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Feb 14, 2003 04:12 PM

Bourbon vs. Tennessee whiskey

  • e

Since we've raised the bourbon issue already, I'd like to see what other hounds think about a pet peeve of mine: Tennessee Whiskey. While bourbon has to be made to rather strict specifications--at least 3 years of aging in new charred oak barrels, at least 50% corn, but not more than 75% corn (except when produced and bottled by the actual distiller)--I don't believe there are any specifications for Tennessee whiskeys. And to me, Jack Daniels is over-rated, over-hyped, and over-priced. Does anyone agree?

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  1. w
    whiskey person

    No, it's just fine as a sipping whiskey.

    1. No, this girl can't agree with any of those choices (over-rated, over-hyped, over-priced). I find it smooth and satisfying, and the cost is reasonable when compared to other big-name distilled spirits (or especially to wine, considering the price per serving).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Suzanne

        I find it being "the only" non-bourbon American whiskey used in every restaurant I dine in. It has exterminated the modest priced "rail" offerings completely. It is premium priced at 43USD/1.75L next to a local I prefer at $13. My choice avoids the oak sting and takes a small hit in the fruit bouquet which I cancel with a bit of any local ($17) triple-sec. I drink this on the rocks as it stores extremely well and gets as sweet as you like without any coke at all. Drink as you wish. Baltimore, MD and Ohio put out some very fine offerings of many different beverage lines that don't advertise or need to. It doesn't have to be Jack Black single barrel and Grand Marnier.

        1. re: Suzanne

          After I had a few "Top shelf margaritas" at Tuesdays and Fridays 2004-2007, I explored the kinds of spirits and settled on a margarita mix, tipple-sec, tequila and a whiskey. I found a few of the local offerings made in Baltimore and Ohio OK at a fraction of the price. I now usually drink American blended whiskey sweetened with some triple-sec because it is easy to fix and stores really well. Beer, soda and fruity liqueurs spoil on the shelf over time. It doesn't have to be Jack Black and Grand Mariner.

        2. According to the Regans' book (The Book of Bourbon and other Fine American Whiskeys), Tennessee whiskey must conform to the same regulations as Bourbon, except that corn need not be the predominant grain, although they say all today's Tennessee whiskeys are predominantly corn.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            I should know that I can count on you and other hounds for the facts. I guess I figured it was like Kentucky whiskey, which does not have to meet bourbon standards. I still don't much like the Jack Daniel's taste--too much smooth, not enough bite for my palate. Thanks again for the info.

            1. re: e.d.

              I'm not familiar with Kentucky whiskey.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                Early Times is the one that is most common. There may be others.

          2. f
            Fred and Wilma

            A few adjustments: -
            51% for the corn in the mashbill.
            And only a 2 year minimum but most get at least four.

            1. While I agree with the opionion expressed below, it's just fine as a sipping whiskey," Jack Daniels has been a tiny pet peeve of many years. There have been many more occasions than not that I have asked for a bourbon and soda the "bourbon" has been Jack Daniels. There will be no other choice, and, ever the pain in the ass, I will have to point out that this is not bourbon. The exchange is inevitable, my evil twin fades, I take the Jack Daniels (because that is what there is) and I like it well enough. But I peeve.