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In each edition of “Decoded,” we take a recognizable product and break it down by explaining what everything on it means. In this installment, we look at the best-selling American whiskey in the world: Jack Daniel’s. Though the label has had a few variations over time, this is one of the most well-known.

  • 1. Jack Daniel: Founder of the distillery. Full name was actually “Jasper Newton Daniel.”
  • 2. Sour Mash: A process where fresh mash (the combination of grains, water and barley malt) is conditioned with spent mash (mash used in a previous batch) to aid in the consistency of flavor.
  • 3. Lynchburg, Tennessee: City where Jack Daniel’s is distilled. The city is located in a dry county. You are allowed, however, to purchase a “commemorative” bottle if you take a tour of the distillery.
  • 4. Old No. 7 Brand: The reason Jack Daniel’s named his whiskey “Old No. 7 Brand” is a mystery. Some of the more popular rumors include the face that the No. 7 train carried the barrels and that he had seven girlfriends.
  • 5. Tennessee Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s is dripped over charcoal so it’s technically a Tennessee whiskey and not a bourbon despite the fact that many bars list it as such.
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