Ah…Jack Daniel’s, the classic American whiskey with that unmistakable smokey sweet aroma and taste. Given that this is only the third review by The Whisky Guy, now is probably a good time to explain why Jack Daniel’s Whiskey is spelt with an ‘e’ as opposed to just whisky. If you didn’t know then let me school you quickly so you have more bar ammo. American and Irish producers tend to prefer the ‘whiskey’ spelling while the rest of the world like Scotland, Canada, Japan etc use ‘whisky’. Jack Daniel’s Old No 7 is one of the world’s most recognisable and best selling whiskies, but today we’ll be looking at the more refined Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey. The classier, smoother, university educated, big brother of the iconic Old No 7.
Growing up i always thought of Jack Daniel’s as a real mans drink. One that grabs you by the balls and puts hair on your chest. It has a certain rawness that makes you feel like you belong in the mountains fighting Grizzly bears with your bare hands. The Gentleman Jack though feels like a more mature version…one that has more refinement, is smoother and less volatile, but still has a lingering wild temperament.
As with my previous reviews i’ll give you some background history and then some thoughts on what it tastes like.
The story behind Gentleman Jack?
Jack Daniel’s is made from corn, rye, and malted barley, and is distilled in copper stills. It is then filtered (or “mellowed”) through 10-foot stacks of sugar maple charcoal before being placed in toasted and charred oak barrels. Gentleman Jack, however, receives an additional “blessing” when it is charcoal mellowed again after reaching maturity thereby removing any additional impurities, decreasing the oakiness and further filtering and sweetening the whiskey. Gentleman Jack is the only whiskey in the world to be charcoal mellowed twice making it smoother.
What’s it taste like?
Nose: the aroma of Jack Daniel’s is unmistakable. It has immediate smokey earthy notes followed by caramel and vanilla tones. I almost want to say that the sweetness brings honey to mind, but it’s not that sweet…more like dried flowers and apples. Love the smell.
Palate: right off the bat you’ll notice how much smoother it is than the Old No 7. It has less bite and a lower ‘whiskey face’ factor…you won’t be cringing, but you may squint a little. Man up though dammit. The caramel flavour comes through first followed by maple and then there’s a very slight spicey tinge to it.
Finish: like it’s younger brother the Old No 7, don’t expect Gentleman Jack to go down without a fight if you’re drinking it neat. It’s less harsh, but will still put some hair on your chest and once the intial burn has calmed on your lips you’re left with a corn after taste and that continued caramel oakiness.
Appearance and price: the bottle doesn’t have that vintage feel, but has a distinguished appearance befitting the name. I particularly enjoyed the raised Jack Daniel signature on the glass. As far as price goes you’re looking at around R270 a bottle.
Overall score on the Life is Savage Whisky Index: The Gentleman Jack gets a very decent 8.5 out of 10. I prefer it over the Old No 7.
For more info check the website HERE.
Check next week for another review and if you are a whisky brand then send me some of your magic. I will drink it.
GIVEAWAY: i have a bottle of Gentleman Jack to give to one of you fine readers and here’s how you can enter.
- head on over to the Jack Daniel’s Facebook page HERE and tell me in the comment section below this post what you can win by purchasing a bottle of Jack at participating MAKRO stores this month
- then describe the taste of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey in the most creative way you can
Will pick a winner tomorrow afternoon.
Heads-up: if i pick you as the winner i’ll be asking you to send me a copy of your ID to verify your age and that you’re legally allowed to drink alcohol.