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Defense

A look at Jack Daniel's affectionate relationship with the US military

Key Points
  • "Jack Daniel's has no better friends than the men and women of our nation's military and our veterans," Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Jeff Arnett told CNBC.
  • Parent company Brown-Forman says the U.S. military buys the most barrels of Jack Daniel's 94-proof Single Barrel Whiskey.
  • The price tag for an entire barrel of this whiskey swings from $9,000 to $12,000.
Barrels sit in a rickhouse at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Courtesy of Brown-Forman

WASHINGTON — America's oldest registered whiskey distillery has a particularly affectionate relationship with the U.S. military.

According to liquor conglomerate Brown-Forman, which owns the Jack Daniel's distillery, the U.S. military buys the most barrels of the brand's premium 94-proof Single Barrel Select Whiskey.

"Jack Daniel's has no better friends than the men and women of our nation's military and our veterans," Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Jeff Arnett told CNBC.

Arnett is the seventh person, behind founder Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, to hold the responsibility of supervising the entire whiskey-making process at the distillery. "We're especially proud they [U.S. troops] have taken a liking to our 'hometown product,'" he added.

Unlike its bourbon counterpart, Jack Daniel's is a Tennessee whiskey produced in the sleepy hills of Lynchburg, Tennessee. For the last 152 years, the rustic 1,700-acre operation has distilled and aged every single drop of Jack Daniel's.

As one of the most valuable alcohol brands in the world, the distillery ships out 15.3 million cases a year, sells to more than 165 countries and attributes 52 percent of its total output overseas.

But back home, the U.S. military remains the largest purchaser of the brand's Single Barrel Whiskey.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Whiskey.
Courtesy of Brown-Forman

The price tag for an entire barrel of this whiskey swings from $9,000 to $12,000, since no two barrels have the same volume. This is due to the "angel's share," or the alcohol that evaporates during maturation.

In an average 560-pound, 53-gallon barrel, there are approximately 250 bottles-worth of Single Barrel whiskey. And at the distillery, only one in 100 barrels makes the cut for this whiskey.

Aside from its whiskey-making operations, Jack Daniel's helps bring troops home for the holidays with its "Operation Ride Home" program. For the last seven years, 5,767 service members have traveled from military bases to spend the holidays at home.

"It's an honor to support those who wear the uniform," Arnett said of the program. "We can't thank them enough for the daily sacrifices they make and have made on our behalf."