JD & Hot Sugar Maple Sap (March 2015)
Here at Pajwood Farm during sugaring we may have indulged in a bit of JD mixed with boiling sugar maple sap pulled off the evaporator. It is addictive! In fact, we liked it so much we bottled the concoction into mason jars. Yes, down the road we could always mix JD with some hot syrup, but bottling some sweet sap with JD just seemed to be the right thing to do.
Distillery Raid in 1898 (December 2011)
A JD fan sent the following article. Like any good whiskey man, Jack had his run-ins with the law.
Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 25, 1898
Title: Distillery Seized
Subtitle: Collector Nunn Swoops Down Upon an Immense Outfit
Nashville, February 25 – Today at Lynchburg, acting under orders of United States Collector Nunn, revenue officials seized the immense Distillery, capacity 400 gallons per day, and warehouse of Jack Daniel, one of the best known whisky men in the State. Daniel is a man of means, the Distillery is an extensive one and the seizure is the largest ever in this State. The warehouse contains 3,600 barrels of whisky. The charges against Daniel are the illegal removal of whisky and the re-use of stamps. In taxes to the government this Distillery pays about $100,000 annually.
Jack Daniel Featured on CNBC (September 2011)
Ol’ Jasper “Jack” Daniel remains a hot topic. He was featured on CNBC’s Titan series with yours truly providing some commentary. I was so proud of CNBC because they worked in the true story of why Jack called his whiskey Old No. 7! A story the distillery and big brother Brown Forman won’t accept – except they didn’t exactly deny it in the Titan’s program. Go to the link and explore the program – it’s pretty darn good.
On a side note. An old acquaintance of mine and quintessential Jack fan recently shot me an email with a Jack revelation courtesy of an old timer with ancestral roots in Lynchburg going back to Jack’s time. According to this old timer, Jack never married because he was sterile! Ergo, no need to plan on a dynasty and he could philander without worry! I apologize for taking this to the lowest common denominator, but sometimes dry history needs jazzed up a bit, and remember the county in which JD is made is DRY!
The Wall Street Journal on Jack Daniel’s (June 2011)
For those of us who live in our own backwoods or don’t give a damn about the corporate state that engineered a hostile takeover of US of A, Inc. somewhere along the way and therefore don’t subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (owned by an Aussie no less), here’s a link to the WSJ article on why the JD distillery aka Brow-Forman changed the iconic black label on their whiskey bottle. (Well, that was a mouthful of a sentence.)
No doubt the WSJ reporter enjoyed his boondoggle, but all in all I think the JD flunkies like Mr. Eddy (whom I once met and was a nice guy and was enjoying life in a plush Nashville-area office) could have been pushed a little harder. Not that we’re talking Whiskeygate mind you.
Conclusion: the mere mention of my book in the WSJ is cause for celebration so a little Jack is in order and at 12:21 PM I’ve made an executive decision to retire with a bottle for the day. Later I’ll check Amazon to see if the 8-year old book cracked the top 500,000 rank in sales, although I imagine it’ll be doing better in Amazon’s used book market where I don’t get a cent of royalty. (Thanks Mr. Bezos for your brilliance.) Now where’s that bottle?
Blood & Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel
(Wiley Press Release)
In the first ever biography of the man who created America’s most famous whiskey, Peter Krass uncovers the legend of Jack Daniel. BLOOD & WHISKEY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JACK DANIEL is a compelling exploration into the life of the Tennessee whiskey baron and marketing genius. While forced to resort to moonshining in the desperate years after the Civil War, Jack went on to win the Gold Medal at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair with his Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey.
Through painstaking research, Krass not only depicts the charismatic distiller with a penchant for diamonds and young ladies, but definitively answers a mystifying question that has plagued whiskey raconteurs and the Jack Daniel Distillery company alike: Why did Jack call his whiskey Old No. 7? Krass also unravels other mysteries, such as when Jack actually established his distillery. It was not in 1866 nor the first in Tennessee to be registered with the Federal government as the company claims today.
Born and raised in Lynchburg, Tennessee, Jack (1849-1911) lost his mother shortly after his birth and then his father during the Civil War. Orphaned at age 14, he ran away from his mean-tempered stepmother and found refuge with a local lay minister who also happened to distill whiskey, an interesting mix of spirits. After learning all he could about distilling, Jack struck out on his own. It was an uphill battle as he fought against domineering competitors, crusaders for prohibition, and corrupt government officials in the tumultuous South.
Krass captures the drama of the times – rampant political corruption, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the travails of rural small town life – as BLOOD & WHISKEY: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JACK DANIEL tantalizes the reader with the colorful history of a man who tasted every batch of whiskey until retirement in 1907. Borrowing a page from flamboyant P. T. Barnum, Jack was an innovative marketer, who always sported his signature outfit – linen shirt, silk vest, bowtie, knee length frock coat, and high rolled planter’s hat – and used balloon launches, square bottles, and stunts like sending a keg of whiskey to Queen Victoria to promote his whiskey.