When it comes to selecting the perfect whiskey variety that meets your preferred taste and flavor profile, there are a lot of different options for you to choose from. While all whiskey is made using the same basic ingredients, each bottle that you find on store shelves has it’s own unique twist and flavor combination that add a sense of personality and individuality to the brand itself.
Regardless of what your preferred taste and flavor profile is, there is an abundance of different whiskey brands out on the market which will make it easy for you to find the perfect brand in no time.
One of the things that are unique to whiskey alcohol selections, in particular, is the fact that many of the companies who sell these liquor variants have a very rich history in the industry dating back centuries. This allows whiskey brands to establish customer and brand loyalty that translates into regular sales as opposed to many of the “Start-up” alcohol companies that you see releasing products on the market and trying to establish their name at the same time.
Whiskey is carefully crafted and cultivated to ensure that every single ingredient which goes into its creation process is tasted and savored by those consuming the beverage. Because of this, there are very specific elements that you should scout when trying to find the right whiskey option for you. Things like its body, flavor profile, notes, and much more play a part in determining the final taste that you get when taking a sip.
Two of the most revered and highly respected whiskey brands on the market today are George Dickel and Jack Daniels. Both of these brands have established a strong footing in the whiskey industry thanks to their dedication to perfecting their selections and understanding what their consumers want most.
These two brands are alike in the fact that they produce premium whiskey, however, they vary significantly in terms of the process used to create all of the options that they offer.
If you’re a whiskey drinker who is tired of chugging down the same bottle and wants to try something new, you’re in store for a huge surprise. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth comparison between George Dickel & Jack Daniels whiskey so that you can make an educated purchase decision about which brand will meet your desired tasting preference and flavor profile.
To begin, we’re going to take a look at the history behind both of these whiskey brands so that you can get a better understanding about how they’ve come to be the go-to selections for serious whiskey drinkers.
The Main Differences Between George Dickel vs Jack Daniels
The main differences between George Dickel vs Jack Daniels are:
- George Dickel is made with a sour mash bill, whereas Jack Daniels is charcoal mellowed.
- George Dickel is made with creek water, whereas Jack Daniels is made with limestone water.
- George Dickel has a spicy and mellow finish, whereas Jack Daniels has an oaky and sweet flavor.
Every whiskey distillery has it’s own unique distillation and fermentation methods which all impact the final flavor profile experienced by the consumer. By understanding all of the main differences before going out to purchase a bottle, you will be able to make an educated decision about which one fits your particular tasting needs and flavor preferences perfectly.
In the following section, we’re going to cover all of the main differences that you’ll encounter when you come across either of these whiskey selections. Make sure you read this section in full so that you will be able to gain a clear picture of what makes both of these selections so vastly different from one another.
As you can see from the comparison above, both of these brands use significantly different processes and methods in the production of their whiskey varieties. That is why both companies are able to produce such distinctive and unique whiskey selections that have withstood the test of time.
All of the various ingredients included in these whiskey varieties play a role in the overall flavor profile and taste that you experience in every bottle.
That’s why you need to consider these factors when making a decision about which brand and drink selection will be perfect for you. The various processes and methods used in the creation process of whiskey infuse very distinct qualities into each bottle, these qualities can accent and enhance your overall drinking experience all depending on how you decide to enjoy your whiskey.
History Behind the Company: George Dickel vs. Jack Daniels
Whenever you consume an alcoholic beverage like whiskey, it’s always a treat to learn about the history that brought you your glass. Understanding the process and story about how a particular whiskey brand came into existence can enhance and enrich your experience overall. In the following section, we’re going to take a deep look at the history behind both George Dickel and Jack Daniels so that you will be able to enjoy the entire essence of both brands.
History of George Dickel
George Dickel was created by George A. Dickel who was a highly respected merchant in the Nashville area. He was known for producing some of the finest and smoothest spirits available during that period which led him to open up his first distillery in 1878 named the Geo. A. Dickel & Co., the distillery was located in Coffee County, TN.
One unique aspect of Dickel and his whiskey-making process was that he preferred to make his spirits in the wintertime because he thought it added a smoother taste to the end product. The first batches of this whiskey produced used the tagline of “Mellow as Moonlight”, while this marketing phrase may have been derived from the fact that the company distills whiskey during the winter, it also has some more practical meaning to this brand.
Before this whiskey undergoes the process of filtration by way of charcoal, it is chilled which helps to bring out all of the ingredients included in the initial mixture in addition to making the whiskey much smoother all around. In 1919, prohibition started and the distillery was closed however 25 years after the prohibition era ended, the company opened a new distillery in 1958.
The brand as we know it today has been in business for 130+yrs and still holds true to the founding principles of Its original distiller.
History of Jack Daniels
Jack Daniel’s has been around for over 150yrs getting its start in 1864 by Jasper Newton Daniel whose nickname was Jack. Throughout the years of 1864 and 1910, Jasper Daniel would go on to create the classic Old No. 7 that the Jack Daniel’s whiskey brand is so commonly known for being his signature charcoal mellowed tasting Tennessee whiskey.
In 1864, Jasper Daniel was taken in by a reverend named Dan Call who an enslaved person named Nathan Green. Later on, Jasper Daniel would hire Nathan Green to be the Master Distiller at Daniel Distilleries at the time. This unique relationship is what led to the ultimate founding and creation of one of the most iconic whiskey brands’ available, which is Jack Daniel’s.
In 1866, Jack’s Jack Daniel Distillery was opened and became the first registered distillery in the United States. The distillery was located next to the Cave Spring rich in minerals that Jack used to filter his whiskey at the time.
In 1904, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 won a gold medal at the World’s Fair which was held in St. Louis, Missouri is the first out of 7 total medals that Jack Daniel’s whiskey has been awarded over the years. Jack Daniel’s died in 1906 due to a fatal toe injury. Being that he had no kids or wife at the time, he ultimately left his distilleries to his nephew Lem Motlow.
Throughout 1911-1940, the Motlow brothers ran the Jack Daniel’s distillery during the great depression which is one of the darker times in the company’s history. After the depression ended, the Motlow brothers continued to produce Jack Daniel’s which has become a worldwide favorite. Over the years since rock n’ roll played a huge influence of the Jack Daniel’s brand and it eventually wound up in the hands-off Arnett who still runs the distillery till this very day.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the histories behind both of these companies, it’s time to take a look at what the main difference is between these two whiskey brands.
What is Tennessee Whiskey?
While there are a lot of different whiskey brands out on the market, one thing that differentiates these two brands from many of the others out there is the fact that they are both considered to be Tennessee Whiskeys.
What makes a Tennessee whiskey different from other whiskey varieties is the fact that they’re produced in Tennessee which has long been a state that is known for pioneering the whiskey industry as a whole and bringing it’s profound qualities to the market.
However, whether you’re aware of it or not, there are actually very strict laws and regulations that define exactly what whiskey is and how it can be sold on the market. Below, we’re going to take a close look at some of the laws and regulations that surround whiskey production.
Legal Definition of Whiskey
According to United States law, in order for an alcoholic beverage to be classified as a whiskey, it must be made from fermented grains. The beverage also cannot be distilled at a proof rating higher than 190 proof which is about 95% alcohol by volume. It also must be stored inside of oak barrels and cannot be bottled at any proof rating less than 80.
No regulations or laws are stating what condition the oak barrels must be in so using either new or matured barrels works just fine. There also are no laws regulating the amount of time that whiskey has to be aged for however depending on the classification of the whiskey, there are some maturing guidelines.
There are two main whiskey classifications which are Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. Both of these varieties are heavily regulated at the governmental level however the major difference is that Bourbon is oftentimes classified on a Federal level while Tennessee whiskey is typically monitored on a state level.
Below, we’re going to breakdown the legal requirements and restrictions for both of these whiskey types so that you can have a better understanding of what makes them so separate.
Legal Requirements for Bourbon
In order for an alcoholic beverage to be considered a bourbon, it must be produced within the United States and meet the legally instituted age requirement for whiskey. The mash bill used in its production must be made of at least 51% corn and contain no added coloring or flavoring.
Bourbon by law has to be distilled to at least 160 proof or below and has to enter the barrel at least at 125 proof rating. The barrels used in the production of bourbon must be made from new charred American white oak wood.
If bourbon is labeled as “straight bourbon whiskey” it has to be aged for no longer than two years. Once the beverage meets all of these requirements, it can be labeled as a bourbon legally and be sold.
Legal Requirements for Tennessee Whiskey
In order for a whiskey to be labeled as a Tennessee Whiskey variety, it must be filtered through sugar maple charcoal directly after being distilled. The law, however, does not define at exactly what time the resulting liquid must be filtered however most distillers do use the common practice of doing so directly after their distillation process has been completed.
Aside from this one step, Tennessee whiskey is regulated by many of the same rules that garner what can and cannot be classified as a bourbon variety. Now that we’ve covered the legal aspect of what constitutes the labeling of any particular whiskey variety, it’s time to take a look at all of the various options offered by both George Dickel and Jack Daniels.
Variety & Selections: George Dickel vs Jack Daniels
Both of these whiskey brands offer a variety of different beverage options and selections for you to choose from. All of the drink choices vary in terms of their main flavor and taste profile which allows the end consumer to choose from a wide array of options that meet the preferences of every individual.
Simply looking at a bottle on the shelf doesn’t give you an accurate portrayal of all the unique ingredients and tasting notes that you’re likely to encounter upon consumption.
In the following section, we’re going to go over some of the top varieties by both brands so that you will be able to go into your local liquor store with confidence knowing that you can distinguish between all of the different elements that make each whiskey brand unique and authentic.
George Dickel Varieties
George Dickel offers 7 different distinct whiskey varieties all of which have very unique tasting notes and flavor profiles. All of these different varieties are made using special techniques and processes which help to infuse each drink with a special touch. Check out all seven of these whiskey options below so that you can see which one fits your particular taste preferences perfectly.
George Dickel No.1 Whiskey
The No.1 selection is made from the same mash bill used in the production of the No. 8 and No. 12 variants offered by the brand.
This whiskey is made using a special chill charcoal mellowing process that is unique to the brand itself, the recipe used in the production of this whiskey does not require aging so this is considered to be one of the finest un-aged whiskey selections on the market. Is has a 91-proof rating and a 45.5% ABV rating with an 84% corn, 8% malted barley, and 8% rye mixture.
Bourbon /45.5% ABV / Tennessee, United States
George Dickel No. 1 is the foundation where all of George Dickel’s handcrafted corn-based whiskies begin. It is the finest un-aged whiskey around. As George himself would have said, it’s “Mellow as Moonlight.”
Classic No. 8 Whiskey
The Classic No. 8 whiskey selection is made for those drinkers who want a smooth yet bold taste that is reminiscent of the classic whiskey recipes you would find in times of old. This whiskey selection has hints of wood and light caramel aromas sprinkled all throughout in addition to being finished with a smoky taste that includes notes of buttered corn and maple.
This whiskey is handcrafted which infuses the end resulting variety with a unique taste that you won’t find anywhere else. It has a proof rating of 80 and a 40% ABV in addition to being made from 84% corn, 8% malted barley, and 8% rye.
Bourbon /40% ABV / Tennessee, United States
George Dickel No. 8 Sour Mash Tennessee Whisky brings depth, range and personality with bold flavors and a remarkably smooth finish. Our 80 proof whisky contains a signature balance of light caramel, maple and wood flavors with a long, smoky finish.
Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish
The Tabasco Brand Barrel finish is crafted using a process that ages the whiskey inside of barrels that are used to store red peppers for Tabasco production a minimum of three years. This infuses the spice and kick that you experience in a bottle of tabasco into the whiskey for a very unique taste and flavor that is unique to this brand.
Although the whiskey is very spicy, it is also smooth thanks to the chilled mellowing used during its distillation and fermentation stages. This whiskey has a 70-proof rating and contains about 35% ABV which is moderate for a whiskey variety.
Flavored Whiskey /35% ABV / Tennessee, United States
Take a walk on the wild side with the bold kick of George Dickel™ Tabasco® Barrel Finish Whisky. We have partnered with our friends at McIlhenny Co. to acquire real Tabasco® barrels used in aging their pepper mash to create our deliciously spicy whisky.
Superior No. 12 Whisky
Superior No. 12 whiskey is made to be bottled with a 90-proof rating and is infused with deep flavors that bring out the underlying character of the mixture. This selection has flavors of smooth vanilla and rich oak that bring out depth and prominent flavor profile like no other brand we’ve experienced.
It also has hints of butter, smoke, and maple sprinkled throughout which provide a nice sweet undertone to the naturally dominating profile of the whiskey. This bottle has a 90-proof rating and a 45% ABV, it is made from a combination of 8% rye, 84% corn, and 8% malted barley which provide the essential base for this selection.
Tennessee Whiskey /45% ABV / Tennessee, United States
The only 90-proof Tennessee Whisky. Blended older whiskies to achieve deep, assertive flavors with an incredibly smooth finish. Bold and brazen, this is our Superior No. 12. Concentrated flavors of rich oak and subtle vanilla lead to a long finish with hints of maple, butter and smoke.
Rye Whisky is the only rye finished whiskey selection that is finished using a chilled charcoal mellowing process that enhances the flavors and body of the alcohol. This particular selection is made from 5% malted barley and 95% rye which provide a strong combination for this traditional tasting whiskey. This variety has a 90-proof rating and a 45% ABV which is suitable for a wide range of different taste preferences and flavor profiles.
Whiskey /45% ABV / Tennessee, United States
George Dickel Rye Whisky brings depth, range and personality with spicy flavor and subtle fruit notes ending in a remarkably smooth finish. This 90 proof Rye whisky is made from 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Finished in the chilled charcoal-mellowed style, this process is what makes this specific blend so unique.
Bottled in Bond
This bottled in bond whiskey is a limited release and has been in existence for 13yrs, its recipe is based on authenticity and quality production. This particular selection has a 100-proof rating and is distilled and fermented at one location in Tullahoma, TN. This is a premium selection for serious whiskey drinkers who enjoy time and quality crafted beverages.
Whiskey /50% ABV / Tennessee, United States
This limited release whisky is bold and balanced with tantalizing notes of pecan, maple syrup and dried apple. Bottled in Bond Distilling Season 2008 is best served neat, on the rocks or with sugar, bitters and an orange twist for a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. “Bottled In Bond” is a label for American-made distilled beverages that follow a set of legal regulations originally laid out in the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897.
Barrel Select whiskey from this brand is considered to be the brand’s pride and joy out of all the other selections they provide. This whiskey is made by being aged in carefully selected barrels, to be exact only 10 are selected to make this superior small-batch variety.
This selection is aged for a time period of between 10-12 years and is made using the same charcoal mellowing process that all of the other selections made by this company do which brings out the intense underlying flavors and tasting notes.
This whiskey is the perfect balance of rich, smooth, and bold with its flavor profile consisting of ingredients such as spice, charcoal, and small hints of vanilla. It has an 86 proof rating and a 43% ABV, it’s made from a mash bill that contains 8% malted barley, 8% rye, and 84% corn.
Bourbon /43% ABV / Tennessee, United States
The finest whisky, for the truly discerning whisky drinker. Only 10 barrels are hand-selected by our Master Distiller John Lunn for this small-batch handcrafted whisky. Aged between 10 and 12 years. Charcoal mellowing and our unique ageing process form a smooth, premium whisky that stands in a class all by itself. A perfectly balanced, rich and silky taste with hints of vanilla, spice and charcoal.
Jack Daniels Varieties
Jack Daniels is probably one of the most widely recognized whiskey brands on the market. They offer 8 distinctive selections all of which are crafted to provide you with an incredible drinking experience with every sip. Below, we’re going to go over some of the most popular options from this brand so that you can choose the perfect whiskey option that fits your desired taste preferences and flavor profiles.
Old No. 7
The Old No. 7 is filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal and is aged in handcrafted barrels which bring out the aromatic qualities and deep flavor of this selection. This particular selection is charcoal mellowed and has a nice balance of oaky and sweet flavors that deliver a rounded and well-balanced flavor profile overall. This whiskey is great for those who want a smooth and classic taste.
Bourbon /40% ABV / Tennessee, United States
Made from the finest corn, rye, and barley malt these choice grains are mixed with the iron-free water that flows from the Cave Spring found on the distillery grounds.
Tennessee Rye is made with a combination of a 70% rye mash bill and natural spring water which brings out the purity and flavor qualities of the whiskey in full. This rye mixture used in the creation of this whiskey adds a nice spicy undertone to the flavor profile in general and has a complex flavor that is permeated throughout the rest of the selection.
This selection is also charcoal mellowed for a more refined and smoother taste. This whiskey variety combines elements of smoothness and spice which provide the right balance to pair this variety with virtually anything.
Whiskey /45% ABV / Tennessee, United States
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye brings together two classics - Rye's distinctive flavor, drawn from our unique 70% Rye grain bill, and Jack's time-honored charcoal mellowing method. What emerges is a spicy whiskey that's sipping' smooth.
Gentleman Jack is a very unique whiskey option that is made using charcoal mellowing and a balance of flavors that provide a well-rounded beverage for consumption. This particular variety has a very smooth finish and is double charcoal mellowed to further bring out all of the flavors hidden underneath its primary body. It has hints of caramel and vanilla sprinkled all throughout which provide the perfect contrast of flavors and taste to add a dynamic flair to this selection.
Whiskey /40% ABV / Tennessee, United States
Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack is an exceptionally smooth Tennessee whiskey with a rich, rewarding taste and a gentle farewell. Crafted by combining traditional methods with a unique process that’s all its own, Gentleman Jack undergoes a second charcoal mellowing to achieve exceptional smoothness.
Tennessee Honey whiskey is made using a unique recipe that includes honey and other natural flavors that combine to bring out a great tasting liquor. It has hints of naturally smooth and sweet hints in addition to being crafted with real honey. This particular whiskey selection is also blended with Jack Old No. 7 which infuses the tastes and flavors found in that selection into this bottle for an enhanced drinking experience.
All of these various selections are made using very distinctive recipes and combinations that bring out the full flavor and taste that you experience as an end consumer.
Both of these brands take drastically different approaches to the way that they distiller, ferment, mature, and bottle their whiskey varieties which is why it’s important for you to consider your own personal tasting preferences so that you can make an educated decision about which brand has the exact option that you’re looking for.
Now that we’ve gone over all of the main tasting notes and flavors you should expect to experience from consuming either of these brands, it’s time to take a look at what our honest opinion is in terms of which one of these brands has the highest quality whiskey selections to purchase.
Flavored Whiskey /35% ABV / Tennessee, United States
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is a blend of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a unique honey liqueur of our own making, for a taste that’s one-of-a-kind and unmistakably Jack. With hints of honey and a finish that’s naturally smooth, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is something special.
When it comes to choosing between both of these brands, there really is no definitive way to measure which one is “better” or “better tasting” than the other. The ultimate decision will come down to what you as an individual consumer wants and expects out of your whiskey.
If your someone looking for top-shelf whiskey that comes in a variety of different flavor profiles and taste combinations, both of these brands have something to offer you in terms of the number of options they each have to choose from and the vast flavor differences between each of them.
Jack Daniel’s prides itself on using iron-free water that is said to enhance the purity and taste quality of the whiskey. George Dickel, on the other hand, prides itself on using a special charcoal mellowing process that helps to cool off the final solution while also bringing out all of the underlying flavors which may be hidden beneath the surface of its original mash bill.
Both of these unique approaches create vastly different whiskey options that cater to very specific taste preferences. Depending on what you expect from a bottle of whiskey and how much you’re willing to pay, any one of these brands can offer you the exact bottle and flavor that you’re looking for.
In the next section, we’re going to cover some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when it comes to whiskey and bourbon in general.
Many people have a lot of questions regarding whiskey and how to consume it, in the following section we’re going to cover some of the most frequently asked questions that people have when it comes to whiskey.
Yes, freezing your whiskey will ruin it’s flavor because you will introduce ice and water into its overall mixture diluting the other ingredients.
When stored in an unopened bottle in the proper conditions, whiskey can last for an indefinite amount of time.
No contrary to popular belief, whiskey only ages when it’s stored in barrels. Unlike wine, your whiskey will not age inside of the bottle.
In the following section, we’re going to take a look at some of our top recommendations for those that can’t seem to find the right fit in either of the whiskey brands we’ve covered so far.
#1 Maker’s Mark
Bourbon /45% ABV / Kentucky, United States
It makes a fine Manhattan with a cherry. Go light with the bitters. It's also a great choice with an Old Fashioned, particularly if you have dark purple Bing cherries to muddle.
Maker’s Mark is a premium whiskey brand that produces selections ranging in their flavors, tastes, and much more. This brand has a very rich history in the whiskey business and bottles most of its selections at 90-proof for a superior taste and flavor experience.
#2 Ten High
Ten High is another very prominent whiskey brand that is crafted using special barrels for the aging process and comes in a variety of different flavors. When it comes to affordable whiskey that tastes great and is aged properly, this is a great selection.
Bourbon /40% ABV / Kentucky, United States
Carefully distilled and aged, Ten High Sour Mash is a legendary American Whiskey that has been enjoyed for decades.
Use all of the information we’ve included in this guide to help you decide on which whiskey brand is right for you. We’ve gone over all of the most important facts and information that you need to know in order to make an informed decision. As long as you take into consideration your personal taste and flavor preferences, you will have no problem picking up the right bottle of whiskey that fits your preferred consumption style.
- If you are looking for your next favorite bottle of whiskey, we recommend a few options that we know you’re going to enjoy, so here, check everything from the produce to the best bottle of each brand and decide your next try. Enjoy our reviews on Maker’s Mark, Jameson, Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker and try some excellent whiskey mixers for a Jack Daniels Cocktail too...
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