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Jack Daniel’s vs. Bourbon: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 17, 2024
Jack Daniel's is a brand of Tennessee whiskey known for its unique charcoal mellowing process, while Bourbon is a type of American whiskey distilled primarily from corn and aged in new oak barrels.
Jack Daniel's vs. Bourbon

Key Differences

Jack Daniel's, a renowned Tennessee whiskey, is distinctive for its charcoal mellowing process, known as the Lincoln County Process, which imparts a smooth character. Bourbon, a type of American whiskey, is known for its rich, sweet flavors, derived from its corn-heavy mash bill and aging in new charred oak barrels.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024
While both Jack Daniel's and Bourbon are made primarily from corn, Jack Daniel's undergoes additional filtration through sugar maple charcoal before aging, which is not a requirement for Bourbon. Bourbon, by law, must be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, and it lacks the charcoal mellowing step.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024
Jack Daniel's is aged in new, charred oak barrels like Bourbon, but it does not need to meet the specific requirements that define Bourbon, such as the percentage of corn in the mash bill. Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, contributing to its distinct flavor profile.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024
The geographical distinction is notable; Jack Daniel's is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and its production process differentiates it from Bourbon, which can be produced anywhere in the United States, though most are made in Kentucky.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024
The taste profiles of Jack Daniel's and Bourbon differ; Jack Daniel's is known for its smooth, slightly sweet flavor with hints of caramel and spice, while Bourbon is characterized by a fuller, sweeter taste, often with notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Comparison Chart

Distillation Process

Charcoal mellowed (Lincoln County Process)
Distilled from a corn-heavy mash bill
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Shumaila Saeed
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Geographical Origin

Lynchburg, Tennessee
Anywhere in the U.S., mostly Kentucky
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Legal Requirements

Does not have to meet Bourbon criteria
At least 51% corn, aged in new oak barrels
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Flavor Profile

Smooth, slightly sweet, hints of caramel
Fuller, sweeter, notes of vanilla and oak
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024

Aging Process

Aged in new charred oak barrels
Also aged in new charred oak barrels
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Jack Daniel's and Bourbon Definitions

Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg is a popular tourist destination.
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Jan 12, 2024

Bourbon

Bourbon often has a sweeter profile than other whiskeys.
The sweetness of Bourbon makes it great for sipping.
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Jan 12, 2024

Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's offers a range of whiskey products.
They sampled different Jack Daniel's varieties at the tasting.
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Jan 12, 2024

Bourbon

Bourbon is aged in new, charred oak barrels.
The aging in charred barrels gives Bourbon its distinct flavor.
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Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's is a Tennessee whiskey known for its smoothness.
He enjoyed a glass of Jack Daniel's on the rocks.
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Bourbon

Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn in its mash.
The high corn content is essential for authentic Bourbon.
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Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's is a globally recognized whiskey brand.
Jack Daniel's is often a preferred choice in bars worldwide.
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Bourbon

Bourbon is closely associated with Kentucky.
Many of the best Bourbons come from Kentucky distilleries.
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Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's undergoes a charcoal mellowing process.
The unique flavor of Jack Daniel's comes from its charcoal mellowing.
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Jan 12, 2024

Bourbon

A political reactionary, especially a conservative Democrat in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Jan 10, 2024

Bourbon

A whiskey distilled from a fermented mash containing not less than 51 percent corn in addition to malt and rye.
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Bourbon

A whiskey distilled from a mixture of grains in which at least 51% is corn, aged in charred, new oak barrels. Made in the United States.
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Bourbon

A serving of bourbon whiskey.
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Bourbon

A Bourbon biscuit.
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Bourbon

A member of a family which has occupied several European thrones, and whose descendants still claim the throne of France.
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Bourbon

A politician who is behind the age; a ruler or politician who neither forgets nor learns anything; an obstinate conservative.
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Bourbon

A reactionary politician in the United States (usually from the South)
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Bourbon

Whiskey distilled from a mash of corn and malt and rye and aged in charred oak barrels
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Bourbon

A member of the European royal family that ruled France
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Bourbon

A European royal line that ruled in France (from 1589-1793) and Spain and Naples and Sicily
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Bourbon

Bourbon is an American whiskey primarily made from corn.
He preferred the rich taste of Bourbon in his cocktail.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Jack Daniel's?

Jack Daniel's is a brand of Tennessee whiskey known for its smooth, charcoal-mellowed flavor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024

Can Jack Daniel's be made outside of Tennessee?

No, Jack Daniel's is specifically made in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
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Shumaila Saeed
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What are some popular cocktails with Jack Daniel's?

Popular cocktails with Jack Daniel's include the Old Fashioned and the Whiskey Sour.
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What defines Bourbon?

Bourbon is an American whiskey made primarily from corn, aged in new charred oak barrels.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 17, 2024

Is all Bourbon made in Kentucky?

While most Bourbon is made in Kentucky, it can be produced anywhere in the U.S.
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Is Bourbon good for sipping neat?

Yes, Bourbon is often enjoyed neat due to its rich and smooth flavor profile.
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Feb 17, 2024

Is there an age requirement for Bourbon?

There's no minimum aging requirement for Bourbon, but it must be aged in new charred oak barrels.
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Feb 17, 2024

Is Jack Daniel's considered a Bourbon?

While similar, Jack Daniel's is classified as Tennessee whiskey, not Bourbon, due to its production process.
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Feb 17, 2024

How long is Jack Daniel's aged?

Jack Daniel's does not have a set aging period; it's aged until deemed ready by the distillers.
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Can Jack Daniel's be used in cocktails?

Yes, Jack Daniel's is commonly used in a variety of cocktails.
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What is the main ingredient in Bourbon?

The main ingredient in Bourbon is corn, comprising at least 51% of the mash bill.
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Are there different types of Bourbon?

Yes, there are various types of Bourbon, differing in aging time, corn content, and production methods.
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What is the alcohol content of Jack Daniel's?

The alcohol content of Jack Daniel's varies, but it's typically around 40% ABV.
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Feb 17, 2024

What makes Jack Daniel's different in taste from Bourbon?

Jack Daniel's is known for its smoother, slightly sweeter taste due to its charcoal mellowing process.
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What is a small batch Bourbon?

Small batch Bourbon refers to Bourbon produced by mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels.
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Can Bourbon only be made from corn?

While corn is the primary grain, Bourbon can also include barley, rye, or wheat in its mash.
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What proof is Bourbon typically bottled at?

Bourbon is typically bottled between 80 and 100 proof, but this can vary.
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Feb 17, 2024

What is the flavor profile of Bourbon?

Bourbon typically has a sweet, full-bodied flavor with notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel.
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How is Jack Daniel's served traditionally?

Jack Daniel's is traditionally served neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.
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What is the Lincoln County Process?

The Lincoln County Process is the method of filtering whiskey through charcoal, used in making Jack Daniel's.
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Feb 17, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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