Few liquor brands are as heralded as Jack Daniel’s, but it’s never been a favorite of mine. Too harsh for sipping and lacking character even in a Coke, Jack has just not been a big winner for me.
And not for lack of trying. You can’t go to a bar or a party without being surrounded by the stuff. I’ve had it on literally hundreds of occasions, but no matter how I doctor the stuff, it just never does the trick vs. some far better Bourbons. (And yes, I know Jack Daniel’s is not bourbon but “Tennessee Whiskey,” but a little shorthand is OK in my book.)
So what’s Gentleman Jack all about? It is, essentially, Jack Daniel’s that’s been through an additional charcoal filtering process with the goal of making the spirit smoother and mellower. (The distillery even calls it “Charcoal Mellowing.”)
And in general, it works. Gentleman Jack is significantly smoother and quite a bit sweeter, taking on a caramel and honey notes and a more gentle smokiness than standard JD. In fact, Gentleman Jack oddly tastes closer to a blended Scotch than a Bourbon. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but there it is.
Now in a new and more elegant bottle design (see pic below), GJ isn’t a bad deal at $25 a bottle, but overall I recommend it to people growing tired of standard Jack… or those who think there’s just nothing better out there.
B+ / $25 / gentlemanjack.com
- Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey (2009)
- Review: Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye
- Review: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select
- Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Liqueur