Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Jack Daniel's watering whiskey down


Gifted Gourmet
 Share

Recommended Posts

the article

The famed ``sippin' whiskey,'' which advertises a recipe traced back to the nation's first registered distillery, has lowered the alcohol content of its flagship brand, Old No.7 Black Label.The whiskey now registers 80 proof, instead of 86 (or 40 percent alcohol versus 43 percent), and some drinkers feel betrayed.

``You can't screw with a legend like that and get away with it,'' said Frank Kelly Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine. ``I'm sure Jack is spinning in his grave.''

I enjoyed this article and understand the arguments both for and against the change .. but since when is watering down an alcoholic drink considered a good thing? :rolleyes: Your opinion? Do you drink Jack Daniels yourself?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't believe there is a Modern Drunkard magazine...

I don't drink Jack Daniels... I prefer whiskeys just a little bit higher up the chain. But I keep a bottle around for cooking.

Let’s be honest. The stuff isn’t very good. When you compare it to just about any whiskey north of $20 a fifth, you soon realize it’s harsh cheap liquor. It has a cool name, a black label, and an illusion of tradition behind it. Now that I know that focus groups and test marketing are part of the recipe, I won’t buy JD again. I will have to switch to Jim Beam for my meager purposes.

Edited by carp (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This pops up from time to time and have read many gripes about it on other forums.

I hardly understand the big deal about that. How much water does it take to lower it that three percent? Big whippy skippy.

BTW, Modern Drunkard is also a message board forum for bragging about one's drunken adventures.... I believe they have a petition going for whatever that is worth -- as if Jack Daniels will change that practice. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Virtually anyone I know that drinks Jack Daniels drinks a Jack & Coke, so I doubt that tiny difference will matter or be detectable to anyone as this cocktail is normally served on the rocks. Anyone that's drinking Jack Daniels neat needs to be introduced to better liquor. By force if necessary. :laugh:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I prefer other whiskeys and bourbons--but this would, on principle, infuritate me if I drank JD and stop me from purchasing it.

It is pretty hilarious that they market on "tradition" with the accompanying idea of an old unchanging recipe. The reason they give for lowering the proof is ingenuous. It would seem to be purely to lower their cost of doing business. and is really an insult to any of their "loyal" customers. I guess they assume these people will just keep on buying it; hope not. In any case, "new customers" in a few years will know none of this.

See this other quote in the article:

It is not the first time drinkers have felt burned by Jack. Roughly 17 years ago, the company lowered the proof of its famed whiskey from 90 to 86.

Another 3% in a few years and they will have lowered the alcohol by 10%.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Virtually anyone I know that drinks Jack Daniels drinks a Jack & Coke, so I doubt that tiny difference will matter or be detectable to anyone as this cocktail is normally served on the rocks.  Anyone that's drinking Jack Daniels neat needs to be introduced to better liquor. By force if necessary.  :laugh:

Word is that Marcella Hazan drinks hers on the rocks...but on special occasions she goes for Gentleman Jack.

regards,

trillium (drank JD neat all through college and lived to tell the tale...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

not sure of the reason but presume that it is to do with tax. I am also not sure of the tax system in the US but here in the UK 3% makes a difference (hence why gordon's Gin in the UK was lowered to 37.5% - same reason why Pimms dropped in strength).

A 70cl bottle at 43% has duty of £5.89 and with sales tax (VAT) = £6.92 a bottle

A 70cl bottle at 40% has duty of £5.48 and with sales tax (VAT) = £6.44 a bottle

Knocking off £0.50 is quite a big deal when it is on the shelf. Presumably the bottle will also be cheaper so this £0.50 will actually be closer to £0.75 a bottle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Gentleman Jack is far better for sipping neat. It's delicious in fact. Also makes a tasty Manhattan.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of late my drink of choice is Jack and Gingerale. I have tried some small batch bourbons such as Basil Haydon (sp) and still prefer Jack or Crown Royal. I did not notice the decline in alcohol percentage and will check my 'jug' tonight. I really only have one drink or two at the most so the buzz is not relevant. I am looking more for the mellow.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, really mad-my jug is 80%. Read the article again and the reason for the change was a taste test in a few (unamed) states and overseas markets. Well sorry but not a valid reason IMHO. Does Japan ask for our taste preferences when it makes sake? And the cost cutting defense that the cost of relabeling would mitigate the cost savings- nope-not a believer on this one. The lack of notification by way of advertising- ie "Lite Jack" speaks volumes! After my jug is gone I am divorcing Jack!

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Does Japan ask for our taste preferences when it makes sake?

After  my jug is gone  I am divorcing Jack!

Umh, pardon me, but right now Japan is really snapping up the Bourbon Style whiskeys (ie. Kentucky Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey), enough that they are becoming a sizeable market, and they really really like the high end ones.

As to someone else suggesting switching to Beam, might I suggest trying something like Evan Williams 1783 10year old. Very nice and smooth, definitely beats Jimmy B's white label for both taste, quality, and price. I even think it is better than Beam Black. I am paying $9.99 for a fifth in the State Stores in PA instead of $13.49 for Beam White or $18.49 for Black.

Or if you think quality Bourbon type whiskeys need to cost more, what about Elijah Craig? Again, $16.99 per fifth. And no the price on Jack isn't dropping here, it just went up another $0.50 to $18.99 last month.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems most of the whiskies have gone from 86 proof to 80 proof. Is it cost related? I certainly believe so. Look too at how closely this correlates with the change from a fifth (4/5 of a quart) to 750 ml as the standard bottle size.

I remember in '69-70 when I worked at a liquor store that the standard was either a fifth or a quart bottle. Try finding a quart now. Not impossible but very hard to find.

How much does it change the taste? Not much I don't think if you consider that most all who drink it have it over ice. Well that ice dillutes it, so it doesn't take much to effect that overall alcohol. For pure tasting comparisons too it is not unusual to cut the whiskey with water in a 1 to 1 ratio and taste striaght up from there.

Personally I've never cared for JD yet George Dickel is my regular whisky of choice.

As opposed to the change in proof I'm more opposed to the fact we get a 750 ml bottle rather than a fifth.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems most of the whiskies have gone from 86 proof to 80 proof.  Is it cost related?  I certainly believe so.  Look too at how closely this correlates with the change from a fifth (4/5 of a quart) to 750 ml as the standard bottle size. . . . As opposed to the change in proof I'm more opposed to the fact we get a 750 ml bottle rather than a fifth.

0.8 quarts (4/5 of a quart) equals 757.1 milliliters. So that means that a true fifth contains 7.1 milliliters more liquor than the standard 750 milliliter bottles we see today. 7.1 milliliters equals a little less than one and a half teaspoons. Surely you're not bothered by this paltry reduction in volume? Actually, I would imagine that the average liquor bottle filling machine has an accuracy somewhere in the realm of +/- 1.5 teaspoons (or more).

On the other side of the coin, a change from 43% alcohol to 40% alcohol would means a reduction of 22.5 milliliters of alcohol per 750 milliliter bottle. This is is equal to over 4.5 teaspoons of pure alcohol -- over three quarters of a fluid ounce. Diluted back out to the original 86 proof, it means about one healthy shot (1.75 ounces) less booze per 750 milliliter bottle.

Fundamentally, I don't think it makes much of a flavor difference in the common applications (and let's be honest, regular Black Jack doesn't taste all that wonderful straight). If one is drinking to get drunk, that's another matter. Over the years, many alcoholic beverages modify their formulae to keep pace with modern tastes or the realities of tax laws, etc.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not that they're putting less alcohol in, it's that they're putting more water in. In other words, while you're getting a lower proof, you're also getting less of the various compounds that give the whiskey its flavor. This really makes a difference when you're mixing drinks, where you need every last flavor molecule to stand up to the mixers and the ice. There isn't a hell of a lot of difference in the amount of alcohol in a Manhattan made with 80 proof whiskey and one made with 100 proof--a matter of less than a teaspoon in an average drink made with 2 oz of whiskey--but there's a hell of a difference in how they taste.

--DW

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly, Dave. I was trying to point that out a bit by demonstrating that the difference in alcohol is fairly trivial. There is some question, though, about whether this is a difference one is likely to notice with respect to Jack Daniels -- especially considering it's usual modes of consumption.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is some question, though, about whether this is a difference one is likely to notice with respect to Jack Daniels -- especially considering it's usual modes of consumption.

Very good point. There are some cases where you might not want every last flavor molecule.

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:laugh: Excellent point! Re keeping every last flavor molecule, though, your point is very well made. This is one reason I wish more makers of rye and bourbon would release an unfiltered product. The only one of which I am aware is Bookers, and I think there is a big difference between Bookers unfiltered bourbon and filtered bourbons at similar proof (with Bookers having more flavor, natch).

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

i was in the liquor store today and i had a thought about this: what's the difference between the black and green label jack daniels now? i was always under the impression that the green label was the 80 proof, and the black was the 86, but now that the black is 80 proof too.....

(of course their website doesn't give any information about the actual whiskey; only about the lifestyle you should have and the flash-based games you should play while drinking it)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...