Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Jack Daniel opens Alabama barrel-making facility
First Published Jul 07 2014 12:23 pm • Last Updated Jul 07 2014 03:14 pm

Nashville, Tenn. • The maker of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey on Monday celebrated the opening of a new cooperage in Alabama to supply its distillery with the American white oak barrels that are toasted and charred to give the spirit its distinctive flavor and color.

The facility located in Trinity, Ala. is about 60 miles southwest of the Jack Daniel distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. In the next few weeks, the cooperage is expected to make about 700 barrels per day out of wood from nearby stave mills owned by the company, and is projected to employ more than 200 workers when it reaches full capacity.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The American whiskey category is booming with exports of Tennessee Whiskey and bourbon eclipsing $1 billion for the first time last year," Jack Daniel’s Managing Director John Hayes said in a release. "We want to be able to satisfy the world’s thirst for our premium Tennessee whiskey, and having this state-of-the-art cooperage will help us meet that demand."

Under a Tennessee law enacted last year, distillers must age their sprits in unused American white oak barrels if they want to label their product Tennessee whiskey. Some smaller distillers led by Diageo-owned George Dickel this year made an unsuccessful attempt to get state lawmakers to repeal the law championed by Jack Daniel’s, which is owned by global rival Brown-Forman Corp. of Louisville, Ky.

Opponents of the labeling law said they worried about a potential American white oak shortage that could be caused by wet weather conditions or demand from pallet makers, and argued that the law should allow the use of rejuvenated barrels.

But advocates argued that London-based Diageo’s motivation was to try undercut Jack Daniel’s global growth while its own flagship brand, Johnnie Walker scotch, stagnates. Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett led the faction of distillers urging lawmakers to uphold the current law to protect the category against low-quality knockoffs.

"A barrel when it’s new is very similar to a tea bag: The first time you use it, you get a lot of color and flavor," Arnett said in March. "It’s not to say that you can’t re-use a tea bag — you can, but you’re not going to get the same result on the second or third use."

In the U.S., sales volume for bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys has grown 26 percent over the past decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. Exports of U.S. whiskeys have grown to roughly $1 billion last year, more than double what it was a decade ago.

Jack Daniel’s is the dominant producer of Tennessee whiskey, which is made in largely the same manner as bourbon other than that it must be filtered through sugar maple charcoal. Jack Daniel’s last year sold 11.5 million cases of it Black Label last year, a 5 percent increase from 2012. Dickel, the second-largest Tennessee whiskey producer, sold 130,000 cases in 2013.

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.