Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey, and Jim Beam is a Kentucky bourbon. Tennessee whiskies are only produced in Tennessee, and the procedure is defined by law. Although bourbons are produced in any state, Kentucky bourbons are only produced in Kentucky.
Jack Daniel’s is produced from a sour mash made of corn, rye and barley. Copper stills are used for the distillation process and then filtered using the Lincoln County Process. The Lincoln County Process is a filtering process that involves filtering through 10 feet of tightly packed maple charcoal to remove impurities. The whiskey is stored in new charred oak barrels to age. After aging, the product is diluted down to 80 proof for bottling.
Jim Beam straight bourbon is made of a sour mash that is at least 51 percent corn mixed with barley, malt, rye and private stock yeast. It is distilled at less than 160 proof with no additives allowed except water. The bourbon is aged for at least two years in new charred white oak barrels. After the aging process, the bourbon is diluted with water and bottled to at least 80 proof. Although the production processes are different, Jack Daniel’s is labeled as a straight bourbon whiskey under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Canadian law.