Things You Didn’t Know About Jack Daniel’s

It's been hailed as "the world's most popular whiskey" — but its history holds some surprises

Jack died on October 10, 1911 from blood poisoning, which began, at least according to legend, when he couldn’t remember his safe’s combination and kicked it in frustration, breaking his big toe. 

Things You Didn’t Know About Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s history can be gleaned from stories about his distillery and the whiskey he made famous around the world, but the details of his life are shrouded in mystery.    

 

The Master Distillers

There have only been seven Master Distillers since the distillery’s founding in 1866, including the current one, Jeff Arnett.

Dry County

Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Jack Daniel's is made, is located in Moore County — a dry county where it has been illegal to sell any sort of alcohol since Prohibition.

Old No.7?

Jack Daniel kept the origins of the name Old No. 7 a secret — one he carried to his grave. People are still fascinated by the legends that surround the name; it even inspired a commercial

Famous Fans

Jack Daniel’s has been the whiskey of choice for well-known personalities such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, author and Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner, and singer Frank Sinatra. Mr. Sinatra was so enamored of Jack Daniel’s that he was quoted as saying it was the  "nectar of the gods," and could be seen from time to time wearing a blazer with the patch of the fictitious  "Jack Daniel's Country Club."

Taste Test

Jack was a savvy entrepreneur and opened two bars in Lynchburg, The White Rabbit and the Red Dog Saloon — this was pre-Prohibition — and used them as his own version of focus groups to test out new whiskey varieties and get a feel for his market’s tastes. 

Registration, please.

Jack Daniel’s distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the United States. When Jack was just 16, the end of the Civil War was approaching, and Jack realized that the government would need to raise revenue to rebuild after the war. Rather than wait to be taxed, he decided to be the first distiller to register on the tax rolls, which earned him goodwill and publicized the whiskey. 

Ouch!

Jack died on October 10, 1911 from blood poisoning, which began, at least according to legend, when he couldn’t remember his safe’s combination and kicked it in frustration, breaking his big toe.