When I was in Ireland a bit over a year ago, I visited the Midleton Distillery. They produce mostly Jameson whiskey there, along with with a few others. At the end of the tour they do a comparison 'twixt the least expensive Jameson, Johnny Walker Black Label, and Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskies.
The latter two of these are probably among the highest selling whiskies in the world. I like Jameson whiskies, and I like Johnny Walker Black, but have never been a fan of Jack Daniel's Old No 7, or any of their 80 proof whiskies. I am, however, a very big fan of Jack Daniel's Single Barrel (94 proof), and some of their 90 proof releases.
Still, I was quite surprised at how well the Jack Daniel's Old No 7 did in this comparison. All these 80 proof whiskies had a nice measure of softness and even delicacy. I preferred the Jameson, as did all my fellow tour folks (that we had just finished a tour of the Midleton Distilller no doubt inclinded us that way from the start), but the Jack was more than respectable.
In rarely drink 80 proof whiskey, unless it is Irish Whiskey (there are higher proof Irish Whiskies available now), or Scotch Whiskey. So, I rarely drink Jack Daniel's except for the Single Barrel at 94 proof, thus. when I do drink Old No 7, it tastes watered down, and has a cast of char of which I am not so fond.
Yet, were I to drink it more often and with other 80 proof whiskies, I am sure I would so grow fond of it. Besides, one reason I have never cared for Old No 7 is that I find the Jack Daniel's approach to advertising to be concescending.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas