Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Just like beer enthusiasts like nothing better than to disparage Budweiser and Miller products, American whiskey enthusiasts like to trash Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's. Obviously, some of this criticism owes to the fact that the main bottling from neither brand (White Label from Beam; Black Label from JD) is exactly a top-shelf product. It's possible to get better whiskeys, often for less money. But let's be honest: a good part of this disdain is due to the fact that both are ubiquitous and universally-known. A snob takes no pleasure in enjoying something that everybody else enjoys. Put Jim Beam White Label Bourbon or JD Black Label Tennessee whiskey into a bottle with a different label at $4 less a bottle, and you would have many the same enthusiasts raving about what great "value" pours they were. And this snobbery carries over into other products made by these distilleries. Beam Black Label, Knob Creek, Baker's, Booker's -- they're all crap. Same thing goes for Gentleman Jack and JD Single Barrel from Jack Daniel's.

Well, this is ridiculous. Both Beam and JD know how to make good whiskey, and JD Single Barrel is a very good whiskey. I wager that most of those that trash it on the basis of its JD affiliation would change their tune if they tried it blind.

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