Jack Daniel’s is one of the most popular whiskey brands in the world so there’s a good chance you’ll have come across some of their offerings in the past and, if you carry on as you have been, will be doing so in the future. That’s why you’re going to want to know exactly what Jack Daniel’s tastes like.
Jack Daniel’s tastes sweet and smooth with flavors of vanilla, oak, banana, honey, pepper, caramel and cinnamon. The rye whiskeys have more spicy rye flavors, the single barrel whiskeys have bolder flavors and honey, cinnamon or apple flavors dominate the whiskey liqueurs.
Of course, each of the 10 current Jack Daniel’s whiskeys taste different, so the rest of this article will go into more details about the flavors in each of them. These are not just my own personal opinions, but a consensus obtained with the help of my friends.
And by friends, I mean anyone who would help me with this project.
The earlier a flavor appears in the list, the more people detected it. All flavors were detected by at least two people.
If these flavors sound good, then you can pick up a bottle of Jack Daniel’s at Tipxy.com (affiliate link)
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
This is the standard Jack Daniel’s whiskey. It’s made from 80% corn, 8% rye and 12% malted barley and filtered through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal to remove unwanted flavors and contaminants and make it smooth. It’s aged for at least four years in new, charred oak barrels.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7:
“Balance of sweet and oaky flavor”
Yes, I didn’t think it was too informative either.
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7:
Vanilla, mint, corn sour, caramel, oak, wood, green apple, charcoal, honey, banana, cinnamon, maple, nuts, pepper
As you can see, we found plenty of sweet flavors from the charred oak barrels (vanilla, caramel, honey) but also the banana flavor Jack Daniel’s is famous for. There were also some flavors that presumably came from the sugar maple charcoal filtering (charcoal and maple) that did indeed make this whiskey taste smooth.
Although the flavors of this whiskey are good, there are not enough of them for most people to enjoy sipping this neat on a regular basis. That’s why most people use Old No. 7 for mixed drinks and cocktails. And why Jack and Coke is almost as famous as the whiskey itself.
For more information about the best ways to drink Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, see this more detailed article I wrote here.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye
This is the standard Jack Daniel’s rye expression and it’s made from 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley. It’s also filtered through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal and aged for at least four years in new, charred oak barrels.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye:
“A bold balance of spice & smoothness”
Again, not too informative.
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye:
Banana, vanilla, honey, spices, alcohol, anise, rye spice, rye bread, oak, pepper, nuts, barrel char
This is also a smooth whiskey with sweet flavors from the barrel and the characteristic banana but as you can see, this time the heavy rye mash bill gives this whiskey more spicy rye flavors (rye spice, rye bread). Again, while the flavors are good there are not enough of them for drinking this whiskey neat too often, but it is great for spicing up cocktails.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Technically speaking this is not a whiskey (it’s only 35%ABV) but a blend of Old No. 7 and Jack Daniel’s own honey liqueur.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey:
“… blended with Old No. 7 … naturally sweet, smooth flavor … with hints of honey …”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey:
Honey, cinnamon, oak, milk chocolate, spices, vanilla, bitter, maple syrup, barrel char
As you can see, we still detected some flavors from the Old No.7, but the honey flavor did dominate this drink, which is great if you like sweet, honey flavors. Some of us did think this could be too sweet even for mixed drinks but that will depend on how sweet you like things.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire
Also, not technically a whiskey, this is a blend of Old No. 7 and Jack Daniel’s own cinnamon liqueur.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire:
“… blends warm cinnamon liqueur with the bold character of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 … exceptionally smooth …”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire:
Cinnamon, sweet, spicy, nutmeg
Cinnamon is definitely the dominant flavor here as you can see, which is perfect if you like lots of spice and cinnamon heat, but this is also a sweet and smooth drink. Actually, if you mix it with the Tennessee Honey, you’ll get an even better blend of sweet and spice.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple
The last of the not-technically-whiskeys, this is a blend of Old No. 7 and Jack Daniel’s own apple liqueur.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple:
“… blended with Old No. 7 … coupled with crisp green apple … exceptionally smooth … “
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple:
Green apple, cinnamon, caramel, honey
Once again, the liqueur part of this drink dominates the whiskey part, as you can see from the fact that apple is the main flavor. It’s still smooth and sweet, but some of us did not find it sweet enough and others found it had too much apple, although this is easily fixed by adding the Tennessee Honey for more sweetness or using Old No. 7 to adjust the whiskey to apple ratio to your liking.
Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack is the only Jack Daniel’s whiskey to be charcoal filtered twice, both before being put into the barrels (like all Jack Daniel’s whiskeys) but also after being matured before it’s bottled. The purpose of this is to remove any remaining impurities and further mellow the whiskey so that it’s even smoother than their regular smooth whiskeys.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack:
“… balanced oak flavor with notes of caramel & vanilla … double mellowed for exceptional smoothness …”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack:
Caramel, vanilla, oak, corn, banana, char, pepper, maple, spices, fruit
As you can see, we did detect the usual flavors of the Jack Daniel’s profile, but this time they were more muted. It seems that the second filtering – which does make this whiskey even smoother, also tones down the flavors. So it’s a choice between smoothness and flavor. Unless you use it in a cocktail where the smoothness of the whiskey can round out some of the flavors of the other ingredients.
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select
This whiskey was created to pay tribute to Frank Sinatra who had a lifelong friendship with the brand (it’s probably part of the reason for its success). It’s aged in “Sinatra Barrels” that have deep grooves carved into their staves so that the whiskey has more exposure to the oak and can acquire more flavor than the standard Jack Daniel’s expressions.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select:
“… pleasant smokiness and vanilla finish … smooth”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select:
Vanilla, oak, caramel, banana, orange, leather, cinnamon, fruit, butterscotch, oak spice, honey, tobacco, clove, cream, nuts
You can’t tell from our notes, but this whiskey is better than both Gentleman Jack and Old No. 7 because not only does it have more flavors than them, they’re bolder and more intense too.
Sadly, there is one bad taste and that’s the price tag which is over $170! (For comparison Old No. 7 is about $26).
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select
This is Old No. 7 from a single barrel with a higher ABV (47% inside the US and 45% outside the US) than most Jack Daniel’s whiskeys (40%). The barrels that all versions of this whiskey come from are matured in the uppermost part of the Jack Daniel’s warehouse, where increased changes in temperature cause the whiskey’s color to deepen and its flavors to become more intense.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select:
“Notes of caramel and spice … with bright fruit notes”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select:
Vanilla, oak, corn, spices, milk chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, banana, brown sugar, banana bread, pepper
Again, it’s difficult to see from our flavor notes, but this whiskey is a big step up from the Old No. 7. It’s tasty, sweet, smooth and has a lot more flavors. It has some ethanol youth due to its higher ABV and young age, but it’s very minor. The increased ABV also means you might need a little water or ice to release some of this whiskey’s sweetness.
If you like the Jack Daniel’s flavor profile or sweet whiskeys, you will certainly like this.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye
This is the Tennessee Rye but from a single barrel and with a higher ABV of 45%. The barrels of all versions of this whiskey are matured in the uppermost part of the Jack Daniel’s warehouse, for bigger and bolder rye flavors.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye:
“… ripe fruit mingle with light toasted oak notes to create a taste rich with spice and a pleasant lingering finish …”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye:
Caramel, banana, rye spice, oak, creamy, vanilla, honey, spices, fruit
This is a step up in flavor from the Tennessee Rye and as you can see from our notes, it’s both sweet and spicy. It’s not as complex as some of the other rye whiskeys out there (which may have something to do with how young it is) and it’s also a little sweeter and more restrained than your typical bombastic rye whiskeys.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof
This whiskey is both single barrel and barrel proof – meaning it’s bottled straight from the barrel at its full proof and not diluted as it usually is. Bottles of this whiskey are between 62.5% – 70%ABV.
What the brand says about the taste of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof:
“… taking Jack’s trademark vanilla and toasted oak flavors to bold new levels … smooth …”
Flavors we found in Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof:
Cinnamon, banana, vanilla, oak, spices, pepper, cloves, honey, menthol, raisins, maple syrup, licorice, brown sugar, wood, smoke, coconut, fruit
“…bold new levels…” is certainly correct. As you can see from our notes, this has all the flavors you’d expect from a Jack Daniel’s whiskey, but what you can’t see from our notes is that it’s a step up from even the Single Barrel Select, and it’s a delicious, sweet whiskey with lots of well-balanced and intense flavors.
Of course, being cask strength, you may need to add water to this whiskey to reduce the impact of the alcohol but otherwise this is the most flavorful and intense expression of all the Jack Daniel’s whiskeys.
You can find Jack Daniel’s whiskeys at Tipxy.com (affiliate link)