Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

This challenge invites us to share a photo of something which says, “Mine,” and I immediately thought of a photo I took four years ago, whilst visiting the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We did a road trip from New York to Florida, and then flew to Columbus Isle for a week. On the drive back, we stopped off at Chattanooga for the night, and the next morning decided that as we were in the area, we’d go and see how whiskey is made.

I had no idea what to expect, and don’t even drink whiskey, but the tourΒ  of the distillery, was so interesting.

We had a larger than life guide, who went by the name of ‘Bubba.” I found his southern accent, absolutely fascinating. Here he is in Jack’s original office.

I learned that Jack ‘s first name was ‘Jasper’, and that he was only 5’2″ tall. He died in 1911 from a blood infection, which he got after injuring his toe by kicking the office safe in a rage, because he couldn’tΒ  remember the combination to open it.

Born in 1850, he was one of 13 children, and when his father remarried after his wife’s death, Jack went to live with a neighbour, Mr. Felix Waggoner who introduced him to Mr. Dan Call, a preacher/bootlegger. At only seven-years-old, Jack started work in Call’s store, and so his career began. He was very interested in whiskey-making, and was soon made a full partner in the business. When Jack was thirteen, Mr Call decided that he needed to devote more time to his preaching, and sold the business to Jack. Word soon spread through the town about Jack’s wonderfully smooth and mellow whiskey, and he had to find an abundant source of iron-free limestone water, to keep up with the demand. The discovery of this cave, gave him a non stop flow of spring water, and in 1866, the Jack Daniel Distillery, became the first registered distillery in America after the Federal government began to regulate and tax all whiskey making operations.

With this water, and a special charcoal mellowing process, Jack made his now famous Tennessee whiskey, and the process hasn’t changed in all these years. At twenty-one, he went into the city and bought a knee-length frock coat and a broad-brimmed planter’s hat, which became his everyday uniform from then on.

In one building, the smell of the raw ingredients, was really overpowering, and in another, we got to see and smell the whiskey as it was filtering through the ten feet of hand-packed charcoal. One could get drunk just on that smell. πŸ™‚

The Barrel House was the best part of the tour.

Here we saw rows and rows of oak barrels full of whiskey. The barrels are all made on site, and each barrel is used only once. The empty used barrels are shipped off to producers of Scotch whiskey, who use them multiple times. (The Scots are renowned for their miserliness and penny-pinching.) πŸ˜€

This one caught my eye, being labelled “This is MINE!” I don’t know who scrawled that message, but I think it fits the challenge really well. πŸ™‚

Just in case you decide to visit the Jack Daniels distillery, let me warn you that there are no free samples. Lynchburg is a ‘dry’ county, so all we got at the end of the tour, was lemonade, which didn’t worry us one bit, as we don’t like whiskey. πŸ™‚

To see links to more takes on the challenge, just click here.


73 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

  1. Jack’s stories are awesome. Glad you included about the hat as well. πŸ˜€ I can’t believe that a water source cave has something to do with a liquor history. Very fascinating! I got so hooked. And I sooo would love to meet Bubba.

  2. Thanks for the tour! I really enjoyed that. I don’t know anything about liquor, now I see why the boys here are fussing about Jack Daniels, haha!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | R Shad

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | Project 365 Challenge in 2012

  5. Wow! I got hooked looking at the exciting trip at Jack Daniels distillery. What an amazing history. The source of what and the preparation of the old days were truly fascinating. Have a great week.

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed your tour and history lesson. πŸ™‚ The spring water in that cave is still used today, and the distilling process hasn’t changed since the 1800’s. I think that’s amazing.

  6. Enjoyed your tour, AD. And after showing Jeff, he’s ready for a road trip! Thanks. I LOVE road trips.
    Great post. Salute! ( with wine :-).)

    • Me too, Gemma. We’re hoping to do another road trip from Florida to New York at Christmas. I’ll also stick to my half a glass of wine. πŸ™‚

  7. This was a wonderful visual tour. The information was enjoyable to read. I loved the small tid bits about how he died and about his height. I don’t drink Jack Daniels either but I have lots of friends who do. I will have to talk about this at the next cocktail party. I will look so smart. Of course, I will say I learned it all from you. Thanks for posting.

  8. I love this post. How informative and nice. Now, remind me not to kick anything in rage – not good for the toe, not good for life. πŸ˜‰

  9. Hi AD, great trip and apt pic. Isn’t that Bubba caught in the photo of you in front of the entrance πŸ˜€

  10. Similiar experience for me – just happened to be in the area of JD a couple of years ago on vacation and decided to do the tour. We had a great tour guide too. Some of the same photos ops. I remember her saying every employee gets a fee bottle of JD w/ their paycheck! Thanks for the memories.

  11. i don’t, as a rule drink. But when I do, Jacks and water is always the first choice πŸ˜‰
    A good example of mine πŸ˜‰

  12. Really like that barrel with the declaration of ownership!
    “Bubba” Ha! How did he ever come up with that name?!? πŸ™‚
    We have a few Bubbas here in SC.
    Several years ago we bought half JD barrels to use as flower pot planters. The smell of the whiskey was still quite strong.

  13. When I saw “mine”, the first thing that popped into my mind was “strike”, hehe. That’s a really good take on the challenge, I love the barrel that’s been scribbled on. πŸ™‚

  14. A curious business, distilling ‘whiskey’ as opposed to ‘whisky’ in a dry county.. A fascinating trip and an interesting post Ad.. Never knew there was that spelling difference between the American and the Scottish stuff. Shouldn’t think it matters much after a couple of glasses.. Is the sun over the yard arm yet? πŸ˜‰

  15. This was an interesting tour, and your photographs are beautiful. I’m with you, not a whiskey drinker, but I love its history!

  16. Wow! Great capture and lots of interesting history about Jack Daniels’ distillery. You look very cute with your friend “Jasper!” What fun…. And great find of “This is mine!” on the barrel of whiskey!

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