Gentleman Jack: 40% abv
Background: Here we go. Occasionally, the KCM crew likes to step back to the classics. We have never done a Jack Daniels review and you shouldn’t expect many more, but this is an instance where a bottle has been purchased and is ready for judgment. Gentleman Jack is Jack Daniel’s attempt at making a middle-range bottling of Jack Daniels to charge customers more for. Would you guess they would raise the proof? Increase the age time? Do some unique finishing operation or change the mash bill? You’d be wrong on all accounts. Gentleman Jack gets the Tennessee treatment twice, instead of once. This is charcoal filtering, and that allegedly makes Tennessee whiskey differentiable from Bourbon, which I won’t refute at this very moment. In an “informative” video, a man in a Jack Daniels shirt informs us that short finishes and lack of oak flavor in Gentleman are the staple qualities that set this thing apart. It also sports a classically cheap 40% abv, and this man informs us that often times it’s not what we taste, but where we taste it that’s important. I like to taste whiskey in my mouth. I’m sure by now we’re all excited to try this velvety smooth masterpiece.
Nose: Yes, this is sweet alright. They weren’t kidding with that. Instantly, smells of anise, candied cherries, vanilla extract and white sugar pronounce themselves. There is some confectionary aroma in this glass, with a very mild hint of grains. This seems like a corn-heavy mash bill, and the sweetness makes the complexity difficult to find. There is a distinctive alcohol smell that actually becomes more pronounced as the whiskey opens up.
Arrival: The arrival starts very candied, with sweet artificial fruit flavors. The candied cherries are very dominant, and there is a sweet, syrupy flavor up front. It is almost maple in flavor. There is some spice as well that is distinctive in the arrival. There is some bitter fruit flavors in the arrival as well, such as slight cranberry, but none of it stays for very long.
Body: There are suggestions of oak flavor in the body, and is pretty thin. Hints of anise and hot spices come across in the body, but dissipate quickly.
Finish: The finish leaves with a strong taste of sweetened corn and some wheat flavor. There is some maraschino cherry juice in the finish, which is actually the most eventful part of the whisky. Gentleman just seems to do a good job of lacking substance. There seems to be an ashy, charry wood flavor that is retained through the finish, which serves as the most interesting feature of the whiskey.
Final Comments: Sorry, sports fans. I tried adding water and unfortunately there is nothing to report. So what is there to conclude. This is the pinnacle of gimmicky drinks. I guess it isn’t too bad, but it lacks balance, it certainly lacks complexity, and the most unique thing about it is it’s “smooth”. Folks, the fallacy that Jack is trying to promote with this bottle is that complexity and ease of drinking are mutually exclusive. Those things aren’t true. The idea that WHAT you taste isn’t as important as WHERE you taste it is just madness. This isn’t worth the money, it isn’t worth the bad marketing, and it isn’t worth the ignorance. It is drinkable, and it is tolerable, but it doesn’t engage the drinker. Overall, this isn’t worth buying, and Jack Daniels will find that our generation of drinkers isn’t looking for something lacking in dynamics.
Why you’d buy it: You’re a Jack drinker and you want to splurge on something more expensive, and just as bad.
Why you wouldn’t: See review.