In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Raising a Barrel: Inside Jack Daniel Cooperage

"Every day we make it, we'll make it the best we can."

When people think of Jack Daniel’s, Lynchburg, Tennessee comes to mind. The home and birthplace of the most iconic American whiskey in the world. But head 80 miles south into Alabama, and you’ll find yourself in a little town called Trinity. A place where 200 employees take pride in creating the most important ingredient in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey…the barrel.

Jack Daniel Cooperage produces around 1,300 American White oak barrels a day which are used to age the whiskey. And it’s as much of an art as it is a science. It’s why barrels aren’t built…they’re raised, requiring expert precision and hands-on American craftsmanship to produce a barrel which gives the whiskey 100 percent of its color and 60-80 percent of its taste.

Watch as plant director Darrell Davis walks you through the process of raising a barrel, from placing in the staves to toasting and charring the wood to bring out its natural sugars. And keep in mind, all this work goes into making a product that Jack Daniel’s will only use once.

But for Darrell and everyone that works at the cooperage, that doesn’t matter. It’s about quality.

They take their words from Jack himself…”Every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.”

To learn about the process of creating the historic whiskey, visit Jack Daniel’s at their website.