DSR – TN – 010: Jack Daniel’s Can Cocktails
Company/Distillery: Jack Daniel Distillery
Location: Lynchburg, Tennessee
Proof/ABV: 7.0% ABV
Purchase Price: $14.49 from Total Wine & More, Myrtle Beach, SC in August 2021; 4 355ml Cans.
Jack Daniel Distillery
The year was around 1864; the town was Lynchburg, TN. A young man by the name of Jasper “Jack” Newton Daniel would break out on his own and subsequently meet a preacher by the name of Dan Call. Reverend Call ran a small distillery on his property and would eventually teach Mr. Daniel how to make whiskey. All of this would be accomplished with the help of enslaved craftsman, Nathan “Nearest” Green. Just a few years later in 1866, Mr. Daniel would establish the first U.S. registered distillery known as the Jack Daniel Distillery. Mr. Jack Daniel would eventually go on to lead the distillery with the assistance of his dear friend and head distiller, Nearest Green. In October 1911, in a moment of anger, Mr. Jack Daniel kicked his safe and sustained an injury that would eventually take his life due to gangrene.
In 156 years of production, the distillery has been lead by only 8 different Master Distillers:
- Jack Daniel (1866-1911) & Nearest Green (1870s-1881)
- Jess Motlow (1911-1941)
- Lem Tolley (1941-1964)
- Jess Gamble (1964-1966)
- Frank Bobo (1966-1988)
- Jimmy Bedford (1988-2007)
- Jeff Arnett (2008-2020)
- Chris Fletcher (2020-Present)
Jack Daniel moved his distillery to its current location, Cave Spring Hollow, in Lynchburg, TN after purchasing the property for $2,148. This property drew Jack in, due to its natural limestone spring. To this day, the spring is responsible for supplying the distillery with its water for whiskey production. The spring is always a cool 56 degrees and produces approximately 800 gallons of water every minute.
Jack Daniel Distillery prides itself on quality craftsmanship – much of which happens right in Lynchburg, TN. For a distillery the size of Jack Daniel, it is with great pride that they personally make every single drop of the world’s Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, right on site at their Lynchburg distillery. They also make their sugar maple charcoal, char their own barrels, as well as owning and operating many of the cooperages in the supply chain. As if all of this is not enough, the distillery still holds the title of the world’s biggest selling American whiskey around the world.
In addition to the Jack Daniel’s canned cocktails we’re using for this review, the distillery also offers its Old No. 7 recipe (also know as “Black Label”), Tennessee Apple, Tennessee Rye, Tennessee Honey, Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Sinatra Select, Single Barrel 100 Proof, Single Barrel Rye, Single Barrel Barrel Proof, No. 27 Gold, and many specialty releases.
To read more about the unique history of Jack Daniel and his distillery, visit Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Jack Daniel’s Can Cocktails
In 2020, Jack Daniel’s released a new set of canned cocktails to their line-up. The cans, offered in 4-packs, come in Whiskey & Cola, Tennessee Honey (Whiskey, Honey & Lemonade), and Whiskey & Seltzer. More recently, Jack Daniel’s has added a Tennessee Apple offering to the mix. Each of these offerings clock in at 7% Alcohol by Volume. These cans be found in local markets for approximately $14 per 4 pack. Jack Daniel’s advertises these offerings as perfectly mixed and ready to go at any time.
Tasting Date/Vessel: October 30, 2021 – Over Ice compared to a traditional Jack Daniel’s Cocktail
In this review, Rickhouse Ramblings will take a slightly different approach in our process. Instead of reviewing these canned cocktails like a typical whiskey review, we have decided to taste the pre-canned Jack Daniel’s Cocktail versus a traditional mixed drink. To do this, Rickhouse Ramblings purchased 50 ml “Mini” bottles of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and Tennessee Honey. These mini-bottles were mixed with standard Coca-Cola (Roughly 100 ML of Coke to 50 ML of Jack) and Minute Maid Lemonade (A 1:1 ratio) for comparison.
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Brand Tennessee Quality Whiskey & Cola
Christian: After pouring the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Brand Tennessee Whiskey and Cola in a glass, my first impression of this canned cocktail is that the aromas are very close to that of a traditional bar mixed Jack and Coke. Sweet cola dominates the flavor profile with just a hint of Jack Daniel’s following behind very closely.
Once you take a sip, you notice that the sweetness of the cola overtakes much of the reminiscence of the Jack. I also notice an artificial and slightly bitter flavor on the back end of this taste. Overall, this comes off as a bit lacking in the flavor department.
What I like about the traditional Jack and Coke is the ability for the individual to control the amount of whiskey and allowing the Jack Daniel’s flavor to bleed through into the Coke. Having that flavor missing is a bit of a letdown here. I do think the canned cocktail accomplishes its goal as being a fast replacement for the traditional cocktail. However, given the chance, I think I prefer having the real thing – besides, it is not hard to carry a flask of Jack Daniel’s and buy a can of Coke at the golf course, beach, pool, or other outdoor event.
Mike: We wanted to compare the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey & Cola premixed cocktail with a homemade Jack and Coke. I don’t have a lot of experience with Jack and Coke or cocktails in general. I generally drink my whiskey neat, but when I have a cocktail, I typically enjoy an Old Fashioned.
We mixed a 50 ml mini bottle of Jack Daniel’s black label (80 proof) with 100 ml of Coca-Cola and virtually nailed the flavor of the premixed cocktail. The main difference between the two was the carbonation. The premixed cocktail was fully carbonated as any canned soda would be, while the traditional Jack and Coke loses some of its effervescence with the addition of the whiskey.
I admit, I was pleasantly surprised by both offerings. The premixed cocktail was a touch sweeter overall. The premixed cocktail boasts a 7% ABV and by our math, the Jack and Coke came in at 10% ABV. There was virtually no detection of whiskey flavor in either offering, with just barely a trace of flavor in the Jack and Coke. One could unintentionally over-serve themselves for those reasons.
The bottom line is the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey & Cola vs a Jack and Coke cocktail is a preference of convenience. Cocktails in a can are unquestionably popular and easy on-the-go options. A 4 pack of the Whiskey & Cola vs a half dozen mini bottles of Jack and 20 oz. Coca-Cola from a gas station, is going to cost about the same. At home, a fifth of Jack Daniel’s and a 2 liter of Coca-Cola is more economical. Plus, as an added bonus, you can make your cocktail stronger if desired.
Jack Daniel’s Quality Tennessee Honey: Whiskey, Honey & Lemonade
Christian: Given the similarities in flavor and aromas produced by the Jack & Cola, I anticipated having similar findings with the Tennessee Honey canned cocktail. I really couldn’t have been more wrong. The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey canned cocktail had an aroma that reminded me much of a lemon-lime soda (more Sprite than Sierra Mist) rather than lemonade. Honestly, I noticed very little semblance of Jack Daniel’s being present in the can.
In contrast, the traditional mixture of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey out of the mini bottle and Minute Maid Lemonade has an amazing nose. Loads of sweet honey and brown sugar combine, reminding me of a Yankee Candle.
The contrast continues with the flavor profiles of the canned cocktail versus the traditional variety. I found the canned cocktail to be crisp, bright, and refreshing. The addition of carbonation offers just a touch of body to this cocktail that makes it perfect for a cookout, pool party, or day at the beach. That is not the case for the traditional counterpart. The traditional Tennessee Honey Lemonade offered rich, sweet, full-bodied flavors that are warming and perfect for a cool night on the porch, but not so much for an summer outside activity.
Bottom-line: I really dig this Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey canned cocktail. The refreshing nature of this offering really makes it a contender to make the cooler for summer outdoor activities. In addition, the ease of popping open the can and its transportablity make it a versatile option when you are looking for a little more than just a beer.
Mike: Just like above, we compared the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey & Lemonade premixed cocktail against a homemade Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Lemonade. For the homemade cocktail, we opted for a ratio of 1:1–50 ml mini bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and 50 ml of Minute Maid lemonade. Once again, we fortuitously nailed the ratio for the homemade cocktail in my opinion.
The premixed cocktail was carbonated and this offered a refreshing crispness compared to the still homemade counterpart. The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey & Lemonade is 7% ABV while the 1:1 homemade cocktail is approximately 17% ABV. Flavor wise, there was no comparison between the two. Both were tasty options with the premixed being more lemon-lime soda forward and the homemade offering a uniquely brown sugar and sugar cookie essence.
Once again, this is a preference of convenience and flavor. While I appreciate the freshness of the premixed cocktail offered, I preferred the overall flavor profile of the homemade cocktail offered.