The Real Story about Mr. Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments
In the 140-year life of Jack Daniel's, the world's best-selling whiskey, the liquor's keepers have managed their old-fashioned brand with a blend of savvy salesmanship and pithy advertising, we know much about the brand and product but haven’t you ever wondered about the man himself – Mr. Jack Daniels?
The character of Jack Daniel's, the whiskey with the iconic black-and-white label on the equally distinctive square bottle, is inextricably bound up in the unique character of Jack Daniel, the brand's founder and first master distiller, but what do we really know about Mr. Daniels. We know much about Henry Ford, founder of america’s first mega auto company, but little about the founding name of Tennessee Whiskey. Here is what we found in our research:
- A physically diminutive man only five feet two inches tall, Jack Daniel devoted his oversized personality to the ideal of making a whiskey that, thanks to charcoal filtering and other factors he believed smoothed the harshness of the intrinsic alcohol and would allow him to sell his smooth whiskey at a premium price.
- Born in 1850, Jack was one of 13 children fathered by Callaway Daniel and was the youngest of 10 children. Daniel's father died in the Civil War and he despised his stepmother, and as a result he ran away from home and was essentially orphaned at a young age.
- Daniel was taken in by a local preacher and moonshine distiller named Dan Call and began learning the distilling trade. It seems young Mr. Daniel could have learned to the gift of evangelism but rather chose distilling as his mentor’s trade.
- In 1875, upon receiving an inheritance from his father's estate Daniel founded a legally registered distilling business with Pastor Call.
- After buying out his partner and taking over the distillery, in 1884 Daniel purchased the hollow and land where the distillery is now located in Lynchburg. Over 200,000 people per year visit the distillery.
- Being the 7th distillery to register with the federal government the "Old No. 7" brand name was the number assigned to Daniel's distillery for government registration.
- Jack Daniel's was an average selling and only locally known bourbon until the whiskey experienced a surge in popularity after it received the gold medal for the finest whiskey at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
- Daniel died in 1911 from blood poisoning. An oft-told tale is that the infection began in one of his toes, which Daniel injured one early morning at work by kicking his safe in anger when he could not get it open (he was always troubled to remember the combination).
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