Both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are world-renowned spirit brands known and loved for their quality.
Both with extremely rich traditions withstanding the taste of time, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are now giants in the whiskey industry and synonymous with quality, class, and refinement.
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Comparing them in terms of taste is pointless as they fall into different categories, so it is natural that they will taste different. While Jack Daniels is a Tennessee whiskey, Jim Beam is a Kentucky bourbon.
While bourbon is a subtype of whiskey, they are still the same, and therefore comparing them to conclude which is better is not an accurate comparison.
However, they are highly comparable in other aspects, but for educational purposes and perhaps to decide which is better for you, not in general.
They both have their loyal fans that know how to appreciate and enjoy them, but often both have the same consumer body, as there are many similar aspects that make them appeal to the same type of people.
In this article, I will compare Jim Beam and Jack Daniels in terms of flavor, variations, popularity, prices, history, and making. Continue reading to learn more about these two superb brands and perhaps become a fan of one or the other, or maybe both.
Also check: Jack Daniels Bottle Sizes and Prices Guide
Both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels have long and rich histories of surviving different societal circumstances, unfavorable economic situations, and global health issues, such as pandemics.
Since both became popular shortly after their conceptions, they are known as the world’s best-sold bourbon and whiskey of all time.
Considering that they originate centuries back, the 18th century for Jim beam and the 19th century for Jack Daniel’s, they appeared in a time when the newspaper was the only wide-coverage medium.
In conditions in which they had no way to advertise their products and the only hope was that people would spread the news, a good spirit was their only advertisement.
So, becoming famous back then was incredibly hard work requiring outstanding effort and quality. To build a well-established brand in those days meant that the product needed to be as close to perfect as possible, which is what both brands did.
Back in 1875, Jack Daniel gave birth to what we today know and love, i.e., the Jack Daniel’s whiskey, more precisely, Old No. 7. He was a whiskey entrepreneur and a spirit enthusiast who managed to create something that literally changed the world.
The Jack Daniel’s brand faced many challenges, starting from wars, the Great Depression, the prohibition, and a pandemic, which is why its story is a tale of perseverance and endurance.
The Jim Beam brand was conceived even further back than Jack Daniel’s, i.e., in 1795. The brand is of German origin, as the Beam family name was originally Boehm. However, they changed their last name to sound more American.
The Beam family had been distilling bourbon for a long time, but they never thought that they would change history with their family recipe.
In 1795 they started their business with the flagship product, i.e., Old James Beam Sour Mash, that any bourbon enthusiast knows and loves.
Jim Beam, or James Beauregard Beam, was born in 1864 and became the most famous member of the Beam family. Later on, the family expanded their business and became what it is today. Many wonder if there is a Jim Beam person, and yes, there is.
He expanded the business, but sadly, he died before seeing the Jim Beam Black edition that his son made and dedicated to him. Also, Jim Beam bourbon was given a spot in the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, which Jim also never got to see.
Nevertheless, Jim Beam had a good life and died at the age of 70. On the other hand, Jack Daniels didn’t have the privilege to live as long.
He died at the age of 65, and his end was caused by a rather bizarre event. What began as a regular morning would seal his destiny. He needed something from his safe, and he tried to open it, but he couldn’t. So, Jack kicked the safe and sadly hurt his toe.
He left the injury untreated and died of blood poisoning shortly after. However, he left a legacy that would immortalize him and turn him into a legend.
Jim Beam is a classic Kentucky bourbon whiskey made with 51% corn in its mash bill. It is a very natural-tasting spirit made with grains and limestone-filtered water. The brand takes extreme care when making this drink and is, therefore, very proud of its making process.
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The full recipe still remains a well-kept family secret, but the making process is well-known. The making of the Jim Beam bourbon starts with the cooking of the grains, followed by the fermentation of the grains. They use yeast to trigger and continue this process.
During the fermentation, the grains release sugars and mash together. This process releases the alcohol, turning the grains into a beer-like substance.
This liquid is then distilled in steel columns, turning the alcohol into vapor and then into liquid again. This process creates a liquid called “low wine.”
Next comes the aging process. The liquid is poured into barrels that the brand handcrafts. They burn the inside of the barrels turning the texture into a scaly and bumpy surface which they call “alligator char.”
The bourbon ages for four years, which is double what the law requires turning the spirit into a soft, mellow, and flavorful drink.
The making process of Jack Daniels covers similar steps as Jim Beam’s making process. The Jack Daniel’s mash bill is composed of 80% corn, 12% rye, and 8% malted barley. They also use limestone-filtered waters to make sure the spirit is of the best possible quality.
What makes the Jack Daniel’s making process special and unique is the extra step they add into the production of this spirit. The mash ferments and is then distilled into copper stills.
They call this extra step “mellowing,” which is filtering the liquid through charcoal, ensuring that all of the impurities are gone from the liquid.
The distillery makes their own maturation barrels from American oak. The spirit ages for a minimum of four years before bottling, which makes Jack Daniel’s one of the smoothest and highest-quality whiskeys on the market.
Today, Jim Beam is owned by Suntory Group, and Jack Daniels is owned by Brown-Forman.
Since Jim Beam is a bourbon whiskey, it is a bit harsher than Jack Daniels. However, Jim Beam is not just a bourbon but a four-year-old bourbon aged twice the legally required length of time.
When it comes to taste, although different, both drinks are recognizable by their deliciousness and class, which are characteristics they have in common.
As such, Jim Beam is a classic bourbon with an exceptional smoothness and is mellower than what you would expect. It has a distinct vanilla dimension intertwined with caramel and oak.
Mid-palate toward the finish, it exhibits subtle smoky tones, which it gets from the charred oak barrels in which it ages.
The finish is very smooth, but it bites and stings, which is where the differences between Jim Beam and Jack Daniels become the most visible.
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Like Jim Beam, Jack Daniels to has a certain caramel note, but it is not as expressive as in Jim Beam. Jack Daniels, on the other hand, is a Tennessee whiskey recognizable for its leatheriness and smokiness. It has a very noticeable vanilla scent which transpires all the way to the finish.
However, considering that corn dominates the Jack Daniel’s mash bill, it is noticeably sweeter and more complex than Jim Beam. It also exhibits honey tones intertwined with leather notes and the smokiness it mostly gets from the charcoal filtration process and the aging period.
The finish is impeccably smooth and supple, making this whiskey one of the best on the market.
When it comes to variety, both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels don’t seem to be too greedy in creating an entire rainbow of opportunities, and they adhere to what has been shown to work well instead.
They do what they do perfectly, and they stick to the winning recipe. Sadly, we have seen many labels expand too much too quickly and implode even quicker. These two brands definitely know what they are doing in this regard too.
Jack Daniels has four main varieties, which are a part of the standard assortment. Old no 7. is the first Jack Daniels expression.
The number 7 has become something of an urban legend, as there are several theories why Mr. Daniels decided to make it a part of the name of its first spirit.
The predominant theory is that Jack had seven femme fatales in his life, which he decided to honor with its first spirit expression.
Then comes the Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniels Single Barrel, and lastly, the Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, as the newest member of the Jack Daniels family.
Of the four Jack Daniels varieties, Old no. 7 is the harshest and most assertive. The Gentleman variety is slightly mellower but still hard and slightly aggressive, while the Single Barrel expression is mellower and gentler. The Tennessee Honey expression is the gentlest and most sensual of all.
Jack Daniels also circulates limited editions such as The Sinatra Select, No. 27 Gold, The 150 Anniversary Whiskey, and other varieties they release for certain occasions and circulate for a limited amount of time.
Jim Beam offers a wider variety of products than Jack Daniels. They make Jim Beam Original which is the flagship bourbon.
Jim Beam Black (black label) – “extra aged, i.e., 6 to 8 years, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Jim Beam Bonded, Jim Beam Double Oak (dark blue label) – matured in two barrels and Jim Beam Single Barrel as their primary assortment.
They also offer premium bourbons, among which are Jim Beam Signature Craft bourbon whiskey, Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask Bourbon, Jim Beam Harvest Collection (limited edition), and Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece.
They also have flavored bourbons coming from the primary expressions encompassing apple, maple, honey, vanilla, peach, and orange. In addition, they have small batches and limited editions.
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In summation, Jim Beam seems to have a wider main assortment than Jack Daniels, while both brands make limited editions and constantly offer something new to their consumers.
Nevertheless, we can’t compare them in this regard and pronounce a winner, as they have entirely different production models and concepts.
Both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are very popular and have their loyal fans and consumers. Often those who like Jim Beam like Jack Daniels, but not all who like Jack Daniels like Jim Beam, as Jim Beam is a little harsher.
Still, saying that one is more popular than the other isn’t accurate, and it isn’t fair either, as they both have long-lasting traditions and still going strong with no intention of stopping or slowing down.
Pricing and Alcohol Content
Both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are affordable spirits. Below are two tables indicating the prices for both. Note that the prices are only intended to serve as a reference, as they will likely vary depending on the location.
Both Jim Beam and Jack Daniels have the legally allowed alcohol content of 40%.
|Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey||750ml||$19 – $25|
|Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire||750ml||$19 – $26|
|Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple||750ml||$25 – $28|
|Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple||1L||$38 – $43|
|Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select||750ml||$40– $41|
|Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye||750ml||$45 – $55|
|Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof||750ml||$40 – $40|
|Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select||1L||$106– $115|
|Jack Daniel’s Rye||750ml||$26-$40|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Whiskey||375ml||$12 – $16|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Whiskey||750ml||$21 – $30|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Whiskey||1.75L||$40 – $45|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee||750ml||$21 – $30|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee||1L||$30 – $48|
|Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee||1.75L||$40 – $53|
|Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack Whiskey||750ml||$27 – $41|
|Jack Daniel’s Green Label||750ml||$24– $29|
|Jack Daniel’s Green Label||1.75L||$40 – $44|
|Gentleman Jack||750ml||$22– $34|
|Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$12|
|Jim Beam Honey Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$17|
|Jim Beam Vanilla Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$18|
|Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$19|
|Jim Beam Apple Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$19|
|Jim Beam Orange Bourbon||1L||$22|
|Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$24|
|Jim Beam Rye Whiskey||750ml||$24|
|Jim Beam Peach Bourbon Whiskey||1L||$22|
|Jim Beam Signature Craft Six Row Barley Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$39|
|Jim Beam Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$39|
|Jim Beam Double Oak Bourbon Whiskey||750ml||$39|
|Jim Beam Signature Craft Whole Brown Rice Bourbon 11 Year||750ml||$49|
|Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece||750ml||$209|
Is Jack Daniels The Same As Jim Beam?
No, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels are not the same. Jim Beam is a bourbon, while Jack Daniels is a whiskey.
Which Came First, Jim Beam or Jack Daniels?
Jim Beam is the older of the two giants in the spirit industry. Jim Beam came in 1795, and Jack Daniels came in 1875, so they are a century apart.
Does The Same Company own Jack Daniels And Jim Beam
No, they aren’t. Jim Beam is owned by Suntory Group, and Jack Daniels is owned by Brown-Forman.