Massachusetts Beverage Business



ON JANUARY 2O 2OO9, at precisely the time that President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office in Washington, DC, the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, will stop and set aside a barrel of Tennessee Whiskey to mark the swearing-in of the 44th President. The distillery will call this special barrel the “Presidential Barrel” in his honor.  Having already matured for a couple of years, the whiskey will then be placed in a special spot in one of the warehouses that dot the hillsides of this Tennessee town to continue maturing with the passing seasons.
“Inaugural celebrations are nothing new to Lynchburg,” said Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “Mr. Jack Daniel himself held an inaugural party every four years. It was held on March 4th back in Jack’s day, and we’re told these events featured an all-night party, dancing and, of course, an ample supply of our hometown product.” Arnett noted that the President’s politics didn’t matter much to the whiskey’s founder. “Mr. Jack would throw his own party for the new president – regardless of his political affiliation – and it was his special way of bringing folks together. So we thought the time was right to honor Mr. Jack’s interest in bringing people together by pausing to honor the new president with a symbolic barrel of whiskey. After all, our very first president, George Washington, operated one of the country’s largest distilleries of his time, so we think it’s appropriate our new commander-in-chief has a barrel named in his honor.”
According to Arnett, the barrel will be checked on from time to time to see how it’s maturing in the warehouse. “Much like the president, our whiskey is a product of the environment in which it matures,” said Arnett. “The passing of the seasons, the extreme heat of the summer and the winter’s chill, work together to give our whiskey its character. From time to time, we’ll check the state of the whiskey and see if it happens to parallel how the President is maturing.” Upon maturity, the barrel will be bottled, sold, and proceeds will go to charities.

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