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Difference Between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels

jim-beamJim Beam vs Jack Daniels

Although there is a slight similarity in taste between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels, a taste for either liquor can be acquired after some period of time. There are however several notable differences between the two liquors. While Jim beam is bourbon, which is a whiskey type, not all whiskeys are bourbons. Jack Daniels on the other hand is a whiskey, sour mash for that matter. The two liquors are manufactured in a similar way although Jim Beam is Kentucky bourbon while jack Daniels is Tennessee liquor and it under goes charcoal filtration. Depending on tastes and who makes a review, reviews for either liquor can be greatly mixed, with some stating that Jim Beam is a best value in bourbon while others express their dislike of it. Most reviews though tend to give preference to Jack Daniels, although the ultimate choice will certainly rely on individual tastes.

As far as cost is concerned, Jim Beam is relatively cheaper, costing an average of 27 dollars at your typical corner bar, which is almost half the price of most black label whiskeys. For states where liquor is sold in supermarkets, you will probably get it even at a cheaper price. Jim Beam whiskey is bottled in a square shaped bottle, with a black label. At the bottom of the label is a printed signature of Colonel James. B .Beam but although that is the case, the brand is not owned by the family of the late colonel but rather its run by a big corporation called Fortune Brands.

Previously Jack Daniels was bottled at proof 86, which is the same for Jim Beam but the new one is bottled at proof 80 thus Jim beam is a higher proofed whiskey than Jack Daniels. Some drinkers find that 86 proof is slightly higher alcohol content than they can tolerate while others find it okay. The two liquors tend to have similar taste when first taken but as one develops a taste for both with time, they will discover that they actually taste quite different. However, both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels go through the same distillation of fermented corn mash kept in oak barrels for some time. Jim Beam is kept in the barrels longer than Jack Daniels, which may contribute to Jim Beam’s more woody flavor.

While Jim Beam tastes more alcoholic and fruity, Jack Daniels has a mellower and smoother flavor and tastes less alcoholic and it is believed that the charcoal filtering process it undergoes gives it more of a maple flavor. Jim Beam has a brandy flavor, as if it is mixed with brandy.


Jim Beam is classed as bourbon while Jack Daniels is a whiskey and although bourbons can be whiskeys, not all are.

Jim Beam is far cheaper compared to Jack Daniels.

Jim Beam tastes more alcoholic and fruity while Jack Daniels tastes mellower and smoother.

Jim Beam is bottled at proof 86 whereas Jack Daniels is bottled at proof 80.

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  1. I LOVE ALL WHISKY(EY)S in general.. though jack is more flavorful…. i think jim is actually smoother due to jacks spicy flavor.

  2. though im unemployeed & even if i wasnt, i’d still prefer jim beam over jack danielz, i trust jim if i had a little 2 much, jack on the other hand is more expensive & i dont like the price especially here in australia where i can buy 2 jimz 4 a better ptice of jack.

  3. Actually, you have it all wrong. Bourbon is the name given to any whisky made in the U.S. that meets the following criteria: it must be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn; aged in new, charred-oak barrels; distilled to no more than 160 proof; entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof; and be bottled at 80 proof or more. Jack Daniels meets all of the legal requirements for classification as bourbon, but chooses to abandon the title, instead opting to call itself Tennessee sour mash whisky. They do this simply to distinguish their product, i.e., to be different. Even their charcoal filtering process (known as the Lincoln County Process) is used in some Kentucky bourbons, and is not enough to change the classification of a bourbon whisky. Jack Daniels is bourbon. They just do not want to admit it.

    • Jack Daniels is aged in Sugar Maple barrels not Oak.

      • Jack Daniel’s is FILTERED through charcoal made from sugar maple, it IS aged, however, in white oak barrels.

        • True, Jack is “filtered” thru charcoal and that is what makes the difference. Bourbon can be made outside of KY (search for Low Gap, Conviction or Yellow Rose) but cannot be filtered or altered in any way, form or fashion. The recipe must contains 51% or more corn and must be aged in new charred oak barrels (cannot be reused).

          • Incorrect. Filtration is not regulated. Jim Beam green label is also charcoal filtered. Many are. Technically, under federal regulation, Jack is a bourbon, whether they admit it or not.

          • Travis – I believe you are looking at Jim Beam Rye Whiskey – marketed as such and not listed as bourbon on the label – see the Difference Between Rye and Bourbon for more info

      • Not true. The charcoal that they filter the freshly distilled alcohol through I’d made from sugar maple on site, but the barrels they are aged in are made of oak….also on site.

      • Sugar Maple Aged Bourbon Whiskey. No Wonder

    • Absolutely correct

    • Jack is also charcoal filtered thus altering the taste. Therefore it does not meet the criteria set for bourbon.

    • I love your response… you’ve got to be an expert on American whiskey. Me, I love both, but I must admit, I do enjoy Jack a little more.

    • Bourbon is only made in Kentucky city slicker!!!! But Jack Daniels is owned by Brown and Foreman out of Louisville Ky

  4. I agree with what your saying about Jack Daniels being bourbon as far as the mash bill goes. However, I was under the impression that all bourbon had to be made in Bourbon county Kentucky ?

    • True Kentucky bourbon is made in Kentucky. Beam, Turkey, Woodford Reserve, Makers Mark, Knobb Creek are true bourbons. They are made in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky is proud of our bourbon. Any bourbon made outside of Kentucky is an impostor. Also, Jack sure as hell isn’t bourbon. Call Jack a bourbon in Kentucky… You might get your ass kicked. There are very specific recipes for bourbon not all whiskies are bourbon.

      • whateva – lol

      • Well-stated, & spot on. I am a Tennessee girl, & naturally have had my share of Jack Used to go to the Barbecue cook-off in Lynchburg every October (even if it does fall on Alabama-UT football Saturday, 3rd Saturday in October Southern women love football & bourbon!!). Now, I prefer Gentleman Jack. But every Kentuckian worth the name knows true bourbon has to be made in Bourbon County, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And any G.R.I.T.S knows this, too, just like we know about Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, & not wearing white after Labor Day.

    • Not anymore, they changed that regulation

    • Not Bourbon county, just in the state of Kentucky period… The Bourbon capital is Bardstown Ky

  5. Different state different = name.

  6. Jim Beam is highly “polished” and refined.
    Jaque Daniels is harsh, crude, unrefined, and lacking in civility. (In other words, Green.)

  7. Wow I learned something. Making a mental note. NEVER MAKE THE STATEMENT JACK DANIELS IS BOURBON IN KENTUCKY! I don’t want to get my ass KICKED! LOL.

  8. Jack is the standard and Jim is the wannabe. Period, end of story.

    • Jack is Kentucky owned brother!! Brown and Forman out of Louisville Ky… I worked for the small company out of Bardstown ky “Bourbon Capital” to build all the fermenters in Lynchburg TN for Jack Daniels distillery as well as George Dickel, Barton’s, Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Early Times, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, etc.. Kentucky has much more experience to make any kinda whiskey and make it better hands down

  9. Whatever……
    Fall of 2013, toured Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Makers Mark, then Corvette Museum (5 months before sinkhole), and Jack Daniels. Great booze and Corvette visits. Plus, NASCAR Charlotte, BMW Spartanburg, Tail of the Dragon, etc.
    Conclusion of extensive research…..bourbon and Jack are both worthy, and good for you!
    Take a good road trip and enjoy America’s fine whiskeys, while drinking semi-responsibly!

  10. Sounds like an excellent road trip, & a mighty fine time!! Perfect time of the year, weather-wise, & you definitely had great timing on the pre-sinkhole visit!! I concur, wholeheartedly, with your findings❤ Makes me look forward to spring, which would be a fine time for a little trip like that for me!!

  11. Both have their merits and own taste, as do each of us. I prefer Jim Beam but enjoy what you like. It’s made in the good ol’ USA. PEACE!!!!!!


    • Haven’t had Squirt in decades but did enjoy it. Rye is a little spicy but goes well with smoked sausage and cheese on Ritz. And I do like my Bullitt on ice!!

  13. I am from India.

    Both have their merits & own taste, then there is price difference.

    I prefer Jim beam.

  14. “Jim Beam is classed as bourbon while Jack Daniels is a whiskey and although bourbons can be whiskeys, not all are.” ??

    -not all Bourbons are whiskey..hahaha.. name a Bourbon that isn’t whiskey.
    … i suppose you could word that differently

    BTW – for me Irish whiskey is better.. and i’m not talkin’ Jameson
    try Redbreast, Teeling, Midleton

  15. All of y’all need to calm down and drink!! Lol

  16. For me in the UK I was aware of JD. But I started watching Homicide: Life on the Street and thru always drank Jim Beam, that’s how I became aware of it. Then I became drinking age and when you go out JD is the only thing available, but now some places have JB. So I am not a coni sure of these but because it is it the less r known drink I will drink JB and I will continue to do so.

  17. Bourbon whiskey in in the “eye or taste of the beholder” just like other adult pleasures! Freedom of choice, or desire …is the key to simple pleasures!

  18. Jack is Jack no matter what, no Wonder Frank Sinatra, and Slash wouldn’t live without it…no need to kick ass is a lot better to drink Jack

  19. I like J.D, my wife prefers J.B, says it’s smoother and more affordable. (She’s a coupon cutter, too).

  20. I know you this was posted some time ago but here goes my take from England…..

    We can get JD 1 litre around £20 on deals quite often here. I drink mainly malts and Cognac but…. I love my Irish Whiskey that not only mixes well but you can drink neat, good all rounder. However let me tell you something, I’ve always tried to avoid JD for years despite enjoying it. It just works, mixing and neat. I love it and no dryness finish like all my malts! Great all rounder and mixes with ginger ale well like Irish Whiskey. Now onto Jim Beam, to me it’s inferior to JD, trouble is it’s still good! Plenty of snobbery over here about Whisky, certainly folk turn their nose up at JD.

    JD is great!

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