Maker’s Mark vs Jack Daniels – The Full Brand Battle!

Whiskey is cherished across the world largely for its bold flavor and robust taste depending on the conditions in which it is produced. If you love drinking whiskey, you’ve probably seen hundreds if not thousands of whiskey brands out on the market that offer varying flavors and tastes.

There are a lot of premium whiskey brands out there for you to choose from which can make it a little hard trying to find the perfect whiskey fit for you. When you’re searching for the right whiskey type that suits your particular taste buds and desired flavor profile, it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind. The type of grain used in the production of the whiskey that you select will play a huge role in its overall taste quality once the whiskey is finished.

Whiskey is also known as bourbon and is generally accepted as being an American tradition due to its long-standing history in the United States. While bourbon making and production may seem like simple tasks, the various schools of thought surrounding the spirit have made the approach to whiskey and bourbon very complicated in recent years.

whiskey glass

People tend to purchase whiskey or any other liquor product for that matter based on brand names and history. The more familiar you are with a particular company or brand, the more likely you are to buy their products when compared to similar options out on the market. The same is true for many spirit companies especially those that produce whiskey varieties because most of them have been around for at least 50+yrs.

Producing whiskey is not something that you can easily pick up on which is why so many companies are solely dedicated to producing high-quality whiskey only.

Due to the dedication when it comes to how immersed the makers of the various whiskey options that are available on the market are, there is really intense competition between producers in relation to who can make the best-tasting whiskey recipe. There is a very large amount of whiskey brands that you will see by simply strolling through your local neighborhood grocery or liquor store which can make deciding on which one is right for you overwhelming.

Thanks to the rigorous fermentation and formulation process that goes into making whiskey varieties, you can easily spot the quality of a particular selection simply by looking at the ingredients and what’s involved in the process of making it.

Most brands also produce several different varieties of their bourbon whiskey options so you may see two different types of whiskey made from the same company. If you’re interested in enjoying a glass of whiskey but are having trouble finding the right whiskey selection for you, today is your lucky day.

In this guide, we’re going to break down all of the various elements that you should look for when selecting the right whiskey variety for you. We’ll discuss how whiskey bourbon is made and how the various ingredients used in its production will affect the overall taste. Make sure that you read all of the section below in full so that you will know exactly how to find the perfect whiskey variety for you.

We’re going to compare two of the major whiskey brands that are available on the market right now which are Makers Mark and Jack Daniels. By the end, you’ll know exactly which whiskey will be perfect for you.

How Bourbon Whiskey Is Made

bourbon

There are several different methods used in the production of whiskey varieties all of which have an impact on the overall taste and flavor profile that you receive from any given whiskey selection. If you’re new to the world of whiskey, there are a lot of terms and slang phrases that you’ll want to get familiar with if you plan on becoming an expert at picking out premium bourbon selections.

Whiskey comes in various different forms all of which center around the basic way that it is created, fermented, and stored. Depending on the type of whiskey variety that you purchase, below, we’re going to go through a list of some of the most commonly used terms when in reference to whiskey so that you know what to look for and what certain terminology means when you begin shopping for premium whiskey varieties.

Keep in mind, some of these phrases refer to the way that whiskey is made while others simply reference specific types of ingredients and methods used to properly ferment the whiskey. Make sure that you read this entire section in full so that you know exactly what everything means when it comes to whiskey labeling.

Bottled in Bond

In order for a bourbon whiskey product to be considered “bottled in bond” it must be produced within one distillation season and it must be distilled by only one distiller in one distillery location.

Once the whiskey is produced according to these specifications, it must be stored in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years and it must be 100 proof at the date of bonding.

The whiskey must then be labeled with the distillery in which it was produced in addition to the location of where the whiskey product was initially bottled. This entire process produces some of the finest whiskey available on the market so if you’re looking for premium whiskey options, choose those that have a bottle in a bond label.

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

In order for a whiskey product to qualify as straight bourbon whiskey, it must be stored in new charred oak barrels for at least two years or more. Straight bourbon whiskey can contain two or more mixtures of straight bourbon whiskey varieties which can add to the overall flavor profile and taste of the whiskey.

All of the whiskey varieties used in the production of straight bourbon whiskey must be distilled and produced by distillers that are located in the same state. Once a whiskey goes through all of these processes, it can be legally considered a straight bourbon whiskey.

Bourbon Whiskey

In order for a whiskey to qualify as a bourbon whiskey, it must be produced in the United States and not exceed a total alcohol volume of at least 80 percent which is 160 proof. The whiskey must also be fermented from a mash that uses at least 51% corn; the whiskey must also be stored at 62.5 percent alcohol content in new charred oak barrels.

Sour Mash

Sour mash is a term used in whiskey production that references the used of pre-fermented mash that comes from a previously distilling season which is then used in the fermentation and production of a new whiskey batch.

The process is very beneficial in the fermentation and production of whiskey because it helps to prevent the growth of wild yeast in the new batch of whiskey, it also helps reduce the odds of infection inside of the new whiskey batch.

High Rye

When you hear the term, high rye used in relationship to whiskey, it means that the particular whiskey in question was made with above-average levels of mash that largely consisted of rye. Rye is often used as a substitute to other common grains such as wheat, barley, or corn, this is done to produce more of a flare and spice to the bourbon that is being produced.

Wheated

If you hear the term heated when talking about whiskey, it means that the bourbon whiskey in question was created using a mash that contained an above average level of wheat in the mixture. This process is used to achieve more of a lighter and less spicy flavor and taste within any given whiskey variety.

Now that you know a little more about the various factors that go into making bourbon whiskey, it’s time to get into the details about the main differences between Makers Mark whiskey and Jack Daniels whiskey, both of these whiskey varieties are considered premium whiskey selections so it’s important for you to understand the key differences between them before making a final decision about which one is best for you. let’s continue the comparison between the two below to find out more.

What is the difference between Jack Daniels and Makers Mark?

glass of whiskey

When it comes to the main differences between makers mark and Jack Daniels, it really all boils down to the recipe and fermentation process used during the distillation process. The location, type of barrels used in storage, wheat used during the fermentation process and a lot more will affect the overall end result in terms of the quality that you experience with said whiskey.

Below, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth comparison between Jack Daniels and Makers Mark whiskey so that you can have a full understanding in what’s involved with the process of creating your favorite bourbon whiskey variety.

Reach the following section carefully to ensure that you’re making the right decision when it comes to which whiskey variety is best for you.

Makers Mark: The Company Behind the Whiskey

makers mark

Makers Mark whiskey was started in 1953 by the founder Bill Samuels Sr. who created the now world-renown Makers Mark recipe from his family’s 170yr old recipe. Bill Samuels Sr. was a 6th generation distiller who took an immense amount of pride in making his great tasting bourbon whiskey recipes.

During the creation of his whiskey varieties, Bill Samuels Sr. accidentally set his own drapes on fire however he was able to successfully stop the fire before it got too large and ruined his home. From this day on, Bill Samuels Sr. continued to refine his whiskey recipe into what many people know and love today as Makers Mark Whiskey.

Bill Samuels Sr. experimented with several different grain combinations and bread types before deciding on his ultimate mash which is what many consumers enjoy till this day.

The overall aesthetic of the company is very important to co-founder Margie Samuels who insisted that an immense amount of time and effort be put into the bottling and package design of Makers Mark Whiskey. The red candle wax that encapsulates each bottle of Makers Mark whiskey has created a loyal fanbase that lives by their choice of Makers Mark whiskey.

In 1975, Bill Samuels Jr. took over the family business and his father gave him one word of advice which was “don’t screw up the whiskey” those are words that Bill Samuels Jr. lives by today as he continues to produce and ferment premium quality whiskey for bourbon lovers everywhere.

In 2010, Bill Samuels Jr. honored the family’s 46th year in business by releasing the Makers Mark 46th whiskey edition which was the first new product release from the distillery in 50+yrs. If you’re interested in learning more about Makers Mark whiskey, you can book a tour around their unique distillery facility so that you can get a close-up view of how the entire fermentation and bottling process works.

How it’s made: Maker’s Mark

makers mark whiskey

Makers Mark whiskey uses a very unique process and mash of wheat grains in order to achieve the overall taste and flavor profile that you love. Makers Mark whiskey is made using 100% pure ingredients and soft red winter wheat that adds a full-body and very spicy taste to the end results of Makers Mark whiskey.

Red winter wheat provides a very sweet flavor that is most notable at the front of your tongue or pallet. For filtration, Makers Mark’s whiskey uses nothing but natural limestone water native to the location of the distillery which is Kentucky.

Maker’s Mark whiskey is the only distillery that has its own watershed and water source. The natural limestone water created by the limestone shelf in Kentucky helps to filter out iron from the water supply that is used during the whiskey fermentation process.

The limestone water near the Makers Mark distilleries is also very rich in magnesium and calcium, this mixture allows the mash to create a sour yield that is perfect for making yeast grow. The main thing that separates Makers Mark whiskey different from other options available on the market is the specialized yeast strain that is used during its fermentation process.

Makers Mark uses a very unique yeast strain that is more than 150yrs old. The yeast used in Makers Mark whiskey is aged in very special tanks that are made from cypress planks which are more than 100yrs old.

Makers Mark also uses a double barrel distillation process which helps to remove the impurities from the whiskey in order to provide you with a smooth and refined drink. The company took the time to contact a custom builder who made exact replicas of the same barrels that were used when Bill Samuels Sr. started the business so that everything remains as close to original as possible.

Makers Mark also takes the time to rotate all of their barrels around by hand so that each bottle gets exposed to the varying temperatures and climate changes inside of the rack house. The whiskey is then monitored to ensure that it matures at the right rate, the barrels that Makers Mark whiskey is made in are charred for only 40secs which allows the barrels wooden pores to open up leading to the vanilla flavor profile that is so dominant in Makers Mark whiskey.

Top Makers Mark Whiskey Recommendations

Now that you know everything there is to know about Makers Mark whiskey-making process, it’s time to select which one of their whiskey selections are right for you. Makers Mark offers four distinctive whiskey selections however we picked out the top 2 recommended products. Read below in order to find out more about the top two Makers Mark whiskey options so that you can begin enjoying a glass now.

1. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

Maker’s Mark cask strength whiskey is some of the purest whiskey that you will find on the market. Maker’s Mark cask strength whiskey is non-chill filtered and comes out at barrel proof which packs a very nice punch to the overall flavor profile of the whiskey.

Depending on the type of barrels used during the production process of your selected Maker’s Mark cask strength whiskey, you may get a bottle that has a proof rating of 108 to 114. Maker’s Mark cask strength whiskey has undertones of vanilla, spice, oak, and a lot more to create the perfect blend of flavors for a premium whiskey option. This whiskey has been sold for $60.99.

2. Maker’s Mark Private Select

Maker’s Mark Private Select is a fully matured whiskey selection that boasts a hint of over 10 different custom types of wood in order to create the perfect whiskey blend. Maker’s Mark private select is aged in a limestone cellar which brings out a very distinctive flavor profile that tastes amazing on the tongue.

Maker’s Mark private select is unique because each barrel is randomly selected to have staves added from a wide selection of over 1,001 wood types so each bottle has a very unique taste and flavor. Maker’s Mark private select is the perfect whiskey choice for anyone that is looking for robust flavor and taste. The Maker’s Mark Private Select costs $72.99

Jack Daniel’s: The Company Behind the Whiskey

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’s 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 due to him being locked out of his personal safety, being that he had no kids or wife at the time, he ultimately left his distillery’s 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 today. 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.

How It’s made: Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s whiskey selections are created and filtered using Tennessee spring water that has been used in its production since 1866. Jack Daniel’s whiskey is filtered using natural limestone water that comes from a cave 2ft in depth. This water helps remove any potentially harmful chemicals from the final whiskey mix and to provide the consumers with a more refined and natural product.

In order to achieve that signature taste and flavor that Jack Daniel’s is known for, the whiskey starts by burning a 2000-degree fire in order to make the charcoal which will be used to mellow the whiskey. This entire process is very labor intensive and exhausting however it is still the method used today by Jack Daniel’s distilleries in order to provide a top-shelf premium whiskey selection.

Jack Daniel’s whiskey also uses a very unique mix of barley, rye, and corn that produced a 140-proof distilled whiskey that is delectable on the tongue. The whiskey is then left to mellow for 3-5 days using the charcoal created by burning the wood at high temperatures.

The end result is that great-tasting whiskey that everyone loves so much. The whiskey is then sifted through 10ft od sugar maple in order to give it a smooth and rich flavor and texture. Jack Daniel’s distilleries make their very own barrels for whiskey production so that each bottle is unique to their fermentation process.

Top Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Recommendations

Now that we’ve covered all of the important facts that you need to know about how Jack Daniel’s whiskey is made and why it’s so unique, it’s time for you to begin choosing which variety is best for your particular taste buds and flavor interests.

Jack Daniel’s offers 7 different whiskey selection all of which vary in flavor and taste, below, we’re going to review the top two Jack Daniel’s whiskey selections that you can choose from to begin enjoying yourself a glass today. Continue reading below to find out about the top two of Jack Daniel’s whiskey options.

1. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is a classic whiskey selection produced by Jack Daniel’s distillery’s that many people love and enjoy. Jack Daniel’s single barrel Rye whiskey uses a very unique 70% rye grain mash that provides a robust combination of oak flavors and spicy notes sprinkled throughout which gives it a very classic bourbon whiskey taste.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is made of 18% corn, 12% barley, and 70% rye so it’s a very powerful whiskey blend that puts the grains used in its production at the center of attention. If you’re looking for a premium glass of whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is the perfect option for you. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye costs $56.99

2. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 100 Proof

Jack Daniel’s single barrel 100 proof whiskey is bottled in a bond so you know that you are getting the full richness of flavors and taste with every bottle. Jack Daniel’s single barrel 100 proof whiskey is only available in select airports across the country and provides a smooth taste of Tennessee like you won’t find anywhere else.

Jack Daniel’s single barrel 100 proof contains a blend of distinct and rare flavors that form the perfect base of taste for anyone that is interested in a high-quality glass of rare Tennessee whiskey. If you’re looking for a unique whiskey selection that is complex, Jack Daniel’s single barrel 100 proof is the perfect option for you. Price: $62.00

Is Maker’s Mark better than Jack Daniel’s?

There are several different methods used in the production of whiskey varieties all of which have an impact on the overall taste and flavor profile that you receive from any given whiskey selection. If you’re new to the world of whiskey, there are a lot of terms and slang phrases that you’ll want to get familiar with if you plan on becoming an expert at picking out premium bourbon selections.

Whiskey comes in various different forms all of which center around the basic way that it is created, fermented, and stored. Depending on the type of whiskey variety that you purchase, below, we’re going to go through a list of some of the most commonly used terms when in reference to whiskey so that you know what to look for and what certain terminology means when you begin shopping for premium whiskey varieties.

Due to the dedication when it comes to how immersed the makers of the various whiskey options that are available on the market are, there is really intense competition between producers in relation to who can make the best-tasting whiskey recipe. There is a very large amount of whiskey brands that you will see by simply strolling through your local neighborhood grocery or liquor store which can make deciding on which one is right for you overwhelming. Thanks to the rigorous fermentation and formulation process that goes into making whiskey varieties, you can easily spot the quality of a particular selection simply by looking at the ingredients and what’s involved in the process of making it.

Whiskey is cherished across the world largely for its bold flavor and robust taste depending on the conditions in which it is produced. If you love drinking whiskey, you’ve probably seen hundreds if not thousands of whiskey brands out on the market which offers varying flavors and tastes. There are a lot of premium whiskey brands out there for you to choose from which can make it a little hard trying to find the perfect whiskey fit for you. when you’re searching for the right whiskey type that suits your particular taste buds and desired flavor profile, it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind.

The type of grain used in the production of the whiskey that you select will play a huge role in its overall taste quality once the whiskey is finished. Whiskey is also known as bourbon and is generally accepted as being an American tradition due to its long-standing history in the United States. While bourbon making and production may seem like simple tasks, the various schools of thought surrounding the spirit have made the approach to whiskey and bourbon very complicated in recent years.

How you should decide

WHISKEY ON ROCKS

The limestone water near the Makers Mark distilleries is also very rich in magnesium and calcium, this mixture allows the mash to create a sour yield that is perfect for making yeast grow. The main thing that separates Makers Mark whiskey different from other options available on the market is the specialized yeast strain that is used during its fermentation process.

Makers Mark uses a very unique yeast strain that is more than 150yrs old and it is stored in specialized, the yeast used in Makers Mark whiskey is aged in very special tanks that are made from cypress planks which are more than 100yrs old.

Jack Daniel’s whiskey selections are created and filtered using Tennessee spring water that has been used in its production since 1866. Jack Daniel’s whiskey is filtered using natural limestone water that comes from a cave 2ft in depth. This water helps remove any potentially harmful chemicals from the final whiskey mix and to provide the consumers with a more refined and natural product.

In order to achieve that signature taste and flavor that Jack Daniel’s is known for, the whiskey starts by burning a 2000-degree fire in order to make the charcoal which will be used to mellow the whiskey. This entire process is very labor intensive and exhausting however it is still the method used today by Jack Daniel’s distilleries in order to provide a top-shelf premium whiskey selection.

Makers Mark whiskey uses a very unique process and mash of wheat grains in order to achieve the overall taste and flavor profile that you love. Makers Mark whiskey is made using 100% pure ingredients and soft red winter wheat that adds a full-body and very spicy taste to the end results of Makers Mark whiskey. Red winter wheat provides a very sweet flavor that is most notable at the front of your tongue or pallet.

For filtration, Makers Mark’s whiskey uses nothing but natural limestone water native to the location of the distillery which is Kentucky. Maker’s Mark whiskey is the only distillery that has its own watershed and water source. The natural limestone water created by the limestone shelf in Kentucky helps to filter out iron from the water supply that is used during the whiskey fermentation process.

Jack Daniel’s whiskey also uses a very unique mix of barley, rye, and corn that produced a 140-proof distilled whiskey that is delectable on the tongue. The whiskey is then left to mellow for 3-5 days using the charcoal created by burning the wood at high temperatures. The end result is that great-tasting whiskey that everyone loves so much. The whiskey is then sifted through 10ft od sugar maple in order to give it a smooth and rich flavor and texture.

Jack Daniel’s distilleries make their very own barrels for whiskey production so that each bottle is unique to their fermentation process. People tend to purchase whiskey or any other liquor product for that matter based on brand names and history. The more familiar you are with a particular company or brand, the more likely you are to buy their products when compared to similar options out on the market.

The same is true for many spirit companies especially those that produce whiskey varieties because most of them have been around for at least 50+yrs. Producing whiskey is not something that you can easily pick up on which is why so many companies are solely dedicated to producing high-quality whiskey only.

Conclusion

Use all of the information in this article to help you find out which whiskey option between Maker’s Mark and Jack Daniel’s is right for you. As long as you use all of the tips included in this guide as a way to figure out how each whiskey variety varies, you should have no problem picking up just the right bottle of whiskey that you’ll enjoy in no time.

holtben6

Ben has years of experience with wine, whiskey, and scotch. After becoming a wine sommelier, he decided to focus his attention on the dark southern gold we call whiskey. Now a seasoned vet in the whiskey game, he regularly provides Whiskey Watch with the latest whiskey info and his personal opinion on the best whiskeys in the world.
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