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Cutty Sark vs J&B: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Cutty Sark vs J&B in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch Whisky is better for You!

Cutty Sark

  • Nose: Sour apples, pepper, alcohol
  • Palate: Lemon, honey, black pepper, alcohol
  • Finish: Short-lived, fruity and peppery
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Highball
  • Similar to: Famous Grouse


The nose is quite bad as it provides a sour apple note off the gate, followed by a peppery note, along a whiff of alcohol.

On the palate, the Cutty Sark feels thin, with a watery texture.

Flavor is lemon and honey up-front, with black pepper, oak spice and alcohol coming behind overwhelming the taste.

The finish is short-lived, with a faint fruity note and more peppery and oak spice bitter notes.

Is it good?

The Cutty Sark does not make a good sipper as it is too peppery, bitter and alcoholic.

It improves when served on the rocks as ice tunes down some of the bad notes although the better use of the Cutty Sark is in cocktails.

If you drown it in soda you can make a decent highball and is not bad when mixed with ginger ale.

Overall, the Cutty Sark is not a good tasting Scotch and even though is cheap it does not provide good value for the money.

The best this whisky has to offer is the label which is quite nice and brings a nostalgic note.

Cutty Sark facts:

  • This whisky is not as old as others in the industry as it was launched in 1923, named after the famous British clipper ship.
  • Cutty Sark belonged for many years to the Edrington Group who owns top brands such as Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes, with the latter providing most of the malts in the blend.
  • Unfortunately Edrington sold Cutty Sark in 2018. La Martiniquaise, the new owner, does not disclose the origin of the whiskies in the blend leaving us in the dark.

J&B Rare Blend Scotch

  • Nose: Alcohol, fruit, oak, citrus
  • Palate: Oak spice, black pepper, toffee, vanilla
  • Finish: Oak spice, black pepper, toffee
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Johnnie Walker Red Label


On the nose you get alcohol off the gate. As you let it develop a faint fruity note appears, followed by oak and citrus.

On the palate, the J&B delivers oak spice bitterness and black pepper up-front, with vanilla and caramel coming behind trying to bring some balance to this dram.

The finish is short, somewhat warm, with more oak spice to it, along black pepper and a touch of toffee-

Is it good?

Definitely not the best sipping whisky, as it feels bitter, spicy and warm. Although it becomes better when mixed as its harsh tasting notes add a kick to cocktails.

Drink it in a soda or mixed with ginger ale and you will by happy with it.

Drink it neat or rocks and you will feel the pain.

This whisky is a blend of 42 grain and malt whiskies from across Scotland. J&B claims that a good portion of them come from the Speyside region located in Northeastern, Scotland.

Speyside whiskies are renowned for their creamy texture and smooth palate; the J&B does not reflect a Speyside character, though.

J&B facts:

  • J&B (Justerini & Brooks) is one of the oldest whisky blenders as it was founded in 1749.
  • It has been a supplier of the British monarchy since 1761; I wonder if the royals really drink this Scotch.
  • The J&B Whisky took its current form in 1933 when it was introduced to the United States after prohibition.
  • The brand is currently owned by Diageo, who also owns several other brands such as Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Don Julio among 200 other brands.

Cutty Sark vs J&B: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Cutty Sark$26

Cutty Sark vs J&B: Which is better?

The J&B tastes a bit better than the Cutty Sark

WhiskeyCutty SarkJ&B
  • Life is too short to drink bad whisky so I recommend passing on both and either stop drinking or look for alternatives such as Jameson which provides a better experience or the Famous Grouse which is the best-seller in Scotland.
  • If I were forced at gunpoint to choose between these two I would stay with the J&B and drown it in water making a good highball.

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