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Jack Daniel’s and Tennessee Whiskey Law



Jack Daniel's and Tennessee Whiskey Law

Jack Daniel's and Tennessee Whiskey Law

Jack Daniel’s and Tennessee Whiskey Law

Jack Daniel’s is famous as the world’s best-known Tennessee whiskey, and now its corporate parent, Brown-Forman Corp., is fighting to keep a competitor, Diageo PLC, the British conglomerate that owns George Dickel, which is made only 15 miles away, from giving it even more competition. The change to an existing law would further scale back some of the requirements that make it difficult for other distilleries to market their spirits as Tennessee whiskey.

Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson, who acknowledges that he introduced the measure at Diageo’s urging, emphasized that his bill wouldn’t do away with last year’s law requested by Jack Daniel’s. The main change would allow Tennessee whiskey makers to reuse barrels, which would mean a savings over new ones that cost approximately $600 each.

Jack Daniel’s is made up of 80 percent corn, 8 percent malt and 12 percent rye. It has a touch of smoke and hints of nuts, spice, cereal, banana milkshake, caramel, Crème Anglaise and toasty oak. It is filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal in new charred oak casks, and is bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

If the high standards are lowered, it would also lower the reputation of Tennessee whiskey. During the aging process, the whiskey acquires its flavors and color. Other distillers may not only reuse barrels but might also use artificial flavorings and colorings that wouldn’t equal the quality of the whiskey stored in new barrels.



Tomas Carbry possesses a decade of journalism experience and consistently upholds rigorous standards. His focus areas include technology and global issues.