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Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s: Whiskey Comparison (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Going to a liquor store is nearly impossible without Jack Daniel and Jim Beam on the shelf. These two are, without question, the biggest names for American whiskey.

However, some people believe that these famous brands have similar profiles. 

But the truth is they are completely different from each other. In this article, let’s unveil the differences between Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s Compared To Jim Beam 

Jack Daniel's Compared To Jim Beam

Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam are 100% different, starting with the kind of whiskey used to make these brands and their tastes. But they both have a unique style of whiskey making that produces pretty good whiskeys. 

Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s are both goliaths in the American Whiskey market and have an indestructible fanbase worldwide. However, these top two brands came from different states in the United States. 

Jack Daniel’s whiskey is distilled in Tennessee, while Jim Beam bourbon is a spirit made in Kentucky.

How They Differ 

How They Differ 

History & Origin

Jim Beam began when Jacob Beam, the founder and son of a German immigrant, started marketing the corn-whiskey recipe created by his father in Kentucky. It was established by the Beam family in 1795 when he sold his first barrel of Old Jake Beam.

Jack Daniel’s was produced in Tennessee and was created by Jasper Newton Daniel, a local lay preacher and moonshine distiller, more commonly known as Jack. In 1866, Jack Daniel’s became the first registered distillery in the U.S. [1]

Distillation & Production Process

Distillation & Production Process

Jim Beam’s fine art of fermentation is perfected every time, and its bourbon is distilled twice for a smooth flavor at a lower temperature. 

Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey filtered through a 10ft of hard sugar maple charcoal for charcoal mellowing that will result in distinctive smoothness. 

Making this Lincoln County Process from Jack Daniel’s removes the impurities from the corn before distilling it in copper stills. 

Maturation & Age Statement

Maturation & Age Statement

Jim Beam is aged at least two years to be a straight bourbon whiskey, but they doubled it to be bourbon aged, while Jack Daniel’s is aged for at least four years, and it’s not a straight whiskey.

Because of the law, Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s brands must mature and age their bourbons and Tennessee liquor in new American charred oak barrels.

Main Ingredients

Both Jim Beam whiskey and Jack Daniel’s have the same main ingredients. Jim Beam’s bourbon and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey have corn, rye, and malted barley as their ingredient.

But it differs with the allocation of their ingredient. Daniel’s contains more corn than Beam’s, while Beam’s contains more rye than Daniel’s.

Mash Bills

Mash Bills

Jim Beam bourbon has a mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley. On the other hand, Jack Daniel’s whiskey with a mash bill of 80% corn, 8% rye, and 12% barley. 

The large portion of corn used in the mash makes a sweet whiskey, just like Jack Daniel’s whiskey. On the other hand, if you used more rye, the whiskey would be spicier.

Ownership & Distillery

Jack Daniel’s has its distillery, Jack Daniel Distillery, which started around 1875 in Moore County, Tennessee.

Jack’s family owned the distillery until 1956 because they sold it to the famous Kentucky distilling company, the Brown–Forman Corporation.

The first Jim Beam distillery was established in the 18th century by  Johannes “Jacob” Boehm. But now, it is owned and operated by Beam Suntory. Its portfolio includes Knob Creek and Maker’s Mark.

They have three distilleries in Kentucky: James B. Beam Distilling Co. in Clermont, Jim Beam Booker Noe Plant in Boston, and Jim Beam Old Grand Dad Plant in Frankfort. 

Liquor Type/Label

Liquor Type/Label

Jim Beam bourbon whiskey has a premium-label look. It has the iconic wax seal that signifies the bourbon’s authenticity. Some bottle labels have printed statements, “None Genuine Without My Signature,” below the signature of Colonel James Beam.

Jack Daniel’s Black Label Tennessee Whiskey is bottled in a sophisticated square bottle designed to give Jack Daniel’s fans a sense of fairness and integrity.

The famous black-and-white label was presented in 1911 when Jack died, and it is said to commemorate in honor of Jack’s passing. 

Region of Production

Jim Beam produces bourbon whiskey anywhere in America. Currently, three distilleries produce Kentucky bourbon.

On the other hand, Jack Daniel’s is a sour mash whiskey recognized as Tennessee Whiskey and has a strict requirement of producing it specifically in Tennessee.

Product Line Up

Product Line Up

Jim Beam offers a product lineup that includes “White Label” bourbon, their original best-selling bourbon. Another straight bourbon is Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, their brand extension, and Jim Beam Rye,  their only rye whiskey product.

They have a single-barrel bourbon, Jim Beam Single Barrel proof,  a re-racked mature bourbon, Jim Beam Double Oaked, and Jacob’s Ghost as their white whiskey aged in white oak barrels.

Jim Beam also has flavored whiskey such as Apple, Vanilla, and Honey.

Jack Daniel’s lineup includes their best-selling whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. The Gentleman Jack Double Mellowed Tennessee Whiskey is their brand extension whiskey.

Another is Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, made after the late singer Frank Sinatra. The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel are great expressions of Tennessee and rye whiskeys for Jack Daniel’s fans.

Their flavored products are Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Apple, Fire (cinnamon), and Winter Jack (apple cider liqueur).

Popularity 

Around the globe, the name and label Jack Daniel’s stand out. It has been recognized as the best-selling whiskey worldwide, while Jim Beam has its best-selling bourbon position.

Both brands have loyal fans that bring them to the top lists. The two whiskey brands are by far the biggest markets of whiskey in the world.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

Jim Beam

  • Palate: It has a light body flavor with toasted oak notes, sweet corn, chocolate, hints of black pepper, and a faint hint of vanilla.  
  • Nose: Floral aromas followed by notes of leather and tobacco. Subtle vanilla notes, hints of toffee, and toasted oak with lemon zest.
  • Color: Golden Mahogany
  • Finish: Long and dry with sweet honey notes and vanilla, and ends with toasted almonds and pepper. 

Jack Daniel’s

  • Palate: It has a medium body with a hint of sour cherries, spicy notes, bits of fruit, and loads of vanilla with notes of oak and butterscotch sweetness.
  • Nose: Oaky notes, charcoal, hints of pine, and a brown sugar aroma. Quite sweet with honey and vanilla.
  • Color: Golden Amber
  • Finish: Medium finish with some toasty oak, lingering pecan, black pepper, butterscotch, and cherry.

Use In Cocktails

Use In Cocktails

Jim Beam bourbons are a good mixer whiskey for cocktails. Its “Green Label” selection has charcoal filtration, which gives the smokey taste, perfect for bourbon drinkers who enjoy cocktails.

Daniel whiskeys have a smoother flavor that could blend well in cocktails; some said it tastes less alcoholic.

The most used Jack Daniel’s variant in a whiskey cocktail is the Jack No. 7. You can drink Jack Daniel’s with lemon-lime soda, cola, ginger ale, or coffee.

Alcohol Proof 

In 1987, after bottling a Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 at 90-proof, they adjusted it to 86-proof.

It is similar to Jim Beam’s White Label flagship 86-proof. But in 2002, Jack Daniel’s reduced again to 80-proof, making Jim Beam the higher proofed whiskey between the two.

Price & Value

Price & Value

Jim Beam’s White Label Bourbon has an average price of $18 for a 750ml bottle, while its most expensive bottle, Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece, has around $200.

Jack Daniel’s Black Label has roughly $24 for a 750ml 80-proof bottle, and its iconic Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century costs around $433 for a 1L bottle.

Although both brands offer different kinds and sizes, Jim Beam’s price range is lower and cheaper than Jack Daniel’s.

FAQs 

Which is better with Coke, Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s?

Jack Daniel’s is better with Coke than Jim Beam. In fact, because of its famous iconic Jack & Coke cocktail, Brown-Forman Company, owner of Jack Daniel’s, and The Coca-Cola Company collaborated on this ready-to-drink cocktail. [2]

Which is healthier, Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam?

Jack Daniel’s is healthier than Jim Beams in terms of counting calories. It has a lower count of 97.5 per 1.5oz than Jim’s 100 calories per 1.5oz. But both are gluten-free, with no carbs and no fats.

Is Jack Daniel’s better sipped neat than Jim Beam?

Yes, Jack Daniel’s is better to sip neat than Jim Beams’s because of its inviting aromas and mellow, smooth taste. It is sipped most by whiskey consumers who look for fine and decent whiskey.

Is Jim Beam more beginner-friendly than Jack Daniel’s?

Yes, Jim Beam is more beginner-friendly than Jack Daniel’s. In terms of price, Jim Beam is cheaper, and a first-timer would be delighted.

However, if you’re not into alcoholic bitter taste and you want a smoother one, you might want to choose Jack Daniel.

Final Verdict

Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam are two popular American bourbon brands that differ from each other. Jim Beam whiskey is bourbon from Kentucky, while Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey distilled from Tennessee.

Jack Daniel’s has more sweet notes and is smoother and mellower. But you would prefer Jim Beam if you’re into the fruity with deep and spicier taste. In terms of price, Jim Beam is cheaper than Jack Daniel’s.

Now that we have unveiled all about Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s, we can tell at a glance that these two liquors are markedly different.

References:

  1. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/tennessee/articles/a-brief-history-of-jack-daniels/ 
  2. https://www.coca-colacompany.com/press-releases/brown-forman-and-coca-cola-announce-plans-to-debut-jack-daniels-coca-cola-ready-to-drink-cocktail

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