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The history of JACK DANIELS

Jasper Newton Daniel was born as the youngest of 10 children in Lincoln County, Tennessee. His mother died early in childhood and his father eventually remarried a woman who Jack was not too fond of. At the age of 6, Jack moved out of his house and into the home of his uncle.

A local minister and storekeeper, Dan Call, took Jack under his wing and hired him to work at his store. Jack had little interest in the store; he was drawn to the still on the property. Dan noticed Jack’s curiosity and invited him to learn the ways of the still house. Call taught Jack the sour mash method and the unique ‘Lincoln County Process’ of distilling whiskey.

As thoughts of prohibition spread across America, Dan Call’s wife heard a sermon highlighting the evils of alcohol and persuaded her husband to sell his distillery. The minister sold the property and business to Jack, starting Jack Daniels journey to creating the number one whiskey in the world.

Jack purchased a new plot of land near Lynchburg and relocated the still there. The site had pure spring water filtering through a limestone cave and an abundance of sugar maple trees. At the age of 16, Jack became the first distillery registered with the United States Government.

The distillation process and whiskey recipe created by Jack Daniel is unique for multiple reasons. The whiskey is produced using local fresh limestone spring water. The water is iron-free and flows at 800 gallons per minute year-round. Helping with maintain consistency, the water stays at the constant temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the product is filtered through 10 feet of charcoal produced from the local sugar maple trees. The charcoal is used to mellow the whiskey. The whiskey is then put into handcrafted charred, white oak barrels and aged at an on-site barrelhouse. The whiskey is not aged for a specific number of years; instead expert tasters sip the whiskey to determine when it has achieved the ideal Jack Daniel’s quality and character. Even to this day, this entire process is completely chemical-free.

Hoping to gain exposure, Jack secretly entered his whiskey into a competition at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Amazing the competition, Jack won the Gold Medal for the Best Whiskey in the world.  A year later, he won a similar award in Belgium. This meant that he now had clientele throughout the world.

Jack Daniel’s life was cut short in a fairly bizarre incident. In a moment of frustration, Jack kicked a safe in his office and crushed his toe. The toe eventually became gangrenous and his health started to decline. Six years later, Jack died having never married and with no children. The Jack Daniel’s Distillery was passed on to his nephew, LemMotlow. Motlow continued to expand the business and eventually it was passed down to his own sons. In 1956, with the Motlow family stillacting as a major owner, the business was sold.