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If it doesn’t get you drunk, then you probably don’t need it. What it does get me drunk off though is the ingenuity and ingenuity of the drink’s marketing campaigns over the years. From the just whiskey campaign to the 'I'll take mine over ice' campaign, there’s something for everyone. And coming from a state that provided drinking water to President Lincoln, it’s hard not to get a little teary-eyed about these ads.
Not only is Jack the best known in the category, it’s probably the most recognizable whiskey in the entire world. It’s definitely one of the best selling, although these days many whiskey snobs don’t give it a second thought. This is silly, especially considering some of the newer expressions Jack has come up with. Those in the know don’t skip a chance to try special single barrel releases, like the new Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye, made from a mash bill of 70 percent rye, 12 percent malt and 18 percent corn. Proof varies from 125 to a hefty 140 depending on the barrel, so consider adding some water when sipping this one. There’s also the Tennessee Tasters’ Selection lineup, 375 ml bottles that showcase some of the experiments going on at the distillery. The most recent was Jamaican Allspice, finished for 180 days with Jamaican allspice wood, and the forthcoming 14E19 “Twin” Blend, combining Tennessee whiskey and rye from specially selected barrels. (
The term “Tennessee whiskey” does not apply to all whiskey made in Tennessee. In order to be recognized by the State of Tennessee as such, Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-2-106, Tennessee whiskey must be produced in Tennessee and meet both the legal requirements for bourbon (use a mash of at least 50 percent corn, be aged in new charred oak barrels, and meeting limits on alcohol content, distilling concentration, aging, and bottling), and use the Lincoln County process, which means the whiskey must be steeped in or filtered through maple charcoal chips (often sugar maple) before going into casks for aging. The two largest distillers, Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel, use this process, though there is a legal exception for Benjamin Pritchard’s, which does not use the Lincoln County Process but is still Tennessee whiskey.*
Whiskey has been associated with Tennessee since some of the first settlers moved to the area that would become a state in 1796. It is known for producing a specific style of whiskey, though other types of whiskey and distilled spirits are produced in the state. There are a number of regulations distillers must follow in order for a bottle to bear the "Tennessee Whiskey" label