Jasper Daniels

We toured the Jack Daniels’ distillery in Lynchburg, TN. What a tour! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen tourists carded before being allowed to take a tour. We took a photo of Chris and Lise with a white statue of Jack in the visitor’s center. We were in and out of a tour bus, walking outside, and climbing stairs to peer in the vats of Tennessee whiskey in the making. Everyone was invited to pose with a different statue of Jack in the grounds. They said it was deceptive, because the statue was several inches taller than the man actually was.

Lise and Chris with Jack Daniels in the visitor's center
Lise and Chris with Jack Daniels in the visitor’s center
Chris, Jack, and Lise
Chris, Jack, and Lise

Our personable guide started the story of Jasper who later had the nickname Jack. He disliked his stepmother and, when he was seven years old, told his dad he wanted to leave home. He did, with the father’s agreement. The Lutheran pastor and his young wife were just moving into the parsonage. When they heard his story they invited him to live with them. The pastor turned out to be the best whiskey maker in the county. Later the parishioners disliked having their pastor preaching about one spirit on Sundays and making another on weekdays. He agreed to quit making whiskey and sold the business to Jack when the lad was 16 years old.

We took a photo or so outside, because we were not allowed to take any inside the production area. The great distinction of Jack Daniels is that they use charcoal to filter the liquor, otherwise it would simply be a bourbon. We were allowed to snap the packing room where people were inspecting the bottles, cleaning off the seals, and preparing them for shipping. The tour ended in the tasting room where we had sips of four products.

Packing room at Jack Daniels
Packing room at Jack Daniels

I didn’t expect to get looped. I’m always careful with wine, though, because I can get woozy on half a glass. Having one mixed drink has never yet done me in. I reassured myself that we’d had a big Cracker Barrel breakfast, which should have mitigated the effect of the whiskey. Finishing the tasting, I went into the ladies’ room. I was facing a wood paneled wall painted dark green. I looked at a hook and perhaps swayed a bit. Good grief! I couldn’t focus on that hook. The grooves in the wood went one way, and the hook moved the other. This lasted several long, long seconds. Surely I wasn’t going to fall out right there in a bathroom stall! I blinked several times and moved my head. Ah! That was better. I was looking through two different levels of my trifocals. Whew! What a relief!

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