A taste of Tennessee: the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour
"We have about one whiskey barrel for about every 2-3 people that live in the state of Tennessee today."
The Jack Daniel Distillery officially opened in 1866, making it the first registered distillery in the United States. Jack served as the first master distiller, promotions department and just about everything else. His business has grown exponentially since then, with a product reach of around 165 countries.
"People want to know, why did Jack come up to this location, was he born here, did he start making whiskey here, and the answer is the water source,” explained Benjamin Spears. “If we could talk about whiskeys and beers and bagels and pizza, if you change your location, you change your water, you change your product. And with the Jack Daniels way of doing things, we're not interested in doing that. There's a lot of things that we choose to do that are harder to do, but they're doable, so we figure it out and do it that way because that's the way Jack did it."
In addition to the millions of bottles sold each year, nearly 300,000 people visit the distillery in Lynchburg. Though Jack Daniels is located in a dry, middle Tennessee county, a variety of tasting tours are available to the public.
"For a very small city in Tennessee we are very international,” explained the current master distiller, Jeff Arnett. “You'll see the map in the visitors center and we ask people to put a pin where they're from. And they've come from all over the globe. And we never want to take that lightly. That's pretty special."