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Jack Daniel’s vs Monkey Shoulder: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Jack Daniel’s vs Monkey Shoulder in this head to head comparison and decide which whiskey is better for You!

Jack Daniel’s

jack-daniles-no-7-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Floral, marmalade, caramel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, vanilla
  • Finish: Medium, caramel, spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Red Label

Jack was my first whiskey and my whiskey to go for many years. My taste has evolved greatly ever since but I can still down it with Coke.

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 Gorilla Glue.

Is it good?

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

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

The best use you can make of 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.

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, 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 has belonged to Brown-Forman Corporation since 1956.

Monkey Shoulder

monkey-shoulder-whisky
  • Nose: Marmalade, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon
  • Palate: Malt, vanilla, orange, honey, oak
  • Finish: Caramel, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Johnnie Walker Black Label

Taste:

The nose brings a marmalade aroma, with hints of vanilla, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.

On the palate, the Monkey Shoulder feels smooth and creamy with very little heat on the first sip. Hints of vanilla, orange and honey pop-up, followed by a bit of oak spice bitterness.

The finish is short, with a tad of caramel and more oak spice bitterness to it.

The Monkey Shoulder becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter, while subduing the oak spice note.

Is it good?

Monkey Shoulder is an easy whiskey, good choice for those new to whisky looking for something approachable and affordable.

Where this whisky shines is in cocktails as its flavor profiles mixes incredibly well in any cocktail.

Not the most complex ot interesting but gets the job done at a reasonable price.

The Monkey Shoulder is not a single malt whisky but a blend of single malts coming from 3 prestigious Speyside distilleries: Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kinnivie.

It can’t be considered a single malt as the set of regulations that govern Scotch whisky require single malts to be made at a single distillery.

Monkey Shoulder facts:

  • This whisky is a blend of malts with no age statement.
  • The name Monkey Shoulder comes from an injury that the maltmen (those that hand turn the grain in a malthouse) would get as it would leave one arm hanging.
  • This brand is owned by William Grant & Sons who owns prestigious brands like Glenfiddich and Balvenie

Jack Daniel’s vs Monkey Shoulder: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

PriceWhiskey
Jack Daniel’s$26
Monkey Shoulder$37

Jack Daniel’s or Monkey Shoulder: Which is better?

Monkey Shoulder is a better tasting whisky than Jack Daniel’s

WhiskeyJack Daniel’sMonkey Shoulder
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Monkey Shoulder is a better whiskey than Jack Daniel’s as it is more versatile. You can drink the Monkey Shoulder either neat by adding water or rocks whilst being a solid option for cocktails.
  • Jack Daniel’s serves primarily as a mixer.
  • No whiskey mixes better with Coke than Jack Daniel’s. Its attractive price also makes it a solid option for mixing.

Differences between Jack Daniel’s and Monkey Shoulder

There are a few differences between these whiskeys for you to consider:

  • Jack Daniel’s 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.
  • Monkey Shoulder is a blend of single malt whiskies produced in 3 different distilleries but not a single malt whisky. According to the United Kingdom’s Scotch Whisky Regulations a single malt must be made exclusively from malted barley, distilled using pot stills at a single distillery.
  • 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. 
  • Monkey Shoulder has no age statement. The 3 whiskies that comprise this dram are married in a tun (large cask) for up to 6 months before bottling.
  • 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.
  • Jack Daniel’s is a Whiskey and Monkey Shoulder a Whisky. The Scots don’t add “E” on whiskey.

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