Tennessee Apple: Jack Daniel's counter to vodka and light beer

Jack Daniel's announced it will release a Tennessee Apple whiskey on Wednesday — just in time for the autumn season.

The world-renowned, American-made brand has been successfully distilling whiskey since the 1800s. Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett joined FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday to share the company’s history and also discuss the success of its products.

“We were founded by a man who was orphaned at a young age,” Arnett said. “His name was Jasper Newton Daniel. He ended up living on a neighbor’s farm where he worked for his room and board. He was there taught how to make whiskey and that became his life's work.”

“Eventually, he had enough success to buy distilling equipment and moved it to where we're located today which is at the cave spring in Lynchburg, Tennessee,” Arnett said.

 “Today we're sold in 170 countries around the world but every drop of it is made in a small town just south of Nashville, using cave spring water: a cold limestone water, iron-free, perfect for making whiskey.”

- - Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel's Master Distiller


Jack Daniel's products are sold internationally and come in multiple varieties. In recent years, the brand has branched off from solely producing its traditional Black Label whiskey, introducing their newest product to date: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple.

“Prior to apple, we've done honey and cinnamon … and this has been over the course of about eight years,” Arnett said. "But apple is one of the most popular flavors right now — very crisp, light, very approachable.”

“What we're finding is that the market is becoming increasingly an issue as far as what people want,” Arnett said. “For the longest time, all we made was our Black Label for like 100 years. But whiskey began to get a little bit soft in America and people were drinking more vodka and light beers. There was just this preference for things that didn't have as much barrel character.”

Arnett explained that after their Gentleman Jack product gained traction for over 40 years, consumers began to ask for newer whiskeys.


Throughout hundreds of years in history, the Jack Daniel's brand has survived the competition of the alcohol industry.

“Whiskey is, I think, probably one of the most regional of all spirit types,” Arnett said. “When you think about vodka, you can make it in almost any part of the globe and the standard of identity is to be pure … and purity is defined by not having flavor or character. If you think about Scotch whiskey or Canadian whiskey or Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey, each one is going to have its own character. So the only thing that binds us together is that we ferment grain, we distill it, we mature it in barrels and that's a pretty big playing field to be in.”