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Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Jack Daniel’s vs Jim Beam in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Jim Beam

  • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, hay, corn
  • Palate: Toasty oak, peanut, vanilla, black pepper, oak spice
  • Finish: Short-lived, caramel, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Evan Williams, Jameson, Wild Turkey


The nose is rich in corn, vanilla 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 hint of acetone.

You also get the traditional peanut note noticeable on every whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery (Booker’s, Knob Creek, Old Grand Dad, Basil Hayden’s, Old Crow).

The finish is short and warmer than you would expect from a mere 80 proof, leaving some sweetness, a bitter note from the oak spice and black pepper behind.

Is it good?

Jim Beam 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 on the rocks.

This bourbon is completely unremarkable, with no body, sweet at first but mostly warm and peppery. Jim Beam is not a good bourbon.

In summary, the Jim Beam Bourbon is a good mixer, but not good on its own. Just too harsh and peppery to make a decent sipper so you should consider alternatives to the Jim Beam.

Jim Beam Facts:

  • The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • Jim Beam ages for 4 years in newly charred American white oak barrels. Those barrels add the vanilla notes Jim Beam offers.
  • Is also known as the White Label or the Original.
  • Jim Beam was founded by Jacob Beam a German immigrant in 1795 and is now property of Suntory Holdings, a Japanese conglomerate with an extensive portfolio in the spirits business.

Jack Daniel’s No. 7

  • Nose: Banana, oak, wood polish
  • Palate: Caramel, banana, oak char
  • Finish: Citrus, black pepper, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Coke
  • Similar to: Evan Williams, Lonehand

The nose brings a plastic banana scent, 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 Gorilla Glue.

Jack Daniel’s is a bad sipper, is just too warm and peppery with some weird tasting notes.

Adding ice tunes down the heat and the pepper making it acceptable.

The best use you can make of Jack 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.

Jack Daniel’s Facts:

  • There is one important fact about this whiskey that not many people know: Jack Daniel’s is not a Bourbon, this is a Tennessee Whiskey. A further explanation with the difference between these types of whiskeys come at the end of this post.
  • Another fact that makes Jack Daniel’s from other whiskeys is the unique filtration process. The spirit is filtered through 10-feet of sugar maple charcoal removing rough edges ensuring smoothness.
  • Adding to the list of things that make Jack Daniel’s unique is that aging is dependant of the judgement of the tasters.
  • 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. They have been using this formula since the 19th century so they must know what are they doing.
  • Every Jack Daniel’s is made from 80% corn, 12% barley, and 8% rye. The large percentage of corn used in the mash makes the whiskey sweet.
  • The distillery belongs to Brown-Forman who also owns other prestigious brands such as Herradura Tequila, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester among many others.

Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Jack Daniel’s$26
Jim Beam$24

Jim Beam vs Jack Daniel’s: Which is better?

Jack Daniel’s is slightly better than Jim Beam

WhiskeyJack Daniel’sJim Beam
  • Jack Daniel’s is a better whiskey than Jim Beam. Both are a bit rough but Jack is more versatile as it mixes better with Coke and other cocktails and is not too bad when served on the rocks.
  • Jack Daniel’s is sweeter making it more appealing to most consumers.
  • Jack Daniel’s might well be the best spirit on the planet to mix with Coke!

Jack Daniel’s is the best-selling American whiskey across the world, while Jim Beam is the best selling-bourbon. That makes Jack Daniel’s more popular than Jim Beam.

Although, Johnnie Walker is the best-selling brand as its doubles the sales of its closest competitor. If you are confused think about adding the sales of Johnnie Walker’s multiple labels (Red, Black and so forth) and it is clear that Johnnie W is the best-selling brand.

What’s the difference between Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s?

Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey while Jim Beam is a bourbon

To be labeled as a Tennessee Whiskey a dram must comply with the following:

  1. Made in the state of Tennessee.
  2. From at least 51% corn.
  3. Distilled at no higher than 160 proof.
  4. Barreled at no higher than 125 proof.
  5. Aged into a new, charred oak barrels.
  6. Filtered through charcoal before bottling.

Jim Beam is a bourbon whiskey. This type of whiskey must adhere to the following rules:

  1. Can be made anywhere in the United States.
  2. From at least 51% corn.
  3. Distilled at no higher than 160 proof.
  4. Barreled at no higher than 125 proof.
  5. Aged into a new, charred oak barrels.
  6. Spirits that meet these requirements and have been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.
  7. Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
  8. If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

As you can see there are many similarities between Tennessee and bourbon whiskies but enough differences to receive different names.

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