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Jack Daniel’s vs Maker’s Mark: Discover the Better!

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

Jack Daniel’s No. 7

jack-daniles-no-7-marcas-de-whisky
  • 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, Bulleit

Taste:

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 something that reminds me of glue.

Is it good?

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

Adding ice makes 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.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Jack Daniel’s Bottle where I rank every whiskey.

Jack Daniel’s facts:

  • Jack Daniel’s is the best-selling whiskey across the globe with sales of over 100 million bottles per year.
  • JD is not a Bourbon, but a Tennessee Whiskey, a spirit made in the state of Tennessee from a mash with at least 51% corn, distilled at no higher than 160 proof, barreled at no higher than 125 proof in a new and charred oak barrel. Jack Daniel’s is 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.
  • The brand was created by Jasper Daniel in the late 19th century and belonged to Brown-Forman Corporation since 1956.

Maker’s Mark

makers-mark-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, fruity notes
  • Palate: Sweet, nutty, baking spice, bread-like flavor
  • Finish: Honeyed, smooth, with a bit of spice
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water, rocks
  • Similar to: Bulleit, Jim Beam

Taste:

There is nail polish on the nose at first that fades into vanilla and cherry as you let it develop in the glass.

On the palate there is vanilla, caramel, cherry and honey providing a pleasant moutheel.

The finish has a moderate length, is sweet with very little heat and just a tad of pepper.

Adding a drop of water makes it taste like a Tootsie Pop, while tuning down the spicy note making it easier to sip.

Is it good?

Maker’s Mark is a well-rounded enjoyable bourbon without any bold flavors.

Nothing stands-out but there are no off-putting notes as it is nicely balanced, yet with enough body.

This is one of the few bourbons along Pappy Van WinkleWeller and Larceny that use wheat in the mash bill and you can tell by the bread-like hints. 

It makes a good entry-level bottle to those new to bourbon or liquors in general or a nice “everyday whisky” for those looking for a non-challenging sipper.

Not the best mixer though, as it lacks the punch to deliver tasty cocktails.

Maker’s Mark facts:

  • Maker’s Mark is made from 70% corn, 16% red wheat, and 14% malted barley. Maker’s belongs to the “wheated bourbon” category or whiskeys that tend to be smoother and sweeter with a bread-like flavor.
  • While most whiskeys age for a set amount of time, Maker’s is bottled when the tasters call it to be ready; that is between 6 and 7 years.
  • Maker’s bottles stand out from the rest due to the red wax seal that is still made by hand nowadays.
  • Maker’s Mark is owned by Beam Suntory, a Japanese drink giant who also owns Jim Beam and is headquartered in Osaka.

Jack Daniel’s vs Maker’s Mark: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Jack Daniel’s$26
Maker’s Mark$32

Jack Daniel’s vs Maker’s Mark: Which is Better?

Maker’s Mark is a better tasting whiskey than Jack Daniel’s

WhiskeyJack Daniel’sMaker’s Mark
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Maker’s Mark is definitely better to the Jack Daniel’s. Maker’s is a nice inoffensive pour that you can sip neat, rocks or in cocktails and serves as an everyday whiskey due to its affordable price. There is nothing remarkable about it but there is nothing offensive.
  • Jack Daniel’s is not that good, TBH. It has some ugly tasting notes that disappear when drowned in Coke but is not something you want to sip neither neat nor rocks. This is a mixer and serves no purpose beyond that.

Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee Whiskey and Maker’s Mark a Bourbon

Both whiskeys require the same corn percentage in the mashbill (at least 51%) and must be aged in new charred oak barrels.

The main difference is that Tennessee whiskey must go through a charcoal filtering process, which mellows the whiskey’s character. For that reason, bourbon is often, but not always, bolder and has a more robust flavor.

Jack Daniel’s is a Whiskey and Maker’s Mark a Whisky

Whiskey is spelled with a “E” in the United States but Maker’s Mark was founded by Bill Samuels who was of Scottish ancestry and decided not to add the E and make the Maker’s look… Scottish!

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