No matter where you go in the world, that recognizable black label of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey will more than likely be perched behind the bar, ready to make believers out of skeptics with its silky smooth spirit.
And it all started in the tiny town of Lynchburg, population 6,000.
Born in 1849, Tennessee's most globally beloved resident Jasper "Jack" Daniel stumbled upon a gold mine as a teen—a limestone water source flowing from a cave spring—and was wise enough to plant his flag in the form of a distillery, which was officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Though the famed purveyor of whiskey passed away in the early part of the 20th century, the process he perfected is still in use today: Each Jack Daniel's barrel is meticulously crafted so that every last drop of whiskey is mellowed through 10 feet of charcoal.
And Daniel would undoubtedly be proud to see that his legacy has spanned the test of time, with the historic Lynchburg distillery he started celebrating its 150th birthday all throughout 2016.
In addition to commemorative 150th anniversary bottles of a special 86-proof Old No. 7, the distillery will celebrate its banner year with the following events: a 90-day Global Barrel Scavenger Hunt, in which they're hiding 150 prize-filled barrels around the world from now through September; Global Master Distiller for a Day contest, a massive city-wide celebration in Lynchburg in October, and a closing bell ringing and anniversary reception at the New York Stock Exchange.
Though the distillery underwent a $103 million expansion just three years ago, plans for an additional $37 million expansion to keep up with increased demand were recently unveiled. The renovations include building two new barrelhouses, expanding the existing bottling facility to add more capacity and, in turn, create more jobs. Tours of the grounds are offered daily year-round and include visits to the barrelhouse, which stores more than 20,000 barrels, the rickyard, the underground spring and The White Rabbit Saloon for $14. You can enjoy a tasting tour (for those 21 years or older) of five whiskey varieties at the historic Barrel House 1-14 for $17.
(Lunch at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House)
Visitors to Lynchburg should also allot time to explore the shops around the old-timey square, in addition to having a true Southern feast at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House, a favorite spot of Jack's back in the day that has been operating for more than 100 years.