, and the cough syrup note is off-putting.

We don’t recommend this bourbon whiskey for sipping, but it can be tolerable in cocktails. We especially like making Hot Toddies with this whenever we have a stuffy nose.

Star Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Fun Facts:

  • Jim Beam Honey is made by infusing Jim Beam’s White Label bourbon with a honey-flavored liqueur. It is bottled at 70 proof.
  • The alcohol is crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY.
  • Popular whiskeys under the Beam Suntory brand include Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Old Grand Dad, and Old Crow.

Jack Daniel’s Honey

Bottle of Jack Daniel's Honey

Quick History: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey debuted in 2011, the same year as Jim Beam Honey. This creation combines the renowned Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey with its proprietary liqueur made from real honey.

Since its introduction, it has become the leader in the flavored whiskey category.

Nose: Enticingly sweet, with caramel, orange blossom, and charred oak

Palate: Creamy, with toasted oak, apricot, vanilla, and charred oak

Finish: Round and lengthy, with flavors of oak, black pepper, and a subtle smokiness

Our First Sip: After taking that initial sip of Jack Daniel’s Honey, you’ll immediately appreciate its creamy mouthfeel. It manages to be sweet yet complex, with a subtle smokiness from the oak barrels.

The finish of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey surpasses that of Jim Beam in terms of length and roundness. Its sweet and floral notes and a heartwarming warmth from the alcohol result in an enjoyable drink. 

Final Taste: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey has a distinct smoothness even when enjoyed neat. It is gentler on the palate than Jim Beam, which is expected due to its lower rye content and the Lincoln County Process (charcoal mellowing). [2]

Compared to Jim Beam, this flavored whiskey is less sweet, allowing more oak tannins to shine through. The fruitiness is more pronounced, introducing some variety to the overall sweetness.

“Jack Daniel’s Honey is a sweet symphony of notes that dances on the palate.” – Emeril Lagasse

And while JD Honey is nowhere near as complex as a traditional straight bourbon, there’s certainly more depth to explore here.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Fun Facts:

  • Jack Daniel’s Honey is a blend of their traditional Old No.7 Tennessee whiskey and their in-house honey liqueur. It is bottled at 70 proof.
  • Jack Daniels is the best-selling American Whiskey brand worldwide and the most famous Tennessee Whiskey.
  • Jack Daniels is owned by Brown-Forman, headquartered in Louisville, KY, and boasts other bourbon brands like Old Forester and Woodford Reserve. [3]

Key Differences

Honeyed Flavor

When it comes to the honey flavor, Jim Beam takes the spotlight. It’s rich, syrupy, and unmistakably sweet, almost to the point that it becomes too cloying.

On the other hand, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s offers a subtler honey presence, allowing other notes to shine through. This subtlety creates a balanced and nuanced profile that may appeal to those seeking a milder honey infusion.

Read: Top Honey Bourbons

Bourbon-y Profile

Jim Beam Honey maintains a noticeable bourbon character. It doesn’t shy away from its alcohol roots, offering hints of oak, spice, and that distinctive bourbon warmth.

On the flip side, JD Honey leans towards the sweeter side. While it incorporates bourbon undertones, they play a more subdued role: the emphasis here is on honey and caramel, resulting in a delightfully sweet and approachable spirit.

Sweetness Level

Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniels Honey Sample Bottle

Jim Beam is intensely sweet, making it a go-to for those with a sweet tooth. [4]

Conversely, while JD is sweeter than regular whiskey, it is noticeably less cloying than Jim Beam. It provides a noticeable sweetness without being overpowering, making it suitable for a wider range of palates.

Maturation Process

Jim Beam uses Kentucky Straight Bourbon as its base and ages it inside new charred oak barrels, contributing to its complex flavor profile. This imparts complexity to its flavor profile, with hints of oak and spice intertwining with the honey sweetness.

On the other hand, JD has a base of Tennessee whiskey, which is lighter and smoother than traditional bourbon whiskey. This is primarily thanks to the Lincoln County Process, which involves mellowing out the spirit with a charcoal filtration system.

Read: Jack Daniel’s vs Buffalo Trace

Age & Color

Neither honey-infused whiskey carries an age statement, which is typical for flavored whiskeys.

When it comes to color, Jim Beam has a slightly darker hue, thanks to its bourbon hue (which typically has a deep color).

JD is lighter in color, akin to liquid honey.

Taste & After Taste

Jim Beam delivers an initial burst of honey and sweetness, followed by bourbon notes and a lingering caramel finish.

JD begins with honey and transitions into oak and vanilla, leaving a smoother aftertaste.

Mouthfeel & Texture 

Jim Beam has a thicker, almost syrupy mouthfeel that coats the mouth generously like you’re sipping on honey.

JD is rich, creamy, and velvety without feeling overly heavy. The mouthfeel adds to its overall drinkability.

FAQs

Is Jim Beam Honey sweeter than Jack Daniel’s Honey?

Yes, Jim Beam Honey is generally considered sweeter than Jack Daniels Honey. Jim Beam has an intense honey sweetness that can be overpowering to many drinkers.
In contrast, Jack Daniels Honey is often perceived as less cloying and more balanced. It also has additional layers like oak tannins and fruitiness. We think this has much to do with the Tennessee whiskey alcohol base.

Does Jim Beam honey have real honey in it?

Yes, Jim Beam Honey is made with real honey. It is a liqueur infused with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and honey liqueur.

Is Jim Beam Honey good?

It depends. Jim Beam’s Honey is good for people with a sweet tooth. However, it won’t be a good sipping bourbon for people looking for a more balanced or traditional bourbon flavor profile.

Are there any differences in the production process between Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniel’s Honey?

While both are flavored whiskeys infused with honey, the exact production methods may differ between the two brands. Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s each have their own unique distillation and flavoring processes, which can result in subtle variations in taste and aroma.

Do Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniel’s Honey use locally sourced honey?

The sources of honey used in these products may vary depending on the brand’s sourcing practices and availability. Some distilleries prioritize using locally sourced honey, while others may opt for honey from different regions or suppliers.

Can people with allergies to honey consume Jim Beam Honey or Jack Daniel’s Honey?

Individuals with allergies to honey should exercise caution when consuming flavored whiskeys like Jim Beam Honey or Jack Daniel’s Honey. While the honey flavor is infused into the whiskey, it’s essential to check the ingredients list for any potential allergens or consult with a healthcare professional.

Can Jim Beam Honey or Jack Daniel’s Honey be aged further to enhance their flavors?

Flavored whiskeys like Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniel’s Honey are typically ready to drink upon bottling and are not intended for further aging. Aging these products may not necessarily enhance their flavors and could potentially alter their taste profile in unintended ways.

Do Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniel’s Honey have any recommended food pairings?

While both flavored whiskeys can be enjoyed on their own or in cocktails, they also pair well with certain foods. For example, Jim Beam Honey may complement barbecue dishes or spicy foods, while Jack Daniel’s Honey could be paired with desserts like apple pie or chocolate.

Final Thoughts

In the whiskey showdown between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels Honey, we have to give this round to Jack Daniels Honey.

We find Jack Daniels Honey more balanced. This whiskey has a smooth texture, perfect honey sweetness, and a peppering of other notes like oak and fruit. It keeps that genuine Tennessee whiskey feel and is a fantastic option for sipping neat.

While easy to enjoy, Jim Beam leans toward the syrupy side. It’s undoubtedly palatable and delivers on its honey-flavored promise, but the bourbon whiskey lacks depth and complexity.

That said, feel free to enjoy both Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniels whiskeys if you like! It all boils down to personal preference, after all.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/whiskey
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c03058
  3. https://www.statista.com/topics/5110/brown-forman/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317257
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