Reclaimed whiskey helps float Jack Daniel's
LYNCHBURG, TN -- Some whiskey drinkers like an ice cube or a bit of spring water to help open the aromas and flavors of their favorites. The folks at the Jack Daniel's distillery here are finding that a lot more water is helping "create" more whiskey, something that is helping the world's top-selling brand satisfy more customers.
A total of 8.4 million cases of Jack Daniel's was sold last year, and all projections by the Brown-Forman-owned maker are for a continual increase in global sales.
That means having to make supply keep up with demand. Making more whiskey is one way to do that, Another is reclaiming it.
The distillery has begun putting 20 gallons of purified water into "empty" barrels, letting it sit for several weeks, then extracting the result. Whiskey that had leached into the wood during the aging process was pulled back out by the interaction with the water.
An average of 2.5 gallons of extra whiskey is pulled from each barrel, meaning each barrel is yielding an extra case. When one considers the distillery uses 300,000 to 400,000 barrels a year, you're talking a lot of extra whiskey that once had been ignored.
That may not make locals happy, though. As Jeff Arnett, who supervises the warehouse and bottling operations, told the Tennessean newspaper, "It was common in Lynchburg for people to take a used barrel, fill it up with water and keep it in their back yard. After a couple of weeks of rolling it around in their yard, it would be 60 proof."
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 8:49 AM