my TENNESSEE As someone who has been involved in the Jack Daniel’s barrel making process for nearly 20 years, KEVIN SANDERS knows a thing or two about woodworking and Tennessee whiskey. “The barrel is a very iconic piece for Jack Daniel’s,” says Sanders. These signature barrels are meticulously handcrafted from American white oak wood and then carefully charred, which caramelizes the wood’s natural sugars and lends the whiskey its signature flavor and rich color. “The whiskey goes in clear and comes out amber,” he says. The barrels play such an integral role in the brand that Jack Daniel is the only major distillery in the country that makes barrels for its own use. “It helps us have really good control of our whiskey and makes it very consistent,” Sanders explains. After the barrels are used, Sanders, along with approximately 15 to 20 fellow craftsmen, repurpose the barrels into incredible pieces of functional artwork. Browse these handcrafted products at the historic Lynchburg Hardware & General Store, just down the road from the Jack Daniel Distillery. From Bill Bedford’s barrelhead serving trays to William McGee’s cribbage boards to Matthew Sullenger’s barrel band firewood holder, these skilled artisans not only give new life to the iconic barrels—they create incredible souvenirs for visitors to remember their Tennessee vacation.
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