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Jack Daniel's Original (No.7)

Average score from 14 reviews and 93 ratings 72

Jack Daniel's Original (No.7)

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@mystycreek
Jack Daniel's Original (No.7)

Jack Daniel may be the most famous American whisky brand, and its No.7 the most available American whisky in the world. But in the whisky world being this common always means it's for the mass market, almost everyone heard and drank Jonnie Walker before Compass Box, Glenlivet before Ardbeg. Most of these common and cheap whiskies tend to be easy crowd pleasers, and I think Jack Daniel No.7 is no exception.

The review is from a 50ml mini bottle.

Nose: Sweet corn and honey come out first. Vanilla, maple syrup, strawberry and fresh grass. Quite straightforward.

Palate: Spicy and slightly bitter. Caramel, orange, dark chocolate, ginger and oak. A bit plain, some sweetness and fresh mint in the background.

Finish: Short, dry and smooth. Nuts, maple wood and a touch of oak in the end.

Balance: It smells ok, but tastes a bit too woody and spicy.

I don't have high hope on this one, it starts ok but with air exposure its bitterness becomes overwhelming, there are not much fruit or sweetness to balance out, and the body is flat. I would rate it 72 pts when it's fresh and only 60 pts or less when it's oxidized. Maybe the charcoal mellowing took away too much flavors in their new make. JD No.7 is not a sipper for me, but like everybody says, it's a good mixer with cola.

Outside of the odd Jack & Coke at weddings or whatever, I think the only time I ever had this was on my 21st birthday, in my buddy's basement bedroom, sitting under a blacklight Pink Floyd poster, wondering how the heck anyone could enjoy the CRAZY INTENSE BURN of whisky straight from the bottle.

I'm pretty sure if I had it again today, I'd wonder the opposite: How the heck can anyone enjoy the BORING SWEET NOTHINGNESS of plain ol' Jack?

Jack Old No 7 can manifest as almost anything depending upon what batch you drink from. I've liked maybe 20-30% of those I have tasted over the years, and abjectly hated quite a few of the others.

@jerryclyde

In a review I wrote about Jim Beam White Label, Connosr member, Victor, added a very interesting and apt comment regarding the importance of maintaining a broad mindedness when involving oneself with whiskey: "A continuously fresh take, 'beginner mind' is what is required to live in the whisky moment and retain an unbiased, honest perception." Amen!

Having come across a mostly empty bottle of Old no. 7 (left over from my son's wedding reception, I think) I felt like applying Victor's "beginner mind" to what remained in this bottle. I know that Old no. 7 is not considered a sipping whiskey and is used mostly for mixing drinks, but what the hell. Besides, the temperature just hit -21.8F in northern Vermont and I could use a bit of warming up.

Nose: Pretty one dimensional and uninspiring. Corn, vanilla and charcoal the leading aromas.

Palate: Delivery is oily and sweet with corn syrup holding things together. Some drying mid-palate as oak makes an appearance. Nice spice buzz late.

Finish: Short with oak tannins and spice (mint).

@jerryclyde, thanks for your review and your attribution.

I think that for many whisky-lovers batch variation is a very uncomfortable reality. Many people want to 1)try a whisk(e)y once or twice, 2)decide on its merits, 3)feel that they have the case decided once and for all, and then 4)move on to the next whisky to decide upon. Put a notch on their belt as "case closed". But whisk(e)y isn't really like that. If you are honest and you get a lot of experience of it, including often trying the same whisky from multiple different batches, you find that whiskies often vary a great deal from batch to batch. What do you do when you have a whisk(e)y which is great one time then crappy the next? Or crappy one time, then great the next? I think that telling the truth about the whole sum of your experiences is the only answer.

I've rarely had much good to say about any Jack Daniels product. But I have had the odd batch of this and that JD here and there which tasted very good indeed. I've liked about 2 out of 12 batches of Old No. 7 I've had, one of which was at least 7 years ago, and the other very recently. I've liked about 1 or 2 samples out of 8 of the Single Barrel I've had. I've never been able to get enthusiastic about Gentleman Jack.

But you know what, it is always good to keep up to date, because EVERY batch is different, sometimes just a little, and sometimes radically different. Continuing to re-taste whiskies which you already know keeps you living in the present, that is, in the present whiskey world.

If somebody gave me a bottle of the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 I tasted at someone's house over Christmas, I would be very pleased, because I liked that batch a lot...however, based on cumulative experience, I would NEVER go out and buy a bottle of JD unless I had tasted from a bottle from the batch offered for sale first.

@Uisgebetha

I have to admit I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to American whiskey. I was gifted this half bottle by a well meaning in-law and am intrigued by its distinctive flavours compared to the mainly Scottish malts I’m used to. The aromas seem very fruity with a little pine resin sweetness as an undercurrent. The fruit include apples and pears but there is something more tropical in there too, peaches and under ripe bananas. The mouth feel is quite full with lots of sweet resin flavours from the wood, the fruit now provides the undercard. The finish is a bit short, the sweetness is tempered by more bitter notes through the finish.
I’m pleasantly impressed for something a lot of people seem to drown with coke. The resins are very dominant on the palate so complexity is a bit limited, but the fruity aroma is very entertaining.

R

Color: Deep copper

Nose: Charcoal briquettes, ashy oak, imitation maple, asbestos, chalk, saccharin, naugahyde

Palate: Sickly sweet, strong alcohol burn, thin and weak flavors, maraschino cherries, under-ripe persimmons, wet hay, burnt popcorn

Finish: Medium length, more charcoal, oak, sugar cane, alcohol vapors, immature sour corn mash

See my full review on thewhiskykirk.com

Here's my full review on The Whisky Kirk: www.thewhiskykirk.com

@Nock

I grew up in Tennessee between Nashville and Lynchburg. My friends in college were huge fans of Jack (usually in coke . . . but occasionally neat). Being a Tennessee guy I have had a few Single Barrel bottles. So time to give the Old No. 7 a look.

Nose: Super sweet and super sour. I don’t really know what “sour mash” is but that is what I feel like I am smelling. Lemons and sour apples stand along side brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, apple pie and sour tart. I really think of this as my quintessential “bourbon” nose even though it isn’t “bourbon.”

Taste: Lighter then I expected. Medium sweet on the front with a growing sour note on the back. After comparing it to the two Evan William bottles (Black and Green) this is way sweeter.

Finish: Medium long with some nice spice: pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, with a hint of brown sugar and molasses.

Balance, Complexity: Not overly complex. Mostly just an interesting interplay of sweet and sour on the nose, a standard mouth, and a very spicy finish. A decent balance for what it is.

Aesthetic experience: This is the biggest and best selling whiskey in the world. What can you say? It is a classic.

Conclusion: You almost hate it because of how ubiquitous it is. But I grew up only a few minutes drive from where this is made. How can I hate Tennessee whiskey? It is the favorite of many of my college buddies. I don’t have to agree with them . . . but I can honestly say I can drink it with them (if they don’t happen to have any Stagg around). My current bottle is done . . . I'll probably get another . . . when the price is right.

I agree with the sentiment. The single barrel can be much more sharp then the Old No. 7. All the store I ever bought from in the Nashville area personally selected their own barrel for the store. It really helped me figure out the "nose" of the "guy" at a given store. I really like the nose on the guy at Red Dog in Franklin. Bard can pick some fantastic barrels.

You can't hate on ones that bring back those memories! Old No.7 will probably always have a spot on my shelf. Or at least one of the lineup anyways. I need to try a JD single barrel at some point.

@Victor

One time when I was on an air flight the guy sitting across from me said, "I'm Mr. Jack and Coke." He had at least three 'Jack and Cokes' on that flight. I should have paid more attention to him. He knew what he was talking about

I would dearly love to love every single beverage for which I pay money. I don't get my jollies from writing off commercial products as swill. Still, there are those I just can't quite bring myself to liking,...without Coca-Cola

This review is from a mini, because I have never yet had the motivation to buy a full bottle of Jack Daniel's Original Old No. 7. I've had a few other minis of Old No. 7 before, mostly to remind myself of what it tastes like (for $ 0.99 plus .10 tax) and to re-use the mini bottles

Nose: this is quite a decent nose. Lots of gravelly char and black licorice accompany sweet and sour caramel and some spice from rye. I can actually taste the Lincoln County Process maple in this particular sample. I usually can't make it out

Taste: not a bad translation of flavours from the nose, but a sour influence just settles in with the char and maple. The wood flavours are young, and just so-so

Finish: here's what I have trouble with. Sour charry black licorice with sweet maple thrown over the top. Sampled neat, I just do not like Original Old No. 7's finish, at all

Balance: you can't have a good whiskey with a bad finish. I notice that Jim Murray has been scoring all of the Jack Daniel's products rather highly of late. I'll look forward to see if more recent batches are much different from this one. I did have one drink of Jack No. 7 out at a restaurant (blind) which I never would have identified as Jack Daniel's...so who knows?

I've seen too much variation up and down in quality to ever rule out that I will later like the products of a distillery which left me cold at first. So, maybe one day I will like Jack Daniel's products. So far I have only had one day's sampling of one particular bottle of the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel product, which I have liked, out of, maybe, 15+ samples of Jack Daniel's Original, Gentleman Jack, and Single Barrel

But you know what? Jack Daniel's Original Old No. 7 tastes really great with Coca-Cola! I didn't discover that until I was 58 years old. That guy on the airplane knew what he was talking about...he wasn't drinking it neat!

@hunggar, I am always interested in re-tasting whiskies which I do not often get to sample. I've had about 7 samples of Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, and there was only one bottle on one day that I liked a lot. That said, I will be happy to sample it again from one of your three well-loved bottles...I am always interested in finding more products to like, and I rejoice when a lost sheep returns to drinkability...even if I never considered it very drinkable before.

These whiskies vary a lot and change a lot over time...my mind remains open to what new whisk(e)y experiences will come in the future.

I think most would agree that No. 7 is a mixer above all else, but it serves its purpose as one. But I can't tell you how much I like the Single Barrel offering from JD. I've had three bottles so far and they were all fantastic. It's a solid bourbon by any standard. I'm actually quite curious to find out what you'd think of it, hopefully you'll get the chance to try it again soon outside of a tasting session.

@GotOak91

1st review so Im a little new to this.. A whiskey that reminds me of some times with a couple women I know hehe ...anyways.... Nose:Oak, vanilla, a little alcohol that's hard to shake. Body:Light possibly due to filtering (as with all Tennessee whiskies) Taste:Oak, not as sweet as a bourbon (esp. like Makers)a tad bit of vanilla some corn. Finish: Short for me its a little rough at the end. A little extra time in oak would help. Overall:I prefer bourbon when buying American not a fan of the charcoal filtering

Congrats on the first review, little tip on constructing reviews is to space the nose, body/palate and finish into separate paragraphs, makes it look a bit more pretty. On a side note I agree with your assessment on the maple charcoal filtering process. Never been a big fan of it myself.

I'm looking at this web site for the first time. Wow, the descriptions followed by the critic of descriptions! They say food shows are the new pornography. I'm wondering if hints of molasses and notes of toasted walnuts are words worthy of crates of booze being sent to my house for evaluation. I think I could make three paragraphs too (nose,body, finish). My mom used to work for a wine reviewer. She came home with a crate of wine every other day.

@SquidgyAsh

In order to get some sample bottles I purchased five well known bottom to mid shelf whisky samples. Those being Jim Beam White Label, Jack Daniels #7, Chivas Regal 12 yr old and Johnnie Walker Red and Black Labels. I'd tried and reviewed for the first time the Jim Beam last night. Tonight was a classic for me. Jack Daniels!

Now I had started my whisky journey many years ago with Crown Royal and Jack Daniels. So this whisky has more then a few memories for me. Now I seem to encounter a problem with Jack Daniels and oh so many people, and as I stated in my Jim Beam review, I'm a purist.

What does that mean? You might be thinking that to yourself. What it means is that when the laws say something or tradition says something, say that bourbon must be aged for no less then 3 years in oak casks, in kentucky, at no less then 40% ABV, then if ANY of that is not true you'll be hard pressed for me to acknowledge that as a bourbon.

I stated this in my last review. The reason I state it once more, I am forever hearing and seeing on restaurant menus how Jack Daniels is a bourbon.

Now class where does Bourbon need to be distilled to be bourbon? Kentucky. Good job for you! Here's a gold star!

Now where is Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky from? This might be hard...oh yeah Tennessee!

So if Bourbon is from Kentucky and if it's not Bourbon if it's not from Kentucky that must mean Jack Daniels is NOT a bourbon.

Just clarifying that for the crowd.

Rant over haha I'm sorry about that guys!

Now I poured the contents of the sample bottle into my glencairn and there is the dark colors of Jack Daniels I'm used to.

I sit down with my wife to watch a Criminal Minds marathon (if you missed it, you didn't miss much) and I sat there for about 30 minutes nosing the glass and sitting there honestly disappointed.

The strongest odors coming through the whisky is vanilla, cherry, oak, some alcohol, hints of smoke. My wife when she nosed it got oak, cherries and icing sugar, like off a cinnamon roll.

But the nose is weak. It's not unpleasant, just weak.

I tend to try and nose a whisky for quite a while, trying to pull out everything I can and when I'm hit that a whisky is just THIS simple I'm always left disappointed.

So I decide to take a sip after my wife does, she is left coughing and stating that she wished the nose translated into the flavor.

I wind up getting some of that vanilla, but it's the chocolate lurking in the background and the cherries that are prominent after the oak.

It's not bad, it is however fairly rough for being 40% ABV. Problem for me and maybe it's just me, but it, like the Jim Beam, is very very watery on the mouth feel.

Finish is short with some spices and the cherries following me down.

This isn't a bad whisky, this isn't a bad distillery, in fact I enjoy quite a few of the Jack Daniel products, but to be honest this whisky right here belongs in a coke or other mix. Good thing that it's priced just for that! Roughly $30-35 AUS a bottle and easily found in any liquor store that you can think of.

Tomorrow night Chivas Regal 12 yr old! An old favorite of mine!!

My friends I have been proven misinformed about where bourbon can and can not be made, and I am VERY sorry for giving some bad information.

Bourbon can actually be made anywhere in the USA. I'm sorry about that. But I'm not totally sorry. Because if I hadn't gotten that wrong I wouldn't have learned something new today!

I would like to thank the mentors on Connosr for helping me to continue to grow in my whisky knowledge and I'd like to especially thank Victor for the bourbon heads up!

/embarrassed face right now for all to see :D My wife says I'm a foodie, but I don't think she meant with egg on my face hahaha :D

b

I am not a fan of this stuff. It is pretty rough and I am not sure why it is so popular.

It is so popular because of it's image. The vast majority of people who drink whiskey are not after flavor. Jack Daniels has this sort of tough image that people like. People I talk to who like it say its because of the "kick". I assume they mean the alcohol burn. It is the rock and roller and biker drink. There is a small eastern Oregon cowboy town that lives off of Pendleton whiskey. Why? Because it has a cowboy logo. They dump ice and water in it and drink until they pass out. Put a tulip on the bottle and they would not touch it!

Probably will go unread but I agree there are so many.better choices for roughly the same price

@darencewee

Got 2 older 1990's bottling's of JD at 45% abv. Slightly more flavour then the current bottling. A little bit more of everything. Whatever the reason for diluting down, JD should just stick to this version. Great party drink though.

@talexander

I told myself I wouldn't bother writing about whiskies I've had a million times, but there's not denying Jack. Anyone can drink and enjoy this. Starts off in the glass somewhat oily (with good legs), and a smoky aroma carrying caramel and vanilla. Then you are hit with the woody peppery taste, with charcoal (with which it is filtered), cough medicine and maple - sweet and hot. A little water brings out salty and citrusy elements (though it's best on the rocks, I think). Long and surprisingly smooth finish. As good a mass market whisky as I've had; if Slash can drink it, so can anyone. Best enjoyed while you're a) playing poker, b) reading the Keith Richards autobiography, or c) snorting coke off a hooker's ass.

I wonder how c) affects the nose of the JD?! :) My wife has been reading rock star autobiographies lately (just finished the one on Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of Red Hot Chili Peppers), including Slash's contribution to the genre..."interesting" would be an understatement.

As for the whisky itself, I found some nice lively notes that I hadn't expected from this one, when I tried it neat several months ago. However, a "cap" (a second layer of flavour/aroma notes) of alcohol affected my enjoyment of both the nose and the palate. I would consider it to be very unbalanced in that sense.

I agree with you about the JD - it is unbalanced. The flavours crash into each other - not a subtle whisky at all. Yet it somehow works for what it is. It's like the Clockwork Orange of whiskies - either you get into it, or it's just too much and is a turn-off.

Ohhh I tried to read the Slash autobiography -- it was so badly written I couldn't get through it....

T

@JDwhiskey

This is the first whiskey I tried and I was quite pleased with it until I moved on to other, better whiskies. When I compared it to other whiskies such as Jameson, Maker's Mark, Tullamore Dew and Knob Creek, it seemed lacking in the quality that I saw in these whiskies.

No one seems to know the significance of the Old No.7 label on the bottle, even though there are many theories.

One thing I do love about it is how rich it is, its almost syrupy which is quite different from irish whiskies, but very nice all the same.

This whiskey is by no means the worst on the market but there are a huge amount of whiskies that are better than it. But in the end its all down to personal taste!

On the palate, it tastes very strongly of the charcoal that makes it different from bourbon whiskies and you get a lovely taste of vanilla too. The finish is short enough but it leaves a nice sugary taste behind.

you must be joking...this stuff is like alcoholic glue.... still, you need the crap stuff in life to compare to the good stuff.....

Well, last time I checked Im entitled to my opinion....and this is just my opinion

@rdx

Got a chance to spend some time with this American dream of a whisky . Had always had it before with Coke . When I got to nose it , it gave me an impression that it is going to be very sweet . The strong vanilla is overpowering and it is followed by a whiff of alcohol which numbs you a bit . Hints of smoke , sweet floral aromas follow when you cut it with a little water . The taste is sweet at first .You can actually taste the smoke and wood . Hints of cocoa , wet mud , and sweet caramel follow . The finish was something to be desired . It had a prickly new wood finish to it .

All in all , it starts with a great promise ...keeps that promise around and then when you expect more , it stops short of delivering it .

It was much better when I had it with Coke ( the finish part).

My sister once had a bottle of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 that I very much liked. Every other sample of it that I have had before or since, and also of Gentleman Jack, have seemed to me relatively crude and unattractive. The sugar maple charcoal filtering really differentiates Tennessee Whiskies from bourbons and gives them a noticeable maple sugar sweetness. Among the Tennessee Whiskies, and there are only two, Jack Daniels and George Dickel, the one I like the best, by a landslide, and would recommend most highly for a light ethereal experience, is the George Dickel # 12. (The George Dickel # 8 is much rougher than the # 12)

Hey RDX.. JD n Coke r like conjoined twins.. if u separate them.. its gonna b dead.. Luv it the way its supposed 2 b.. Cheers !!!

@markjedi1

After the Wild Turkey 8 year old and Four Roses, this was my third trip to the States - whiskey-wise.

Jack Daniel's is without a doubt the best known (and best-selling) brand of American Whiskey.

The famous square bottle contains charcoal-filtered dram of a dark orange, amber color. The contents is a dram that consists of 80% corn, 12% rey and 8% malt, that was matured on American oak casks (which explains the vanilla).

It is the charcoal filtration proces that makes this a Tennessee whiskey instead of a bourbon (which is produced in Kentucky while this baby is from Lynchburg, Tennessee).

The significance of the Old No 7 is had to find. I googled it, but didn't come up with a suitable answer. Perhaps good ol' Jack just liked the sound of it? A bit like Heinz Ketchup that says '57 varieties!' on each bottle, while it is well know there are many more. But 57 just happened to be Mr Heinz' favorite number. Oh well, whatever, back to the dram.

This Tenessee whiskey seems glued to the glass with lovely think tears (or legs, as I prefer to call them). It's almost syrup, which is something you see with most American dram.

The nose delivers very sweet corn and vanilla, upholstered with some coconot and oranges.

On the palate, you first get a sugary kick in the teeth, as if you've just taken a swig of coughing syrup. But instantly the vanilla and the taste of charred wood come round the corner to put things back in balance.

The finish is very short indeed, but quite nice, with burnt sugar as the main character in this feature, but roasted notes as a walk-on artist following closely.

In Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2010 this dram is described as ... 'It's Jack Daniel' :-) giving him a stunning 85. I tend to agree though.

I think this dram, being popular with millions of people and used mainly - let's be honest here - in a mix with coke, has been labeled as 'mass product', bascally meaning 'it cannot possibly be any good'. Yes, it is a mass product, but in this case, it's pretty good as well.

And remember: 'It ain't no bourbon, surgar!'

Jack Daniel's is most people's entry point into the world of whisk(e)y - as a teenager - although they probably don't even know it, let alone taste it for that splash of Coke.

It certainly does have a place and shouldn't be sneered upon.

Apparently Jack presented this whiskey on a competition back then and it was assigned the No.7 (the seventh whiskey that is) and won first prize!!. So Jack adopted the contest number as the brand name. Cool story Huh? Mind you I started off with this one myself!

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