Rule 4: Jack Daniel’s Is For Pussies
If vodka is for weak babies, Jack Daniel’s is the vodka of the whiskey world. It isn’t so much that Jack is bad, (but it ain’t great) it is that outside of being drank neat, it isn’t detectable as whiskey, it’s more of a light sweet water. Jack & Coke is something that children vomit from on their birthdays. Much like light beer, Jack’s loyalty lies is the fear of something different and the fear of not knowing what to order in a bar. But I am here to help you understand the whiskey world, because it is the key to camping, business meetings and Manhattans. So think of Jack Daniel’s as barely whiskey, and pick out what little flavors are there and then choose your whiskey path:
Dryer: Irish, this is a broad category of whisky (no “e” is whisky in Ireland, Scotland and Japan) but generally, Irish are lighter bodied but fuller flavored mixes of grain, unmalted and malted barley. They are lightly sweet and have great sublety when sipped straight, with a splash of water, or a rock or two. Try Jameson, then advance to Red Breast and end with Kilbeggan and Connemara.
Sweeter: Canadian, generally sweet, from Canada, always blended by law, means made from several grains including rye. It pains me to say it but if you don’t have a bottle of rye, Canadian whiskeys make great cocktails, and a better Manhattan than Bourbon. You know Crown Royal but try their nicer labels like Cask 16.
Spicier: Rye, generally made in more Northernly parts of America, you know, where they grow rye. Rye has a very dry spicy edge, and when it is the base for a whiskey expect peppery, nutmeg and cinnamon notes. Most rye whiskey is also a blend of grains (rye being over 50%) because the flavor imparted by rye is too intense to not blend. Another way to explain the dry spice of rye would be to point out that it has less sugar than most any other grain, this low yield also makes is more expensive. On the cheap and easy try Old Overholt, for the dry get Wild Turkey Rye (green label) and for the best all around try Rittenhouse 100.
Earthier: Single Malt and Blended Malt Whisky (most people call it Scotch, but only when the whisky is from Scotland, and only if the speaker is not actually Scottish) require explanations of words and laws.
Single Malt: Whisky made from one distillery, made from malted barley.
Blended Malt Whisky: There are 2 main kinds: 1) vatted whisky- a mix of single malts from different distilleries, all malted barley. 2) Blended whiskey- grain whisky blended with malted barley. Blended malt whisky is looked down upon for the simple reason that it is associated with the cheaper whiskies, though some of the world’s greatest whiskies are blended, and even more peculiar, they are malts blended from Japan.
For malts, just go to a good bar with friends and order one whisky from each region of Scotland, you’ll figure it out fast. Just remember, it isn’t all smoke and peat, there is a big world of different malts.
Full Bodied: Bourbon is the American spirit, it is mostly corn and then the rest of the bill is any mix of barley, malted barley, rye and wheat. Bourbon can be made anywhere in America so long as it is at least 366 days old and in new American oak barrels (thanks lumber lobby). Bourbon county blah blah you say? THERE ARE NO DISTILLERIES IN BOURBON COUNTY, IT IS A TINY TOWN IN PART OF KENTUCKY THAT USED TO BE PART OF VIRGINIA! Anyway, other thanrye, Bourbon is the only one of these whiskies that is always going to have that big taste of new oak. Bourbon’s remainder of its malt bill determines much of its flavor, as does the position of the barrel in the rickhouse (big barrel storing building). Some bourbon tips: Maker’s Mark is on the sweet side, Eagle Rare is on the earthy side, Wild Turkey has the spice. Jim Beam is actually a quality one right there in the middle.
As to Rye being too rich/”intense” to be 100%, I’m not sure if I agree. There’s a lot of rye out there, and for much of it, that’s true, but for instance, check out the Whistlepig 10yr 100% rye. It’s Canadian and delicious. Today I tasted a 10/6/4 cask strength rye from Canada, same as the Whistlepig and I’m tell’n ya’ that it’s delicious – no blending needed.
Are you sure it’s 100% rye? even Bulleit’s rye is only 95%, as to create a whisk(e)y that tastes like, well, whiskey, at least a small amount of malted barley is needed for fermentation of the mashbill. Due to the nature of corn, it’s usually around 7% in bourbon. Rye needs less, but still around 3%. I’d be happy to be corrected, but this is what I was taught.
Not sure which whiskey you are talking about. I’ve only had one 100% rye whiskey that I know of and I didn’t much like it.
Whistlepig is 100% rye, however unless we lost Vermont in the last U.S./Canadian war it is an American whiskey. Rye is a bitch to ferment on it’s own without another grain as a kickstart, but it can be done.
Whistlepig IS made in Canada. It’s bottled in Vermont, I live not far from the bottling facility. NO rye grows there and nothing is distilled there, although the guy who runs the show is savvy enough to play it off as a “Vermont whiskey. ” Sadly it’s a crock.
Just thought I’d say that I’m loving your “rules of drinking like a man”. But I think you’re being a bit harsh on Jack Daniels. Obviously, JD isn’t a fine Tennessee Whiskey, but I always think JD is one of the few examples of a mass produced liquor that manages to stay somewhat true to its roots. Think of how JD compares to good Tennessee Whiskey, relative to how Johnnie Walker Red label compares to a good scotch, or how Gordon’s compares to a good gin. Anyway, that is my two cents.
There were some big misses in your article [which was still written brilliantly]. Lets get it right:
Irish Whiskey is written with an “e” and the Irish are as insisting on this as the Scots are insisting on the without_an_”e”_spelling!
Your bashing of Jack Daniel’s I do understand. It is definitely not the best American Whiskey and it might not deserve its popularity…
Irish Whiskey is a bit of a man’s whiskey for people with fear of big aromas. They are distinctive and complex – but hey, not so full bodied as a bourbon and not so complex as a Scotch. Funny is, that you are mentioning Connemara, which is definitely an interesting pick- but as it is peated, totally unusual for Irish!
Though I can’t understand your preference of Canadians. Most [not all] are even worse as JD – these are blended whiskies [but by no means as noble as blended Scotches]! There might be one or the other exception – but most Canadians are a shadow of “real” whisk[e]y! And yes, they are containing rye – but much less as stated. Most of the volume of a Canadian refers to cheap high-distilled grain whiskies [light whiskies], which are shortly aged.
Ryes: The history wants, that you are partly right: yes Rye was made in the North East of the USA before prohibition – BEFORE – because nowadays your Bourbon distilleries are producing Straight Ryes as well! And: all Straight Ryes are consisting 3 different grains: Rye [minimum 51%], Barley and usually corn.
All Straight Whiskies are consisting at least 3 different grapes [Tennessee and Bourbon with 51% corn and Straight Wheat with 51% wheat].
Rye is spicier and dryer – but this comes from Rye itself. It is a bit awkward to say, that rye consist less sugar, as it consist no sugar but starch [as all grains] – and as later the sugar content has little to do with the taste: due to the distillation sugar keeps back in the pot – so it is only an impression of sweetness [real sweetness comes from the new charred oak, which all straight whiskies has to undergo] – by the way – Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee or Wheat always have to be aged 2 full years [with age certification on the bottle] or 4 years [without age indication].
Then the Scotch – you said, that there are 2 different blended malt categories – however there is only one: a whisky blended from different Scotch malt distilleries composed to meet a specific company / flavor profile.
Blended Scotch against this, is not associated with blended malt – it consist malt, but as you say also grain whisky which disqualifies it to be called malt [grain whisky is a quite neutral distilled spirit from any grain – distilled in a patent still oppose malt whiskies need to be distilled in a pot].
Anyway – I liked that you like [as me] the Rittenhouse bottled in bond! In a Manhattan you supposed to try as substitute Wild Turkey 8 years old – still being a bourbon, it really surprised me with its spiciness [I had to look twice onto the bottle, because I thought it is Wild Turkey Rye]!
And one more: Japanese Whisky is insanely expensive but excellent – very much in a Scotch style but usually less smokey. While Scotches are more pushing for character, Japanese’ are focussing on harmony – which becomes obvious, when you are drinking a glass of Suntory Hibiki.
Other countries have also interesting whisky – however it cannot be categorized, as the countries have no laws, to limit the distillers to a certain style. The French have their excellent Amorik [malt], Germany has Slyrs [a smoked not peated malt], the Canadians have also 100% malts, USA have Old Potrero [one of the most remarkable whiskies I know] 100% rye! And so on, and so on.
This is manly: the quest of Whisk[e]y!
You( here) author (in his place).
Top marks and fair play.
You should do one of these blogs, so many are very poor and don’t understand their topic well enough.
Jack Daniels is awesome .. go fuck yourself
Thank you so much for this article. This is the info I’ve been looking for and you summed everything up nicely.
dominik, this space is for comments, not for your own blog. Andrew, thanks for saying what few have the courage to. I don’t care if JD is a perfect replica of what Daniel Boone himself drank…it really does suck. Maybe Daniel Boone had no taste buds or something. It just tastes bad.
I always have a fifth of Jack on hand. It reminds me of the good old days. The days in college when we would grab our 20oz plastic party mugs, fill with ice, then add Jack until you could see it (which meant nearly all the way up) and topped with just a dash of coke.
I don’t drink it like that anymore. Then again, I don’t try to walk through the Burger King drive through and vommit while trying to order anymore either.
This is a modern sonnet, literary rules be damned
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Total shit, have you ever even tasted whisky/whiskey? You ill-educated dumb-ass douche-bag. Fuck you, pretending to know what whiskey and bourbon is, how old are you, fuckin 12 years old? What a fucking cunt. Die and burn in hell, CUNT!
Jack Daniels is awesome!!!
Hey N, lighten up man, everyone in entitled to his opinion!
Being 12 years old, I had to ask my mother what a “cunt” is, she said I couldn’t say that word and now I, grounded, no internet for a month.
Buddy, Jack is Jack, it probably used to be better and when I was invented I bet it was great but in my lifetime it has squarely been a medium whiskey.
They have nicer labels that are good, but on a whole, the ethos of Jack doesn’t shine through in BBQ sauce or baseball hats.
You sir are an ass.
Jack Daniels might not fit your taste but its not for pussies. I prefer the bite of sourmash whiskey over your over priced Irish brew and Scotch whiskey. I have had Glenlevit and Jameson and I really was not impressed.
But you sir are more than welcome to come down to the bar where we sit and talk football and girls/wives and give us an insight as to why Mr. Daniels is for pussies if you have the grapes
I am an ass but pretty much all whisky made in America is sourmash, it’s like saying coffee bean coffee.
Secondly, Glenlivet sucks too. And Jameson is made out of corn so that’s really just weak bourbon.
I love football and wife, I only have one.
But as for Jack, 80 proof whiskey is pretty much bad across the board, any whiskey and country. I prefer bourbon to Tennessee but try Good Ol’ george Dickel some time, any you’ll agree that Tennessee whiskey is better with a little kick.
To even take it a step further, 80 proof whisky means that it has the influence of accountants, 80 proof whiskey is about making money. 90 proof whiskey is about quality and making money. Good whiskey thrives at 100 proof and higher
“And Jameson is made out of corn so that’s really just weak bourbon.” No corn; Barley.
Alan Jackson drinks Jack Daniels, so Jack Daniels is not for pussies.
Alan Jackson is awesome
So does Gretchen Wilson. Jack is Chickliquor.
This is strictly based on his or her opinion, it really doesn’t matter. Jack isn’t for pussies it’s a person’s preference. So you basically can’t speak for everyone else.
Cool article. The only thing i would say is that pretty much no scotsman (half my family’s scottish) would even suggest putting ice anywhere near whisky. Not only does it overly dilute the taste, but actually temporarly numbs the tastebuds which in turn deadens the flavour. Will be looking at some of your other choices though. Cheers.
I’m with you on ice, I like water more. But the first time I dropped a small cube in a young aggressive caskstrength whisky I saw the potential to change it greatly. But, that is after you already know what you are drinking.
Jack Daniels for pussies? Ha ha ha ha ha ha what a fuckin retard you are, i’ve been drinking since you were cum on your momma’s leg and all of a sudden JD is for pussies. No hoss, you are the pussy, let men drink their drink and the little new age boys can try to impress the girls with their verbal vomit.
Typical JD drinker…
Thank you I drink Jack. to and I ain’t NO PUSSY !
For the idiot who thinks Jack is for pussies, it’s obvious your not American, I happen to know I’ve. Been around bars all my life, and when someone orders a drink 9 times out of 10 it’s been Jack, it’s a man’s whiskey, Jim on the other hand has been called a pussy drink, I’ll drink Jack Till the day I die!
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I’m about a year late on this piece, but I wanted to throw in a few words in defense of Jack Daniel’s, which is a fine, unpretentious, and under-appreciated whiskey. Whiskey “connoisseurs” are like hipsters. “It’s too mainstream for me.”
I’ve tried a lot of bourbons (yes, I know JD doesn’t like to consider itself a “bourbon”, but who are we kidding, here?) but I always go back to Old No. 7. That bitter dirt flavor that finishes it off actually adds some balance to the bourbon sweetness. And really, what is more masculine than chasing your old fashioned Tennessee whiskey with a handful of topsoil? (Or, as they say in Tennessee “sole.”)
Old No. 7 is the Johnnie Walker Black Label of bourbons. Is it the best bourbon out there? No, but it ain’t bad, either. It’s at least competent and affordable.
Don’t let your pretensions get in the way of your judgment, hoss.
Oh, and as a follow-up, if you haven’t done so already, you should really look into taking a tour of Jack Daniel’s. It might engender a deeper appreciation for what they do, and how they do it.
You go and drink what you like, you don´t need to write about it
Say what you want about vodka but that’s all I drink.
I pay 14 dollars for 1.75 liters of 40% flavorless vodka.
Also I drink more like a man than most other guys. I don’t mix drinks, I drink it straight and at 18 I can out drink people twice my age.
I just love the insults on this. Keep it up because they’re true. Little boys like this one can go fuck themselves. Oh and what to you call a woman who drinks JD, huh? Because I am a woman and I do drink JD and JD is not for pussies. The only pussy here is the little boy who said it. He does have a low iq and he looks like a fag on his pic. Bye and nice “trolling.”
jd art … the best sed but true!!!!
Canadian whisky has no “e” but the Irish still spell it whiskey. The only American spelled as whisky is makers mark. If someone is new to whisk(e)y I’d tell them to start with Irish, as it’s the sweetest, followed by American bourbons then Canadian, then Scotch. If doing a “tour” of Scotland, go north to south. Starting with something like talisker, then something from Speyside, then a lagavulin or laphroaig. If you drank the latter first all you would taste on the next drink is peat.
We used to drink a lot of JD, a lot. But that was before we could go into bars and liquor stores legally.
30yrs later, well, there’s too much good whisk(e)y out there to drink overpriced 80proof.
Like most of the South, JD is big on tradition and history, but totally lacking in substance.
It’s the NASCAR of whiskey, fast and loud.
Slow down and turn right every now and then, there’s a lotta good booze out there.
Jack is we’re its at mother fuckers dumb bitch dumb slut dumb thot
I had a half water bottle of wild turkey whiskey “101” was in a water bottle cuz me and my friends split up a nice bottle of it at a concert and damn… Only at a half water bottle amount “not shur the ml” but it was the hardest alcohol to get down I’ve ever drank, period. I usually drink captain Morgan original 100proof and vodka all straight mixing just takes away the intense numbness in the lips I enjoy from straight liquor. But I drank it straight was my first whiskey ever and I can honestly say it ruined whiskey for me. It wa so awe full
Dude don’t know who the fuck you think you are but I drink Jack Daniel’s and I ain’t NO PUSSY!
ur in the doch zone. you you write but neve drink cool kid
You obviously haven’t tried Jack Daniel’s Silver Select – 100 Proof. Single Barrel, too. Get an education!
Man, this article awakened the mouth breathers. “You don’t know Jack, pussy!!”
Here’s the deal for the peaked-in high-school set; your beloved JD is filtered through 10 feet of charcoal to “mellow” it for your RC Cola palates and as a further insult, diluted to 80 proof. Clinging to this brand is only an indication of your sad group mentality. Branch out. Try a superior TN whiskey like George Dickel #12 or are you afraid the bartender at your hick ass bar full of cigarette smoking motorcycle mamas might look at you funny?
Lot of vitriol on these responses. Educate yourselves. Jack at 90 proof was a respectable whiskey. At 86, it was ok. They researched their market and lowered it to 80 because they knew you half breeds wouldn’t care. Go wear your long sleeve JD tee shirt to the drive thru at Checkers and be the cliche you are. Dumbasses.
Men who love JD : your mommies were thots who drank lottsa JD & Coke when pregnant. So your foetal brains were constantly infused with this pussy drink before you were born. That’s why you love it and that’s what makes you too brain damaged to know any better.
Damn Shit, all you guys are pussies what ever you drink
Though drunk reading these comments, I feel dumber having read them. The drink you have is always better than the one you don’t. I hoped reading others thoughts would be educational, but I feel there was little given before responding to this five year old article.
I like whiskey as well I normally drink Bourbons like Wild Turkey 101 and the Rarebreed Turkey is pretty good to. I also really like knob creek Nothing like a double knob creek Neat and a Nice black beer. Bought a nice bottle of Angel’s Envy very smooth worth all the money. Buffalo Trace is also very nice……….as far as Jack vs Jim I usually for Jim just because it’s a lesser bourbon and Jack is a whiskey has a bit of a sweeter taste. Jack is definitely not for the timid. Different strokes for different folks. Anything is better than FireBall lol
Aw. I like fireball, or goldschlager usually in a pint of cider. Hangover central if you overdo it though.