Why It's Illegal To Sell Alcohol Anywhere Near The Jack Daniel's Distillery

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey is almost as American as apple pie, crafted in Lynchburg, Tennessee for over 150 years. Established in 1866 by Jasper Newton Daniel, aka Jack, the brewery was initially purchased from Daniel's foster father Reverend Dan Call (via Jack Daniel's). Distinguishing Tennessee Whiskey from standard bourbons is the special process of filtering through sugar maple charcoal. Daniels learned this process from a slave who worked under the reverend named Nathan "Nearest" Green (via Nearest Green). The Reverend described Green by saying, "This is Uncle Nearest. He's the best whiskey maker I know of." In addition to the filtering techniques, Green also coached the young Jack to use the highest quality grains and water. 

While the recipe has stayed largely the same, history has a way of changing many other things. The Civil War ended with Green becoming both a free man and the first African-American master distiller as this whiskey gained popularity. Soon would come new trials, however, including prohibition, drying up the Lynchburg still prior to more extensive laws in the United States (via Chronicling America). The city of Lynchburg is part of Moore County and has been a dry county (meaning "no selling") since 1910 (via Smarter Travel).

A taste of whiskey does not count as wet

You're probably asking how a dry county can be home to one of America's most famous distilleries. Well, the law specifically bars selling liquor. But as described in 2012, the Jack Daniel's distillery tours began to offer samples included with the tour (via Nashville Scene). Whether this legal loophole is because the samples are themselves free and the ticket pays the tour, or alternatively because the samples are so small and only available onsite is somewhat questionable, but the fact remains that the tasting now exists after many dry decades. Limited numbers of sealed, commemorative bottles are also sold on the tour (maybe they count as a souvenir?), according to The Sterling Traveler. What we do know for sure is that it's all legal (for adults 21 and up). Of the distillery tour itself you'll find a significant difference in pre-filtered and post-filtered samples, as well as specialized flavors and varieties. Enjoy (responsibly) your favorite Jack Daniel's preparation and know that the flavor is as rich as this product's lengthy history.