Jack Daniel's is a brand of Tennessee whiskey that is among the world's best-selling liquors and is known for its square bottles and black label. It has been prominently featured in movies, songs, and novels, and is strongly linked to rock and roll, country music, American biker culture, Jimmy Page, Frank Sinatra, Keith Richards, Lemmy, Nikki Sixx and Slash. The brand is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee by Jack Daniel Distillery, which has been owned by the Brown-Forman beverage company since 1956. Despite the operational distillery, Jack Daniel's home county of Moore is a dry county.
According to the Jack Daniel's website, founder Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel was born in September 1850, although seemingly no one knows the exact date because the birth records were destroyed in a courthouse fire. If the 1850 date is correct, he might have become a licensed distiller at the age of 16, as the distillery claims a founding date of 1866. Other records list his birthdate as September 5, 1846, and in his 2004 biography Blood & Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel author Peter Krass maintains that land and deed records show that the distillery was actually not founded until 1875. Daniel was one of thirteen children, of Welsh and Scottish descent.
Because Jack Daniel never married and did not have any children, he took his favorite nephew, Lem Motlow, under his wing. Lem was very skilled with numbers, and was soon doing all of the distillery's bookkeeping. In 1907, due to failing health, Jack Daniel gave the distillery to his nephew. Lem Motlow then gave the distillery to his children, Robert, Reagor, Dan, Connor, and Mary, after his death in 1947.
Jack died in 1911 from blood poisoning which started from an infection. The infection allegedly began in one of his toes, which Daniel injured one early morning at work by kicking his safe in anger when he could not get it open (he was said to always have had trouble remembering the combination).
Tennessee passed state wide prohibition laws in 1910 preventing the legal distillation of Jack Daniels in the state, and as a result Lem Motlow moved the distillery to St Louis, Missouri and Birmingham, Alabama, though none of the production from these locations was ever sold due to quality problems. The introduction of prohibition through the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution stopped production in St Louis; production in Alabama having been stopped by that state's prohibition laws. Production ceased but even the passing of the Twenty-first Amendment did not allow production in Lynchburg to restart as the state prohibition laws were still in effect. Lem Motlow, as a Tennessee state senator, helped repeal these laws allowing production to restart in 1938. The five year gap between national repeal and Tennessee repeal is commemorated in a gift pack of two bottles, one for the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition and a second commemorating the 70th anniversary of the reopening of the distillery.
Distillation was halted nationally again between 1942 and 1946 because of the war effort. Lem Motlow did not allow the production of Jack Daniels to restart again until 1947 when they could obtain the required quality of grain.
When the company was later incorporated, it was incorporated as "Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, Prop., Inc." This has allowed the company to continue to include Lem Motlow, who died in 1947, in their marketing, as mentioning him in the advertising is technically just citing the full corporate name. Likewise, the advertisements continue to say that Lynchburg has only 361 people, while the official (2000 census) population is 5,740. This is allowable because the entire label was trademarked in the early 1960s when this figure was the actual population cited by the Census Bureau; changing the label would require applying for a new trademark or forfeiting trademark protection. However, the census population includes all of Moore County, as the county and city governments are consolidated. Moore County, where the Jack Daniel's distillery is located, is one of the state's many dry counties. Therefore, while it is legal to distill the product within the county, it is illegal to purchase it there. However, a state law has provided one exception: a distillery may sell one commemorative product, regardless of county statutes. Jack Daniel's now sells Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel's Single Barrel at the distillery's White Rabbit Bottle Shop.
Tennessee whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal in large wooden vats prior to aging. Tennessee whiskey is not bourbon whiskey, as defined by Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Part 5, Section 5.22.
In October 2004, it was announced that all generally-available Jack Daniel's products would thenceforth be bottled at 80 U.S. proof (40% alcohol by volume) because they found that customers preferred a lower proof whiskey; this also simplified the production process. (This reduction in alcohol content was condemned by Modern Drunkard Magazine). Previously, the famous black-label brand (the better-quality, higher-priced product) had been 86 proof, where legal, while the lower-end green label was 80 proof; these marked reductions from the previous practice of bottling the black-label product at 90 proof and the green-label product at 86. Both are made from the same ingredients; the difference is determined by professional tasters, who determine which of the batches will be graded as worthy of being labeled with the prestigious black label, the rest being sold under the green label.
Additionally, Jack Daniels was affected by the passage of legislation that changed the proofing formula of all alcohols (distilled and non-distilled) from the British method to the 1:1 United States conversion method, making all other versions and methods obsolete as of January 1, 2005.
In 2006, Jack Daniel's sponsored the Perkins Engineering team in the Australian V8 Supercar series, which continued until the end of 2008. From 2009, their sponsorship moved to the newly formed Kelly Racing team - a team formed from the remnants of Perkins Engineering and now defunct HSV Dealer Team. Also in 2006, Jack Daniel's sponsored the number 07 car (numbered after the "Old No. 7") in NASCAR, driven by Clint Bowyer for Richard Childress Racing. (Legend has it that Old No. 7 referred to different things, but the truth is no ones knows for that was one of many secrets that Jack Daniel took to the grave with him. This can be verified by going to www.jackdaniels.com
& drop a line to them. Or come to The Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg.Tennessee any day but Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day & take the tour & they will be very glad to give you that answer . In 2009, Casey Mears is the driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet, while Clint Bowyer will be driving the #33 Cheerios Chevrolet, both for Richard Childress Racing. Dave Blanney was the Driver during 2005 Season.
Jeff Arnett, a company employee since 2001, became Jack Daniel's master distiller in 2008. He is the seventh person to hold the position in the distillery's history. His predecessor, Jimmy Bedford, held the position for 20 years. Jack Daniel himself was the first to take care of these duties.