It’s no exaggeration to say that Jack Daniel’s is legendary! After all, who doesn’t know this famous whiskey brand? Who has never tried it? There are even those who don’t usually like whiskey, but wouldn’t turn down a cocktail made with Jack Daniel’s!
And to add even more charm to the legend, here are a few curiosities that you may not know about Jack Daniel’s and his Tennessee Whiskey.
1. Jack Daniel’s is the Oldest Distillery in the USA
Jack Daniel registered his business when he was still in his teens, way back in 1866.
2. Nobody Knows What the Number 7 on the Label Represents
There are several theories as to why Jack chose the number 7: the first is that it was the number of mistresses he had during his life (apparently he was quite the ladies’ man, but in the end, he never married); the second is that it was the seventh recipe he came up with that was deemed perfect for the launch of his whiskey; the third is that the way he wrote the letter “J” was reminiscent of the number 7; and the last is that 7 was chosen simply because it was a lucky number. Either way, Jack had a lot of luck!
3. Don’t call it Bourbon!
Jack Daniel’s is not a Bourbon. In fact, the federal government granted it the title of Tennessee Whiskey in 1941, some 80 years after Jack started his business. What differentiates it from Bourbon is the filtration process, the “Lincoln County Process”, which involves filtering the spirit through a 10-foot-thick layer of maple charcoal before barrel aging.
4. It was Frank Sinatra’s Favourite Drink
Let’s talk about another legend, Frank Sinatra. Ol’ Blue Eyes was a big fan of the classic Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 and it was not uncommon to see him sipping a glass while performing on stage. Sinatra drank his whiskey in a rather peculiar way: three ice cubes, two fingers of Jack and a splash of water. He held the glass in his right hand and wrapped the glass with a handkerchief, preferably linen. And as if that wasn’t enough, he asked to be buried with a bottle of his favourite spirit (as well as a packet of cigarettes and a lighter).
5. You Can’t Drink Jack Daniel’s if you’re in Lynchburg
As many will know, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is located in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Unfortunately, however, it is located in Moore County, where prohibition still applies. The county, in fact, is referred to as a dry county.
6 . Jack Daniel Wasn’t Called Jack
This is probably the most puzzling fact: the founder of the distillery was actually called Jasper Newton Daniel. Jack was simply his nickname.
7. The Tragicomic Death of Jack Daniel
Jack Daniel died in 1911 in a rather bizarre way. He couldn’t remember the key to open a safe, so in a fit of anger he started kicking it. Unfortunately, he injured his foot and developed an infection that led to the amputation of the limb, which became gangrenous and led to Jack’s death.
8. The World’s Best-Selling American Whiskey
Producing around 90 million litres a year, Jack Daniel’s is the best-selling American whiskey in the world. And you can taste it almost anywhere, as it’s sold in over 150 countries!
9. A Rock Music and Film Icon
Frank Sinatra wasn’t the only artist who loved Jack Daniel’s. If you take a look on the internet, you won’t be hard-pressed to find pictures of great rock stars holding the iconic square bottle. Guns N’ Roses, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, Metallica, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Blink 182… Just how rock is that black label?
Not to mention the cinema! During its long life, Jack Daniel’s has often appeared in many films: in the remake of Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino, in The Shining with Jack Nicholson, in Animal House with John Belushi, in Mystic River with Sean Penn, in Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise, in Blonde Atom with Charlize Theron… Next time you watch a film, pay attention to what the protagonists are drinking!
10. The Distillery has had only 7 Master Distillers
Since 1866, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery has had only 7 Master Distillers, a figure who oversees the entire whiskey production process. The first was Jack Daniel himself, until 1911, while the last, since 2008, is Jeff Arnett.
Now how about pouring yourself a glass and toasting to the health of dear Jack!
Translated from Karin Mosca’s orignal text by Chelsea Cummings.