It’s a staple of bars both high-end and lowbrow. It’s the preferred drink of mortals and rock gods alike. It can find its way just as easily into a glass of rocks as into a cocktail. We all know Jack Daniel’s, a whiskey so prevalent it’s a household name even in houses located in dry counties. But do you really know Jack? Well, after reading these 15 nuggets of truth, you just might. Though the meaning of the number seven will still elude you.
1. Jack Daniel’s is the oldest registered distillery in the US
Is Jack Daniel’s the oldest distillery in the US? Yes and no. Maker’s Mark claims it’s the oldest, and Laird’s Applejack has been around since the Revolutionary War. Plenty of older distilleries were pumping out rum before whiskey became popular. But Jack lays claim to being the oldest registered distillery, having registered in 1866 (probably) by a teenage Jack Daniel… he was real, and more on him later.
2. It’s Tennessee whiskey… and that’s very specific
Jack Daniel’s is distilled in a process that gives it the title of a Tennessee whiskey, a term recognized by the federal government in 1941, almost 80 years after Daniel started distilling the stuff. The process is different from other American whiskeys in that the spirit is filtered through layers of sugar-maple charcoal. At the distillery, visitors might see huge piles of maple wood being burned on “ricks.” The wood falls into itself as it is burned, making charcoal. The whiskey is then filtered through it over a period of four days, then through white wool to remove any of the charcoal.
3. It’s the best-selling American spirit
In 2014, Jack Daniel’s sold almost $3 billion worth of whiskey. Seeing as the average bottle is around $20, that’s 150 million bottles of Jack Daniel’s, give or take. That number might be reduced by a million or so following the passing of Lemmy, but it should keep JD well ahead of the competition nonetheless.