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Black Velvet vs Jim Beam: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Black Velvet vs Jim Beam in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

NoseVanilla, corn, ethanol
PalateOak, ethanol, cotton candy, oak spice
FinishNail polish
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toCanadian Club, Jack Daniel’s

The nose offers vanilla at first, followed by a hint of corn and a fair amount of ethanol.

On the palate, Black Velvet feels thin lacking in body. Flavor is mostly oak and ethanol on the first sip but mellows out into an overly sweet cotton candy flavor.

As you keep drinking it becomes bitter as oak spice starts to take over.

The finish is short and warm, with a strong nail polish note.

You could disinfect wounds with it but definitely this is something I recommend not buying as it’s not only but one of the worst (if not the worst) budget Canadian Whisky.

This is one of the only whiskies I have tried that doesn’t get better with Coke as the nail polish note gets through.

I always try to find something positive about a dram but this is something for which I have nothing good to say.

This whisky is made in Canada by Heaven Hills, who crafts good budget bourbons such as Evan Williams or Larceny which offer good value and are immensely better than the Black Velvet.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Black Velvet:

  • Aged for 3 years.
  • Mash is comprised mostly of corn.
  • Crafted at The Black Velvet distillery in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
  • The distillery features an automated operation system requiring just two employees per shift.
  • Black Velvet is the second best-selling Canadian whisky behind Crown Royal.
  • Owned by U.S. based Heaven Hills (Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Henry McKenna, Larceny).

Jim Beam Bourbon

NoseCaramel, vanilla, hay, corn
PalateToasty oak, peanut, vanilla, black pepper, oak spice
FinishShort-lived, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toCanadian Club, Old Crow, Maker’s Mark

The nose is rich in corn and butterscotch with a slight whiff of ethanol coming behind.

On the palate, Jim Beam feels thin with very little body. Flavor has some of the same sweet corn, vanilla and butterscotch hints, along black pepper, followed by a nail polish note.

Not to mention the traditional roasted peanut note present of every Jim Beam whiskey.

The finish is short and warm, leaving some sweetness, oak astringency and black pepper behind.

Jim Beam (Is it Good?) is a serviceable whiskey that comes handy when looking for something cheap to make cocktails  but this is not something to drink either neat or use a sipper.

This bourbon is completely unremarkable, sweet at first but mostly warm and peppery. Not good, TBH.

In summary, the Jim Beam (Substitutes) is a good mixer, but not good on its own. Just too harsh and peppery to make a decent sipper.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Jim Beam Bourbon:

  • The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • Jim Beam is aged for 4 years in new charred oak barrels.
  • This is the best-selling bourbon across the globe. It does not sell more than Jack Daniel’s, but the JD is not a bourbon but a Tennessee Whiskey.
  • Jacob Beam, born in Germany, sold his first barrels of corn whiskey around 1795, then called Old Jake Beam Sour Mash.

Black Velvet vs Jim Beam: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Black Velvet$8
Jim Beam$11

Black Velvet vs Jim Beam: Which is better?

Jim Beam is bearable

WhiskeyBlack VelvetJim Beam
  • This is one of the few instances in which Jim Beam is better than something as there is nothing good to say about the Black Velvet which is bad beyond belief.
  • There are better whiskeys at this price point such as Benchmark and Evan Williams that should be considered before Black Velvet and Jim Beam as they offer better tasting flavor profiles.