Skip to Content

Jack Daniel’s vs Old Forester: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Jack Daniel’s vs Old Forester 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
NoseBanana, oak, wood polish
PalateCaramel, banana, oak char
FinishCitrus, black pepper, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCoke
Similar toEarly Times, Maker’s Mark

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 (Review) 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 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 (Substitutes) 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.

Old Forester 86

old-forester-86
NoseBrown sugar, caramel, ethanol
PalateVanilla, banana, oak, spice
FinishCaramel, oak
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toJim Beam, Basil Hayden’s

The nose delivers a sharp ethanol hit that quickly fades into a sweet scent of brown sugar and caramel.

On the palate, the Old Forester 86 has a decent body showing a medium texture. Flavor is smooth and a bit musty, with hints of vanilla, banana, cinnamon and a whiff of charred oak spice providing a bitter note.

The finish is shortlived, with caramel and oak to it with very little to no warmth.

It drinks nicely neat or rocks and the little higher than average proof (86) makes it a good option for an affordable and tasty cocktail.

Old Forester 86 is an easy drinker with nothing remarkable or off-putting, getting the job done providing good value for the money.

It definitely tastes better and is smoother than other bourbons at this price range such as the Jim Beam or Evan Williams.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Forester 86:

  • Bottled at 86 proof.
  • Aged for around 4 years.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • This was the first bottled bourbon sold in sealed glass bottles instead of from barrels, to ensure consistent quality.
  • Old Forester has been on the market continuously since 1870, which is longer than any other bourbon.
  • Old Forester was launched in 1870 by George Garvin Brown and named for Dr. William Forrester, who prescribed bourbon to his patients.
  • Crafted at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively, KY.

What do Jack Daniel’s and Old Forester have in common?

They are both owned by Brown-Forman

Both brands are owned by Brown-Forman along the Woodford Reserve Bourbon, although they are crafted at different locations.

Old Forester is produced at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Kentucky while the Jack Daniel’s in its own distillery in Tennessee.

What’s the difference between Jack Daniel’s and Old Forester?

Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee Whiskey while Old Forester a Bourbon

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, filtering the new-make spirit through layers of charcoal before barreling.

Jack Daniel’s vs Old Forester: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceBottle Size
Jack Daniel’s$371L
Old Forester$291L

Jack Daniel’s vs Old Forester: Which is better?

Old Forester is a smoother and better tasting whiskey

WhiskeyJack Daniel’sOld Forester
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Old Forester 86 won’t be winning any awards but will get the job done providing a bourbon with no harsh or off-putting notes, attractively priced providing good value for the money.
  • Jack Daniel’s is plagued with weird tasting notes making a whiskey that drinks well when drowned in Coke but with very little purpose beyond that.

Jim Beam vs Old Forester: Which Bourbon Wins?

Friday 12th of August 2022

[…] Old Forester 86 is an easy drinker with nothing remarkable or off-putting, getting the job done providing good value for the money. […]