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Elijah Craig vs Jack Daniel’s: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig vs Jack Daniel’s in this head to head comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Elijah Craig Small Batch

NoseWood, chocolate, cinnamon, clove
PalateChocolate, wood, butterscotch, citrus
FinishOak spice, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, vanilla
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toMaker’s Mark, Four Roses, Jim Beam

Nose offers oak aroma at first, followed by a hint of chocolate, cinnamon and clove.

On the palate, you get oak spice up-front, with a hint of bitter chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla and a tad of citrus.

There is warmth on the finish as you get a hit of ethanol and a spicy bite rich in oak spice, cinnamon, black pepper and clove with some butterscotch sweetness coming late to the party.

Elijah Craig has a nice nose, a good taste but it lets you down on the finish as it feels warm and spicy.

It becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter and loses some of the heat along the peppery bite.

Is not a bad bourbon by any means, barely making it to the sipper category but definitely needs more persistence than the average bourbon in this price range.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Elijah Craig:

  • Elijah Craig is credited as the first distiller to use heavily charred casks to age bourbon.
  • It is made from a mash bill comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley. 
  • It is bottled by blending no less than 200 casks of maturing bourbon, each of which was rested in a Kentucky rickhouse for a minimum of 8 years.
  • This whiskey previously had an age statement of 12 years but in 2016 the age statement was removed to extend its availability.
  • The distiller also increased the maximum number of barrels used per batch from 100 to 200.
  • Elijah Craig is produced by Heaven Hill Distilleries, a private, American family-owned and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Jack Daniel’s No. 7

NoseBanana, oak, wood polish
PalateCaramel, banana, oak char
FinishCitrus, black pepper, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCoke
Similar toCrown Royal, Gentleman Jack

The nose brings a plastic banana note, with hints of brown sugar, oak and just a bit of wood polish.

On the palate, Jack Daniel’s falls flat, with very little body as it lacks texture. Somewhat sweet up-front, with oak char bitterness coming behind overwhelming the sweetness as you keep drinking it.

The finish is almost non-existent, hot and peppery, with a hint of citrus and something that reminds me of Gorilla Glue.

I have fond memories as Jack Daniel’s was my first whiskey and something I enjoyed 20 years ago, but my taste has evolved greatly and now is something I would only drink if drowned in Coke.

It’s just too harsh to make a nice sipping whiskey although it gets better when adding rocks. Ice tunes down the heat and the pepper making it acceptable.

The best use you can make of the Jack Daniel’s No. 7 is in cocktails, especially when mixed with Coke. In fact, I can’t think of something better except for those Caribbean rums to mix with Coke.

Drink Jack Daniel’s with Coke or ginger ale and you will be very happy with it… beyond that it serves no purpose as it’s just too harsh.

There are a few things worth knowing about Jack Daniel’s:

  • JD is not a Bourbon, but a Tennessee Whiskey, made from 80% corn, 12% barley, and 8% rye.
  • Most distillers adhere to a set amount of years to declare a whiskey ready for bottling but Jack Daniel’s tasters decide when is ready based on color, aroma and flavor. 
  • Jack Daniel’s is filtered for up to 12 days through 10 feet (3 meters) of homemade sugar maple charcoal. This process removes some of the harshness from the spirit.

What’s the difference between Elijah Craig and Jack Daniel’s?

Elijah Craig is a bourbon and Jack Daniel’s a Tennessee Whiskey

The law defines Tennessee whiskey as a spirit distilled in the state of Tennessee from at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels and has undergone the Lincoln County process (charcoal mellowing), filtering the new-make spirit through layers of charcoal before barreling.

Elijah Craig vs Jack Daniel’s: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceBottle Size
Elijah Craig$34750ml
Jack Daniel’s$27750ml

Elijah Craig vs Jack Daniel’s: Which is better?

Elijah Craig is a better tasting whiskey than Jack Daniel’s

WhiskeyElijah CraigJack Daniel’s
  • Elijah Craig is not the smoothest bourbon, yet a drop of water is enough to tune-down the heat making it easier to sip.
  • Not the best sipping bourbon but a good option when looking for something to make a tasty Old Fashioned.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a whiskey to pour in Coke then the Jack Daniel’s is your better option as its weird tasting notes mix well delivering a good cocktail.

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