Is Jack Daniel’s Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

August 12, 2023

Navigating the world of product ingredients to discern whether something is vegan can be a difficult journey. 

Often, the complexity arises from manufacturers cloaking the true nature and origins of their ingredients. 

But fear not, dear reader, this article is here to shine a light on these hidden truths and support you in your compassionate, planet-friendly, vegan lifestyle.

Is Jack Daniel’s Vegan?

The verdict is in: Jack Daniel’s is not entirely vegan friendly. The reason behind this is the potential use of isinglass, derived from fish bladders, in the filtration process. It’s not included in the ingredient list, but it’s sometimes used in the making of alcoholic beverages.

There’s also been reports on the Jack Daniel’s Facebook page that wool is used at some point during the filtering process. Even if the item isn’t actually in the whiskey, the use of wool at any point would prevent this product from being vegan.

Is Jack Daniel’s Cruelty-Free?

Despite the not-entirely-vegan stamp, Jack Daniel’s can be considered cruelty-free. This is because it doesn’t include any direct animal products like cow’s milk, dehydrated animal fats, or real honey in its composition. 

Also, no components of Jack Daniel’s are tested on animals. However, one should remember that being vegan and being cruelty-free are not always the same.

What Is Jack Daniel’s Made Of?

As the pride of the Jack Daniel Distillery, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey has a carefully curated ingredient list:

  • Corn
  • Rye
  • Malted barley
  • Iron-free water from the distillery’s Cave Spring
  • Sugar maple charcoal


Corn, one of the main ingredients in Jack Daniel’s, is a grain grown all around the world. It’s vegan and forms the basis of the whiskey.


Rye is a type of grain that adds a spicy flavor to Jack Daniel’s whiskey. It’s a plant product, making it vegan friendly.

Malted Barley

Malted barley is barley that’s been soaked and left to germinate. It’s essential in the fermentation process. Since barley is a plant, it’s completely vegan.

Iron-Free Water

The water used in Jack Daniel’s comes from the distillery’s Cave Spring, which is naturally iron-free. Since water is a universal solvent, it’s vegan.

Sugar Maple Charcoal

In the Lincoln County Process, the whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before being aged in charred white oak barrels. This process is what gives Jack Daniel’s its distinctive smoothness.

Vegan Alternatives to Jack Daniel’s

It’s essential for our planet-conscious readers to have alternatives, so if you’re looking for vegan-friendly whiskeys, here are a few examples:

Each of these whiskies is made using a process similar to Jack Daniel’s but doesn’t use isinglass in the filtration process.


Navigating a vegan lifestyle can sometimes be tricky, especially when the ingredient lists and manufacturing processes of various food brands are not always transparent. 

While Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey doesn’t contain direct animal products, its potential use of isinglass in filtration makes it not entirely vegan. However, it can still be considered cruelty-free. 

For those seeking a fully vegan-friendly whiskey, alternatives like Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam Bourbon may be better food brand options. Keep fighting the good fight for our animals and our planet!