Local History

New bicentennial bottle celebrates Jack’s rich shared history with Alabama

This limited release, commemorative bicentennial bottle of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel will be available only in Alabama ABC stores. {Photo via Jack Daniel’s}

If you drive down Second Avenue North in Birmingham, you’ll see a long-faded sign painted on the side of a brick wall that says, “Headquarters for Motlow Corn and Jack Daniells’ No.7 Lincoln County Whiskies.” {Editor’s Note: The misspelling is theirs not ours.}

It’s a little known fact that Birmingham served as the official home of Jack Daniel’s for four years during Tennessee’s Prohibition. The Motlow brothers (Lem, Jess, and Spoon) ran The Motlow Distilling Company in Birmingham beginning in 1904. They closed it when Alabama-state Prohibition hit Jefferson County in 1908 and headed to Lynchburg to take over the Distillery from their Uncle Jack.

But in 1910, Tennessee-state prohibition hit. Serendipitously, Jefferson County repealed their prohibition the following year and since the Motlow brother already had contacts, they moved the headquarters of Jack Daniel’s Distillery temporarily to Birmingham. But it only lasted four years. Prohibition headed back to Birmingham in 1915, and so Jack Daniel’s found another temporary home in St. Louis, Missouri. Federal Prohibition came in 1920, and all whiskey making stopped.

When Prohibition got repealed in 1933, the Motlow brothers were determined to do whatever it took to bring the Distillery back to Lynchburg. Some say, that’s where the promise that tiny Lynchburg would remain a dry county comes from.

Special bottle released August 23

It’s in that rich, shared history that Jack Daniel’s and Alabama Beverage Control Board (ABC) have partnered to create an Alabama bicentennial commemorative bottle of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. It’s bottled from two special barrels of Jack that were hand-selected for the occasion, according to a press release. Each bottle will feature a special bicentennial medallion with the state seal and a logo marking the anniversary.

In addition to it’s shared history, the Jack Daniel Cooperage in Trinity, Alabama currently employs 161 residents and produces over 1,200 white oak barrels a day.

“We at Jack Daniel’s have a history of working closely with our neighboring state of Alabama on the production of our Tennessee Whiskey, most notably via the sourcing of local oak and our cooperage in Trinity,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “The warm, rich flavor of the Single Barrel whiskey selected for this special release makes it a can’t-miss collectors’ items for proud Alabamians.”

The commemorative bottle were release on August 23 and will only be available at 26 ABC stores. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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