What is the best selling North American whiskey in the world? Jack Daniel's is the answer with nearly eighty million bottles enjoyed over the past year. Worldwide volume of Jack Daniel's grew last year by 2.5%, reaching a record six and a half million cases in sales. There are several key issues that must be understood to unfold the picture of how Jack Daniel's became one of the most well known whiskeys in the world. These include investigating the history of Jack Daniel's, the Brown-Foreman corporation (the company that owns Jack Daniel's), and the Jack Daniel's of today.
Moving on to the history of Jack Daniel's, started when Jack was born in 1850. He was one of 13 children and was raised by a family friend before being hired out to work with the Dan Call family at the age of seven. Mr. Call was a Lutheran minister who owned a whiskey still on the Louse River. Jack learned everything he could about whiskey making from Mr. Call. Then, in September of 1863, Mr. Call devoted his life to lifting spirits (as a minister) rather than selling them. Call sold his still to Jack who was just 13 years old at the time. Jack Daniel modeled his process after Mr. Call mellowing fresh whiskey through hard maple charcoal. While this process was widely used, the time and expense involved made it less popular with cost sensitive whiskey makers. However, Mr. Daniel's thought it was fundamental to the process so he perfected his charcoal mellowing process back in 1866. To this day, this still gives Jack Daniel's its smooth character and unique taste. Mr. Jack, in anticipation of government taxes registered his distillery in 1866, making it the nation's oldest registered distillery, and is now a National Historic Site. Though only 5'2" tall, Mr. Jack's stature as a distiller kept growing. To mark his 21st birthday he went on a shopping spree in the city and when he returned he was wearing a formal knee-length frock coat and a broad-brimmed planter's hat, which became his daily uniform for the rest of his life.