Born in the small town of Lynchburg, Tenn., Jack Daniel’s is now the top-selling American whiskey brand in the world. The story of the real life Jack Daniel and how his iconic brand grew into what it is today is truly remarkable. Don’t believe me? Find out for yourself with by checking out 10 fun facts about how Jack Daniel’s Whiskey came to be.
10. A teenager started it all.
Jack Daniel was taught how to distill by a minister named Dan Call. When Jack was only 13, Call was forced to choose between ministry and the distillery. He chose the ministry and sold his distillery to Jack.
9. Jack wasn’t his real name.
Jack Daniel was born Jasper Newton Daniel, but his family and friends called him Jack. It seems to roll off the tongue a bit better than a Jasper and Coke.
8. Jack Daniel’s is produced in a dry county.
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery is located in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The county it resides has been a dry county since the Prohibition area. So although it is legal to produce the whiskey, it cannot be purchased there unless…
7. Jack Daniel’s is free – if you buy the bottle.
Although Moore County is dry, there is a loophole to purchasing whiskey at the distillery. A commemorative bottle comes filled with whiskey and is for purchase because remember, you’re buying the bottle, not the whiskey.
6. Master Distillers are the end all be all.
The Master Distiller is the person who oversees the distilling process and is ultimately responsible for producing a product that lives up to the brand name. The current Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s is Jeff Arnett. In the almost 150 years Jack Daniel’s has been in business, Jeff is only the 7th person to hold this title.
5. Frank Sinatra took Jack Daniel’s to his grave.
It was not a secret that Frank Sinatra was a big fan of Jack Daniel’s. He loved is so much that he was actually buried with a bottle of it in his pocket.
4. The story of Jack Daniel’s “No. 7” is still a mystery.
No one will ever know for sure what the No.7 stands for on the bottle of Jack Daniel’s for certain, as it was a secret Jack never revealed before his death. Many assumptions have been made over the years, and the intrigue even spawned the above commercial. Daniel’s biographer seems to have come up with a solid hypothesis, suggesting that the No. 7 was the number assigned to Daniel’s distillery for government registration. Although that assigned number later changed when the area was redistricted, Daniel kept “7” on the label to keep his brand recognizable.
3. Jack Daniel’s is no one hit wonder.
Though probably best known for Old No. 7, Jack Daniel’s actually produces 4 different kinds of whiskey. Old NO. 7, Tennessee Honey, Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. In addition to these 4 regular types, special variations of each are offered on occasion.
2. A “Jack and Coke” is now called a “Lemmy.”
A petition was started after the passing of Motorhead’s frontman Lemmy to rename his favorite drink after him. Food and Beverage magazine listened, and in January 2016 gave Jack and Coke the official name of “Lemmy.”
1. Jack Daniel’s wasn’t always 80 proof.
Jack Daniel’s was originally 90 proof. It was lowered back in the 80’s to 86 proof and then again to 80 proof in 2002.