Jack, The Gentleman: To be Drunk with Reverence and Respect

By The Kenyan Bar Guy

Published on 25/11/2022

It’s around 4 a.m. and sleep has deserted me. Sleep is such a cruel lover. Sometimes she holds you tight, never wanting to let you go. And other times, she turns the cold shoulder disappearing like a myth in the middle of the night. I am yet to meet a person that has been able to coax her into submission. You just let her be. Let her do whatever the fuck she wants. And if she comes back, you embrace her because we all know toxicity is how the best love stories start and end. 

During that hour, an idea came to me. Silas had asked me to pen an opinion piece on Jack Daniels. Yes, it is 4 a.m., here but do you know what the time is in Bangkok? Neither do I but I will go with that excuse. That’s the cave I will use to hide my face as I pen down stuff about whiskey. Okay. Down to it. If you are not aware then I had done a piece on why Americans should not be allowed to make whiskey. I was a bit brutal and harsh with my words. But at the time no truer words could have been said. 

Here is the thing with whisky. It is an acquired taste, and it is much like sleep, a brutal lover. It’s like the sun, fly too close to it, you get burnt. Enjoy it from a distance and it graces you with its warmth. Initially, I was going to talk about the Jack Daniel No.5 but thought why not introduce you to its older, much cooler cousin: Gentleman Jack. You know those cousins, right? They saunter into family events when they want, take trips outside the country, and probably will not pick your call because they think you want some money? Well, if you don’t, then maybe you are that cousin, and this piece is for you. 

My tangle with Gentleman Jack happened during a work shoot. Sounds fancy, and it was, but during the shoot, I stumbled upon a bottle. The jig was the photographer would not say anything if I didn’t call it a gentleman’s agreement, he he! 

So, the distillers over in Tennessee claim that the whisky is double mellowed. Without going into details or even googling the term I simply just wanted to try it. As with any whisky, the best way to try it is neat. Maybe sometimes with a splash of cold water or a few rocks sunk in golden sunshine. The experts however advise that a splash of water opens up the flavors and allows you to enjoy it, more so, of course, I went with what the experts say. Besides, it was a workday, I did not want to get hammered or saunter in to greet the client with a sly grin on my face and the whisky slyly escaping from my mouth saying ‘hi’ to the boss’s nose. 

Now back to the whiskey, Gentleman Jack is smooth. And I hate it when people describe something as smooth as that word has been abused a lot. Lots of potent spirits on the market call themselves smooth but the only thing smooth about them is the glass bottle they come in. Actually, if it has smooth on the bottle, abandon all hope. 

However, Gentleman Jack is actually smooth. It finds a way to get acquainted with your tongue and then warmly goes down your throat filling you with that presence only sunshine can give. The early morning sunshine after a long cold night. The taste is not too harsh. It is something you can get used to after two or three sips if it is your first time. Of course, you will feel the potency. A gentle reminder that after all, it is a whisky and a warning that while it might be a gentleman you should approach it with revere and respect. 

10/10 I would recommend a Gentleman Jack. Sip it slow. At night. After a long day. Over ice. With a good book. You will love the company.

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