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Jameson vs Jim Beam: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between the best-selling Irish Whiskey vs the best-selling Bourbon across the world: Jameson vs Jim Beam and decide which is better for You!

Jameson

Jameson-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: Jack Daniel’s, Proper 12

Taste:

Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

Is it good?

It is a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

Jameson is the top-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two solid reasons: It is smooth and affordable offering good value for the money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey.

If you want to make the most out of the Jameson mix it with ginger ale and lime; it is delicious and quite easy to make as you don’t need a PHD is mixing to enjoy one.

Read my roundup with the best substitutes to Jameson so you consider further options!

Jameson facts:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whisky is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits in are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.
  • Jameson is owned by Pernod Ricard from France.

Jim Beam

jim-beam-white-label-marcas-de-whisky
  • 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, Jack Daniel’s

Taste:

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 warm, 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 use a sipper.

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

Jim Beam facts:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).
  • 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.
  • Suntory owns a zillion brands such as Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Laphroaig Whisky, Hibiki among many others.

Jameson vs Jim Beam: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Jameson$28
Jim Beam$24

Jameson vs Jim Beam: Which is better?

Jameson is a more versatile and better tasting whiskey than Jim Beam

WhiskeyJamesonJim Beam
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Jameson is clearly better than Jim Beam making a more versatile whiskey that can be enjoyed in more forms.
  • You can down it either rocks or in any cocktail as it mixes incredibly well.
  • Jim Beam is full of weird tasting notes making me pass on it.
  • Jameson uses a mashbill and a production process that creates a smoother and more pleasant dram than Jim Beam making it a better choice for most consumers.

Jameson vs Jim Beam: Differences

  • Jim Beam is a bourbon whiskey aged for at least 4 years in new charred oak barrels. This type of whiskey must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.
  • Jameson Whiskey is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in casks that were previously used to store bourbon whiskey from Kentucky and sweet sherry wine from Spain. These flavors are present in the Jameson.
  • Due to the selection of grains and casks Jameson is a sweeter whiskey than Jim Beam.
  • The triple-distillation makes the Jameson smoother than Jim Beam.

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