Whisky Magazine Issue 48
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Each year Jack Daniel's holds a World Championship Barbecue and all sorts of enthusiasts attend. Peter Krass went along
When you take a sip of Jack Daniel's you may think you're simply drinking Tennessee whiskey, but you're not. You're taking a drink of a whole subculture, a subculture comprised of avid JD drinkers, collectors, and fans from every part of the world.
In an annual pilgrimage, thousands of these folks – from Harley Davidson bikers clad in leather to dapper whiskey connoisseurs – descend on tiny Lynchburg, Tennessee, home to the distillery, to attend the annual Jack Daniel's World Championship Barbecue.
While the prestigious bbq competition hosts pre-qualified teams from around the world, for hardcore JD fans it's not about the eating; it's all about networking, buying collectibles, and, of course, drinking JD.
In Lynchburg, a dry town, the drinking is discreet but before long you notice who's been imbibing. The festive tone for the most recent two-day event was set late Friday afternoon when a couple from New York – Teri and Joe Acampora – renewed their wedding vows in the village gazebo.
Not so strange perhaps, except that they had been married only a week and the renewal was the first official act of the just formed International Society of Jack Daniel's Collectors.
Ceremony guests included collectors from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, as well as locals. Presiding over the ceremony – which began with a Pledge of Allegiance to Jack – was Bob ‘the reverend' Berry, who, hailing from South Carolina and a manager for UPS, has a 20 by 20 foot JD c...