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Jack Daniel’s opens new Alabama manufacturing facility, creates 200 new jobs

(Photo: DrinkSpirits)
(Photo: DrinkSpirits)

Gov. Robert Bentley and numerous local and state elected officials came together today to celebrate the grand opening of Jack Daniel’s new barrel manufacturing facility at the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex in Trinity, Ala., just west of Decatur.

Just over two years ago, Brown-Forman, one of the largest spirits and wine companies in the world, announced that growing worldwide demand for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey had compelled them to open a new cooperage to craft barrels in Decatur, Ala.

“Barrels are more than a container for our whiskey; they’re an important ingredient,” Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller, said at the time. “All of the color of Jack Daniel’s and more than half of our whiskey’s flavor is derived from the barrel. We believe in the importance of the barrel in making our whiskey so much that we are the only major distiller that makes its own barrels. Making a quality barrel is essential to making a quality whiskey, and this facility will help ensure we hold true to Mr. Jack Daniel’s guiding words that ‘every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.'”

The new Alabama facility will produce white oak barrels used for maturing Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Approximately 200 people will be employed at the cooperage.

Each barrel is handmade and goes through a proprietary process designed to give Jack Daniel’s its unique flavor.

Jack Daniel's barrel being made by hand at the company's Kentucky cooperage. (Photo: DrinkSpirits)
Jack Daniel’s barrel being made by hand at the company’s Kentucky cooperage. (Photo: DrinkSpirits)

The video below gives a quick look at one of the most fascinating parts of the process, known as “charring.”

“Charring barrels is one of the most dramatic and exciting parts of the barrel-making process,” explained Geoff Kleinman founder and managing editor of DrinkSpirits.com. “Open ended barrels are placed over natural gas burners and set on fire, exposed to heat as high as 1500 degrees.”

For an in-depth look at the Jack Daniel’s barrel-making process, check out this article at DrinkSpirits.

Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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