Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jack Daniels Memorial Day

The most famous label of Whiskey.
Barrels sit in barrel houses for 4-5 years to age in sugar maple barrels to absorb a rich taste.
Added to the historic register in the 70's.
The barrels are only used once to create the smoothest tasting whiskey. The used barrels are sold to other wineries, and whiskey houses, or you can buy one for a planter or souvenir.
The main museum of Jacks paraphernalia and original start into whiskey.
The entrance into the distillery. At this point your nostrils are burning of Jack Daniel's. The smell wafts all over the grounds. So if you are not a whiskey fan this may be as far as you go!
Mr Jack himself. Only 5'2 inches he wore a size 4 shoe! He had special shoes made in a size 6 to prevent him from falling over.

All week my family and I were trying to decide what to do for Memorial Day weekend. We didn't want to do the typical B-B-Q get together. So as the week went on it occurred to me that we are located 50 miles North of Lynchburg TN. Now what better way to spend a day with family then to learn the history of Tn's most famous booze!

Good ol' Jack was mentored by an Uncle (at age 7 I might add) on how to make moonshine. The booze was quite popular with the locals, and turned into a profitable business. But the lady of the house stepped in and said, " you choose the booze or you choose the church and moonshine better not be your decision!" So like any good uncle, he handed the business over to Jack. By age 13 Jack was a thriving moonshine distributer. By age 16 he had mastered his craft and discovered that sugar maple charcoal and aging made the smoothest Whiskey. By the time Jack turned 21 his first barrels of aged Whiskey were ready to distribute. And so began the Legend of Jack Daniel's TN Whiskey.

The company officially registered with the state of TN in 1866. He purchased his land in Lynchburg , which provided him iron free spring water, crucial to the smoothest tasting Whiskey, where the company still makes the Whiskey today. If you see a bottle in Australia, Hawaii, or China, it came out of Lynchburg.

Jack never married. He was always considered the most desirable bachelor and was known as a ladies man, having 7 girlfriends. Jack had a sharp temper, and in 1906 kicked a safe in his office when he couldn't remember the combination and this ultimately killed him. He broke his large toe and it caused him to have a blood infection known today as gangrene. Jack died in 1907 but not before handing the company over to his favorite nephew, Lem Motlow.
Lem was able to run the distillery for 3 years, however, when prohibition hit in 1910 it forced the distillery to shut down. Prohibition was not lifted until 1938. At a ripe old age of 69, Lem started up the distillery again and continued his Uncle's legacy. It is still legal to distill Jack Daniel's, but illegal to sell because the distillery is located in a "dry county". The company has since been sold to new owners. But the life sized 5'2 Statue of Jack is still present on the property today. And if you have a few dollars to throw around you can purchase a barrel of aged Single Barrel TN Jack Daniel's for a cool $20,000. Oh and don't forget, you get a fancy plaque on the wall for dropping that kind of cash on a barrel of booze.

So what is single barrel you ask? And why is it so special? Well it never touches another barrel of whiskey, like the bottled version does. This means you get a unique barrel every time. Your barrel of whiskey will be completely different than the next persons. For consistency the barrels are mixed to retrieve the same flavor every time before it is bottled. I think I will stick to the consistent $17 dollar version. No need for a fancy plaque.


  1. That's a fun way to spend Memorial Day!! Thank you for the fascinating history of it!

  2. Thanks for sharing---very interesting...

  3. What a fun way to spend Memorial Day! Great idea and a fun history lesson ;)

  4. Who knew? I would love to know who is shelling out 20 grand!

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