It is up to you, the consumer, to decide the fate of any whiskey out there on the market and for many years now, the consumer – particularly the American consumer – has decided that Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey is one of the most popular whiskies in the world.
Now comes the part where we decide if being popular is a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly it is a good thing if you solely view it from the financial perspective. There can be no argument there – and Fireball will be right there agreeing with you. So there’s that. But popularity does not always equate with quality, sometimes it merely equates with a pleasant price point or easy availability or something your older brother once told you or whatever. Popularity can have many parents. In the case of Jack Daniels Old No. 7, it is undeniably popular due to access and price and not so much for taste – witness the popularity of Jack-and-Cokes. JD is one of those brands which has successfully developed a spot in American cultural drinking lore – one of not being bad and you can use it in mixed cocktails – that is now virtually unassailable. You can say negative things about JD, you can say positive things about JD, it will have no effect on how many bottles of JD are sold nor will anybody likely be moved from their positions of opinion on the matter.
With this in mind, on this occasion, I returned to Jack Daniels Old No. 7 for the first time in many a moon [exactly how many moons, it cannot be said, but it has be at least eight or nine moons at the very least] more to see if anything has changed physically or culturally or merely if maturity had taken its usual toll on the taste buds. I can happily report that the portion of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 which I tried did not suck [as the kids like to say, a lot, these days] as much as I thought it might after such a long hiatus from the liquid and, in fact, was just unobtrusive. It was not horrible, it was not great, it was somewhere in between. When you have tried whiskies of greater blood lines, you can detect JD’s obvious flaws – harsh, medicinal flavors with a lingering bite that could be confused with spice but is more likely to remind you of tomorrow morning [and not in a good way]. Overall, it is not smooth, has a slight kick and features an aroma of either medicine or alcohol, depending on how your olfactory is working that day. In the end, for Jack Daniels Old No. 7, there is no “there” there.
A bottle of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 will generally run you around $20-25 in the good old US of A.
WhiskyCritic Rating for Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey – 77