What does it take to turn Jack Daniel’s into a Gentleman? Well for starters it gets a second sugar maple charcoal filtering… and that’s it. Sure they might pick slightly better barrels that may have aged in slightly more premium spots in the rick house (barrel warehouse), but that’s pure conjecture and really it’s just the second filtering that turns Jack into a Gentleman.
Jack Daniels gets it’s first sugar maple charcoal filtration (called the Lincoln County process) right after it comes out of the still before it gets put into the barrel. Gentleman Jack gets a secondary filtration after it comes out of the barrel and is on it’s way to being bottled. The purpose is to remove any additional impurities, decrease the oakiness and further mellow and sweeten the whiskey. The result is quite noticeable.
Tasted side by side I like the Gentleman a bit more than Old No. 7. It is cleaner, it’s smoother, there is less rawness to it and the sweet bourbon like notes (which it technically is) come out more. However all of this refinement comes at a cost and part of that cost is excitement. It’s a little boring and I’m missing some of that rough charred character that comes in JD 7 to help balance out the intensely sweet notes in this bottle. Then there’s the actual monetary cost. At about 2x the price of regular Jack it’s just not worth it to me and there is a slew of whiskey I’d rather buy for the same price or even less.
If you’ve tried Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack please leave your own thoughts and notes in the comments below.
Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack Review
Distiller: Jack Daniels
It smells like what it is, a slightly more refined Jack Daniel’s. The caramel and the vanilla come barreling out of the bottle and the glass is full of sugary dessert qualities. There is a hint of char, oak, a wisp of citrus and that JD spice help liven things up, but don’t really get the party started.
Without that oily char character it’s tasting much more like a traditional bourbon with caramel and vanilla sitting up front. A very palpable nuttiness runs through it with hints of pepper, brown sugar, maple, cinnamon and a light fruitiness to it.
Not as oily and more restrained than Old No. 7 it’s warm with only a mild burn.
Caramel corn dominates with notes of a sour vanilla that reminds me of vanilla yogurt that fades to oak.