Pros: More mellow and drinkable than Jack Daniel's No. 7 over rocks, Not Rare
Cons: Cost almost as much as Johnnie Walker Black ... why settle for JD then?
Gentleman Jack is like the 25-year old Scotch compared to its 12-year old younger brother. The ingredients are exactly the same just the process is slightly changed for the Gentleman.
I recently reviewed Jack Daniel's No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, so you will notice similarities between the two if you read the first. There is very good reason for this: Gentleman Jack is only different because it is charcoal mellowed twice (instead of once) and it has a different bottle. The whiskey is first aged for 4 year like JD No. 7, and then it is mellowed again before bottling.
Jack Daniels runs their distilled bourbon drop by drop down 10 feet of packed, charred sugar maple. This charcoal-mellowing takes approximately ten days but it helps filter our the harsh impurities and tastes associated with moonshine.
The Gentlemans extra step of mellowing it a second time helps remove even more impurities not first removed and any oils developed during the aging process.
Gentleman Jack is less known because it costs more than Jack Daniel's No. 7. It is also less known because the distillers in Lynchburg, Tennessee, only started producing the more-mellow product in 1988. Even though Mr. Jack Daniel experimented with the double charcoal mellowing in the 1900s, the process took too long to justify its production. The Gentleman still is 40% ABV like JD, but much smoother.
Gentleman Jack pours a dark coppery color. I did not notice any major difference in color between the two brother whiskies. I could not guess which was which by their look. You can differentiate by the following senses easily, however:
Gentleman Jack is made with corn, rye, and barley malt, so there is more of an earthy nose to this whiskey than a scotch. I can only describe the Gentelman nose as less harsh than JD. If you had only the Gentleman Jack to nose, you would probably name JD as your guess. When you actually have both of them side by side, however, you can tell the Gentleman Jack does not have such a burning nose that turn most drinkers away from straight whiskey. The nose is woody in addition to the barley and rye coming through.
The whiskey has a prominent woody taste and the charcoal, burnt tastes come through as well. There is a slight spicy burn and the finish is quite pleasant. There is a balance between a very subdued fruit sweetness and the woody, charcoal flavors.
Unlike aged Scotch whisky, Gentleman Jack burns little more going down than a gentle warming associated with some finer whiskies. Like I mentioned initially, the Gentleman Jack is more pleasant than JD. The whiskey regardless of the mellowing process with always taste like a 4 year aged whiskey. The Single Barrel Jack Daniel's is much more pleasant because it is aged around 7 years. I am going to have to consume the Single Barrel again to do a review and proved that the aging process has a lot to do with the quality of whiskey.
Gentleman Jack is a fine whiskey that is easily found in most US shops. Gentleman Jack is quite consumable over rocks (something I cannot enjoy with No. 7 JD). I will still choose a Scotch over a JD product if the price is right. I can find Gentleman Jack at only 5-10$US more than the No. 7 JD (~25-30$US for the Gentleman). For this price, I am looking at being able to buy a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. Imagine my dilemma.
I drink to the days that are!
- William Morris
To the thirst that is yet to come
Johnnie Walker Blue
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