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  1. #1

    Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    I'm sorry if this is old news, but there is a fairly good sized article on p. 1 of the business section of today's Sacramento Bee on a controversy between author Peter Krass and Brown Forrman. It's an AP article. I've been unable to find an online version to post here.

    Krass has written a biography about Jack Daniel. He claims that Brown Forman markets JD by way of some historical myths. He has contacted BF, but BF has not changed the information passed out in their tours. BF counters that since some of the historical details are vague, some of Krass's claims can't be known to be true.

    The disputes cover these issues: (1) whether JD is the first registered distillery in the country; (2) the date in which the distillery went into business; (3) whether JD won a medal for being the world's best whiskey at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis; and (4) whether the origins of the Old No. 7 label are a mystery. For example Krass says that the 1904 award was for the best Tennessee Whiskey, and that seven others won "world's best" American whiskey. (Whatever that means.) Krass says that No. 7 was the number that government regulators used to identify the whiskey.

    Krass claims that the JD myths have grown since BF has taken over the company, and he claims that BF uses these myths to market JD to the detriment of the competition. What I find especially surprising in all this is the report that JD is closing in on Johnny Walker as the world's best selling whiskey.

    My own experience has been that I've liked JD less since I've been drinking Scotch and bourbon.

  2. #2

    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    Here's a link to what I think was the original Associated Press story about the book/controversy, in this case published Nov. 13 in the Louisville Courier-Leader:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/busin...ck13-7303.html

    Many of these legends have been discussed in other whiskey books, though not is such focused detail.


  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    The crux of JD's success is its marketing. 90% marketing 10% product.

  4. #4

    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    The Courier article is the same as the Bee article. The Courier had a better picture, however. I've never seen a green label Jack Daniels bottle before.

  5. #5

    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    The green label JD is whiskey that didn't match the taste profile for black label, according to JD reps. It's probably younger, and it's only marketed in perhaps a half-dozen states.
    A lot of old-timers buy it, for whatever reason.

  6. #6
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    My local retailer told me the other day that he has seen a marked decline in the sales of JD Black in the past couple of months and an increase in sales of the Green. He even steers customers towards the green as a way to save a few bucks and still get the 80 proof JD product. I think he even said that he makes the same profit on either bottle so he comes out ahead by not having to tie up as much money in stocking so much of the more expensive Black.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    Oddly enough, the green label is available in my control state, which has a quite limited selection.

    I used to drink JD quite a bit, but that was before I discovered real bourbon. I now keep a bottle of JD Black and Gentleman Jack on hand for guests, but don't drink it myself. And if I do have a guest who asks for it, I try to steer them towards trying a bourbon instead (EWSB 94 or Eagle Rare Single Barrel have had the most success).

  8. #8
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    Quick FYI. Green label Jack used to outsell black label by a wide margin.
    Ken

  9. #9
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    I checked on the price while at our local store and the Green was about $1.25 less than the Black. Both were overpriced for 80 proof goods.

    Squire

  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s Controversy

    The bigger controversy to some is why JD black label quietly dropped from 86 proof to 80 proof (43 to 40% ABV) recently. I thought that was the main difference between black label & green label. Personally, I would steer any JD drinkers to the other Tenessee whiskey: George Dickel - it costs much less & tastes much better.

    Matt

 

 

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