Jack Daniel's is probably one of the most famous whiskey brands in the world, often considered to be America in a bottle. The backstory of this brand is as rich as the whisky itself. Here are 10 facts you may not have known about the American brand behind the iconic square bottle.
1. Jack Daniel's Famous Recipe Inventor was a Slave
For more than a century, credits for teaching the young Jack Daniel the art of distillation had gone to Rev. Dan Call, a Lutheran preacher in Tennessee. However, the company revealed in 2016 (while celebrating their 150th anniversary) that it wasn’t in fact Call, but his slave, Nearis Green, who actually provided the expertise.
2. Jack Daniel's Isn’t a Bourbon, It’s a Tennessee Whiskey!
The only difference really is an additional step during the production process: the new make spirit goes through sugar-maple charcoal filtration for a few days to mellow the distillate before ageing. By law it cannot, therefore, be called a Bourbon. The appellation Tennessee Whiskey was recognised by the federal government only in 1941.
3. Jack Daniel Was Only Five Feet Two Inches Tall
The living proof that a small size isn’t an obstacle to doing great things!
4. Jack Daniel Isn’t Jack Daniel’s Real Name
The man was actually named Jasper Newton Daniel, but his friends used to call him Jack. Maybe try ordering a Jasper Newton Daniel on the rocks at the bar and let us know how it went?
5. There Have Only Been 7 Master Distillers at Jack Daniel's Distillery
Throughout the 150+ years of history of Jack Daniel’s, the distillery has only known seven master distillers (overseeing the overall whisky-making process), starting with Jack Daniel himself from 1866 to 1911. Since 2008, the current Master Distiller is Jeff Arnett.
6. Nobody Knows What the No.7 on Jack Daniel’s Label Stands For
There have been many legends and speculations, but still the No.7 remains a well-kept secret. Some say the number represents Jack Daniel’s seven lovers, and others talk about a reference to the number 7 train delivering the barrels. Who knows?
7. Frank Sinatra Took a Bottle of Jack Daniel’s to his Grave
Jack Daniel’s has always been associated with music, especially rock, and Frank Sinatra played a great role in making the brand popular back in the days. He loved the brand so much that he was buried with a bottle (along with a packet of cigarettes and a lighter). Jack Daniel’s released a special limited edition bottling to commemorate the musician and did the same when another famous Jack Daniel’s drinker, Lemmy from Motörhead, passed away early 2016.
8. Jack Daniel’s Parent Company, Brown-Forman, is Also Behind Popular Scotch Distilleries Ben Riach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh
Brown-Forman just launched a new Irish Whiskey as well. In 2016, they purchased 3 Scotch distilleries, appointing Rachel Barrie, former Morrison Bowmore, as Master Blender. The firm is also behind the upcoming Slane Castle distillery in Ireland, launching brand new Slane Irish Whiskey in 2017 through travel retail.
9. Jack Daniel’s is the Oldest Registered Distillery in the USA
While other distilleries claim to be older, according to registration dates, Jack Daniel’s, who registered his distillery in 1866, is definitely the oldest.
10. Jack Daniel’s Cannot be Sold in its Production County
But you can still buy a bottle at this distillery! Better than that, you can even purchase your own barrel. How cool? Lynchburg, in Moore County, has been known as a dry area since Prohibition.
As Jack Daniel’s is now collected by whiskey aficionados all around the world, Catawiki has decided to organise a special themed auction dedicated to the Tennessee Whiskey icon starting July 21st. You can submit lots until July 20th for this auction. Not a seller at Catawiki yet? Register here.