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Posted: 9/29/2004 12:22:18 PM EST
Drinkers object to Jack Daniel's watering whiskey down

Wednesday September 29, 2004


By MATT GOURAS

Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) If you've noticed that your Jack Daniel's is carrying a little less kick these days, you're probably right.

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.''

The company says the switch was made because most customers prefer the less potent mix, which was marketed first in a few states and some overseas markets. The transition was completed earlier this year.

Those who want a stiffer drink can buy specialty versions like Jack Daniel's Single Barrel at 94 proof, the company said.

``We were just doing what we think most of our friends and customers wanted,'' said Roger Brashears, who has worked at Jack Daniel's in Lynchburg since the 1960s. ``Our quality control is very scientific. It comes down to how it tastes.''

The company touts Old No. 7 as ``a simple reminder that some things just never change. And shouldn't. This is the old-time whiskey made as our fathers made it.''

The uproar was started by a few whiskey drinkers who think Jack should stick to that promise. An online petition asking the company to switch back has gathered about 700 signatures.

``If that's what the people wanted, they would have announced it in an ad 'Look we lowered the proof for you,''' said Rich, who calls his magazine ``the voice of the recreational drinker.''

Rich said the company pushed the change through without any fanfare and whiskey drinkers are just now picking up on it, saying it tastes sweeter and doesn't pack the same punch.

Jack Daniel's gets to 80 proof by adding a little more water to the raw whiskey that comes out of barrels after four years at roughly 125 proof, Brashears said.

``I can't tell that difference,'' he said. ``We haven't done anything to affect the quality that has made us so many friends over the years.''

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.

Enough is enough, says Rich.

``I've switched to Maker's Mark since,'' he said. ``I used to drink a bottle a week. Some of our board members drink three bottles a week. Once this gets out, it will be like the New Coke thing they'll have to bring it back.''

Competitors also jumped on Jack Daniel's. Kentucky's Jim Beam noted they have no plans to lower the alcohol content of their 210-year-old recipe.

``I think it's interesting that our primary competitor says they've been true to their roots yet they've lowered their proof and altered their recipe,'' said Dave Racicot, senior director of global marketing for the Kentucky whiskey.

The whiskey recipe is still the same, including four years of aging in wood barrels. Old No. 7, which Jack Daniel's says is the country's most popular whiskey with 7 million cases shipped last year, continues to sell well.

It is closing in on Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch whisky as the world's No. 1 seller, said Phil Lynch, spokesman for Brown-Forman, the Louisville, Ky.-based company that owns Jack Daniel's.

Lynch said the company uses the same ingredients and time-honored process it always has including the charcoal filtering that makes Tennessee whiskey different than Kentucky bourbon.

Rich said the company was saving money by adding more water, but Jack Daniel's said any savings were canceled by the expense of having to change its labels.

``We don't think it's appropriate to have a magazine called Modern Drunkard dictate how we make our whiskey,'' Lynch said.



Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:28:26 PM EST
Three bottles of whiskey a week? Geez, maybe you shouldn't be worried about a drop from 86 to 80 proof.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:32:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:
Three bottles of whiskey a week? Geez, maybe you shouldn't be worried about a drop from 86 to 80 proof.



+1 on that
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:37:57 PM EST
I OBJECT! I OBJECT! My benevolent sponsor must turning in his grave!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:40:47 PM EST
Just 6 proof? I'd imagine the proof fluctuates by that much from batch to batch anyway.

I sure wouldn't taste a difference, that's for sure. Some more avid drinkers might.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:43:29 PM EST
It sounds like JD wants you to spend more dough on the "premium" single barrel stuff.

Simple economics.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:45:32 PM EST
That's not the point! ITS INCREMENTALISM! Pretty soon, there will be dehydrated JD packets next to the Kool-Aid in the grocery store.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:46:24 PM EST
Who the fuck do they think BUYS their product in bulk...



Drinkers object to Jack Daniel's watering whiskey down
``We don't think it's appropriate to have a magazine called Modern Drunkard dictate how we make our whiskey,'' Lynch said.

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:48:33 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:49:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By SWS:
It sounds like JD wants you to spend more dough on the "premium" single barrel stuff.

Simple economics.



+1

personally i like jack and would continue to drink it at 80 proof. that 6% isn't enough to make a real difference in the buzz anyway.

mike



Actually 7%
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:50:55 PM EST
How anyone can drink that rot-gut hillbilly ass-crack distilled paint thinner anyway is beyond me.

Give me a nice scotch or bourbon any day.

SG



Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:53:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:54:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
How anyone can drink that rot-gut hillbilly ass-crack distilled paint thinner anyway is beyond me.

Give me a nice scotch or bourbon any day.

SG






+1 JD is just wannbe Bourbon. Give me Kentucky Bourbon and I'm a happy man!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:54:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:56:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:00:44 PM EST by ScaryGuy]

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
How anyone can drink that rot-gut hillbilly ass-crack distilled paint thinner anyway is beyond me.

Give me a nice scotch or bourbon any day.

SG






this from the guy that would drink piss out of a boot if he thought it would get him drunk



I'd wager that the piss would prolly taste better than Asscrack Daniels

Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:


SG
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 12:58:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:00:14 PM EST
I'm not that big on JD. In fact i have been nursing the same bottle for about 6 years now. I prefer Vodka.

However, i can see how someone who like JD, and was used to 90 proof, would be bothered by the change to 86 then 80. In 20 years is it going to be a 8 proof wine cooler?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:01:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:02:21 PM EST by Torf]

Originally Posted By SuperChicken:

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By SWS:
It sounds like JD wants you to spend more dough on the "premium" single barrel stuff.

Simple economics.



+1

personally i like jack and would continue to drink it at 80 proof. that 6% isn't enough to make a real difference in the buzz anyway.

mike



Actually 7%



86 proof to 80 proof is 3%...
43% to 40% alcohol content.



Nope, a 3% reduction in alcohol from 86 proof would only be 83.42 proof.

86 to 80 is a nearly 7% reduction.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:04:31 PM EST
43-40=3

3/43= .06976442

There is a 7% reduction in alcohol content when you lower the proof from 86 to 80.

Go do some more story problems!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:05:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Torf:
That's not the point! ITS INCREMENTALISM! Pretty soon, there will be dehydrated JD packets next to the Kool-Aid in the grocery store.



Let's just all stop and think for a minute about how cool that would be.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:06:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:07:33 PM EST by thelastgunslinger]

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By SWS:
It sounds like JD wants you to spend more dough on the "premium" single barrel stuff.

Simple economics.



+1

personally i like jack and would continue to drink it at 80 proof. that 6% isn't enough to make a real difference in the buzz anyway.

mike



Actually 7%



86 proof to 80 proof = 3%

ETA : I understand the calculation above, but thats not the difference he was referring to.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:06:44 PM EST
Ever since the family sold out to Brown Foreman -- it has been shit whiskey.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:21:58 PM EST
It was special and different when it was 90 proof.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:26:08 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:28:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

Originally Posted By cyanide:
Ever since the family sold out to Brown Foreman -- it has been shit whiskey.



actually it has been the same recipe since day one. brown didn't change it other than the proof.



Maybe

but the master distillers have changed

and they make the whiskey.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:28:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
[Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:


SG



+1 Life's too short to drink cheap bourbon and beer.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:28:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:31:15 PM EST by ASUsax]
If anyone is looking for a link...

www.azcentral.com/business/articles/092980proofjack29-ON.html

Edited to add:

I really don't have a problem with this. JD isn't a 'sipping whiskey' in my book... It's a 'mixing whiskey' - I'm going to water it down anyway.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:29:06 PM EST
Three bottles a week????

You've got a damn problem. Seek help.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:52:41 PM EST
Jack daniels has always been referred to as "Bitch Whiskey" around my area as the main drinkers are women! Buy Bourbon from the Beam family and you can't go wrong!
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:57:53 PM EST
This a great thread, to which I can add only two words: New Coke.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:38:00 PM EST
JD sucks anyway.

+1 on the MM or KC
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:52:17 PM EST
Ok All, it is time for a whiskey lesson.

All whiskey is watered down. After distilation whiskey is poured into casks to age. At he end of the aging process the whiskey is tested for alchohol content. Once that is determined, distilled water is used to get the desired proof.

This is the same process for brown liquors (scotch, bourbon, etc.) and clear liquors (Vodka, gin, etc).

Rusty
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:03:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rusty:
Ok All, it is time for a whiskey lesson.

All whiskey is watered down. After distilation whiskey is poured into casks to age. At he end of the aging process the whiskey is tested for alchohol content. Once that is determined, distilled water is used to get the desired proof.

This is the same process for brown liquors (scotch, bourbon, etc.) and clear liquors (Vodka, gin, etc).

Rusty

While this is true, it's not the moral of the story. The bitching isn't about watering the whiskey, it's about watering down the Original formula. If you drink something the same way for years and they change it, people are bound to bitch. As stated before, Coke Classic and New Coke, not the same thing.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:10:56 PM EST
I'm not a JD or whisky drinker, it's all about money and profits, that 7% probably translates into probably an extra 500,000 case of liquor based on the fact that JD ships 7 million cases a year.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:18:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
[Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:
www.okliquor.ca/online/Bourbon/103747.jpg
www.spirithaus.com/images/bn/100/905.jpg
SG



+1 Life's too short to drink cheap bourbon and beer.



++1 kc is da shiznae (AKA: smooooooooooth)

Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:34:08 PM EST
Everyone has failed to mention thus far: Gentleman Jack.

HUGE difference between GJ and #7. Very much more smooth. I agree that regular Jack is for mixing more than anything, but GJ is great for sipping.

Knob Creek is really good too. Must go drinky.......
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:36:45 PM EST
Just buy Everclear if you want some strong booze...
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:40:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:
Just buy Everclear kerosene if you want some strong booze...



fixed it for ya
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 3:52:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By luger355:

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
[Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:
www.okliquor.ca/online/Bourbon/103747.jpg
www.spirithaus.com/images/bn/100/905.jpg
SG



+1 Life's too short to drink cheap bourbon and beer.



++1 kc is da shiznae (AKA: smooooooooooth)




While I agree that both of your choices are fine bourbons to partake of , you must at least once in your life, belly up to the best damn bourbon ever made. Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old. I damn near cried when I dried up my bottle of this mothers milk.



Link Posted: 9/29/2004 4:16:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 4:17:54 PM EST by NightWatchman]
I rarely drink JD anyway, at $20 for a 750 it is just too expensive for what you get, you really are paying for the name. Jim Beam is 14-15 dollars is it as good as Jack? NO Is jack 5-6 dollars better? no way! I remember when JD was like 15 for a 750, same with Budweiser thay came out with all those commericals for Bud like the Frogs and "True" commericals and overnight the case is 3 dollars more WTF? If anybody thinks Bud is anything but a decent but cheap beer you must really be a fan, But it's not worth the 18 a case I see now. You'd be better off buying some of the aforementioned Maker's Mark or Knob.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 6:11:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By chainshaw:

Originally Posted By luger355:

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
[Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:
www.okliquor.ca/online/Bourbon/103747.jpg
www.spirithaus.com/images/bn/100/905.jpg
SG



+1 Life's too short to drink cheap bourbon and beer.



++1 kc is da shiznae (AKA: smooooooooooth)




While I agree that both of your choices are fine bourbons to partake of , you must at least once in your life, belly up to the best damn bourbon ever made. Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old. I damn near cried when I dried up my bottle of this mothers milk.

www.greatbourbon.com/images/pappyvanwinkle.jpg



Gotta have a KC on the rocks after reading this thread.
I've been looking for this stuff but haven't seen it yet, only found some of the younger RVW bourbon.
How does it compare to Blanton's?
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:32:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Powergen:

Originally Posted By chainshaw:

Originally Posted By luger355:

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:
[Besides, for a few dollars more I can get real whisky:
www.okliquor.ca/online/Bourbon/103747.jpg
www.spirithaus.com/images/bn/100/905.jpg
SG



+1 Life's too short to drink cheap bourbon and beer.



++1 kc is da shiznae (AKA: smooooooooooth)




While I agree that both of your choices are fine bourbons to partake of , you must at least once in your life, belly up to the best damn bourbon ever made. Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old. I damn near cried when I dried up my bottle of this mothers milk.

www.greatbourbon.com/images/pappyvanwinkle.jpg



Gotta have a KC on the rocks after reading this thread.
I've been looking for this stuff but haven't seen it yet, only found some of the younger RVW bourbon.
How does it compare to Blanton's?




The younger RVW is very good, better than most every other mainstream bourbon out there. The 20 year old is better than any bourbon that I have ever had. Blanton's was my favorite until I found the Pappy.
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