Our 5 favorite moments from the new Jack Daniel’s documentary film, “Chasing Whiskey”

The new Jack Daniel’s documentary Chasing Whiskey will premiere to the public on Friday. We got a sneak peak and here’s our favorite moments from the film. (Photo Provided)

The newest Jack Daniel’s documentary, Chasing Whiskey, premiered to the public on Friday. The film explores why a world of people identifies with our iconic local brand. The staff of The Lynchburg Times got to screen the film in advance and here are our top five moments from the film.

#5 | Explaining the need for palletized warehouses — We get it. We’re a small, southern town. Things are quaint and idyllic. But we’re also the only place in the world where Jack Daniel’s is made and it’s disingenuous to pretend that the charming warehouse you see from historic, downtown Lynchburg produce that volume. In the documentary, Jack Daniel Operations Manager Mike Myers explains that on any given day there are over two million barrels of whiskey on site. Some of those are housed in the cute little warehouse that pepper the downtown landscape, but the palettized warehouses that contain the majority of it have always been considered a “dirty little secret” in Lynchburg. Brown-Forman and Jack Daniel allowed film maker Gregg Olliver to film inside one of the newer warehouses. To our knowledge, this is a first.

When asked in the film, if he thought the general public would be surprised by the true number of warehouse in Moore and Lincoln counties, Myer responds that it’s just math.

“Probably but I would think … I mean any knowledgeable person can get on the Internet and see how many cases of whiskey we sell a year or how much we do,” he explains. “You have to store that somewhere.”

#4 | Shooter Jennings, whiskey, and rock-n-roll — The film does an excellent job of tracing Jack Daniel’s with the history of contemporary music from Sinatra through Motorhead to Eric Church. In the documentary, filmmakers ask Shooter Jennings what would Jack Daniel’s be without rock-n-roll and what would rock-n-roll be without Jack Daniels? He’s quick to respond.

“Jack Daniel’s would be exactly the same without rock-n-roll but rock-n-roll would never be the same without Jack Daniel’s and you know that,” he explains. “Imagine if there were no Jack Daniel’s and every band was drinking like Jim Beam, then they’d all sound like Kid Rock.”

Ha! Shots fired, Shooter. Shots fired.

#3 | Sheriff Logan explaining that Lynchburg isn’t just a tourist town — The documentary features former Metro Moore County Sheriff Mark Logan explaining on film that Lynchburg isn’t just some quaint little prop set up to be the background of Jack Daniel advertising.

“This is not just a tourist community. This is not just Jack Daniel’s. It’s not just Lynchburg souvenirs. This is actually a working, productive community,” he explains.

#2 | Dusty Dickey’s “I doubt it.” — Many local readers know Dusty Dickey as every Lynchburg Elementary School fourth grader’s favorite teachers or the DJ at your favorite summertime events on Tims Ford Lake. What you may not know is that he also serves as a seasonal Jack Daniel’s Tour Guide. The film follows Dickey on one of his tours as he tells the history of Jasper Newton Daniel, Dan Call, and Nearest Green. Later, they ask him if the actor Matthew McConaughey asked him to sit and enjoy a glass of Wild Turkey with him would he do it. “I doubt it,” Dickey dryly responds.

#1 | Nelson Eddy and Fawn Weaver explaining the real history of Nearest Green — When New York Times writer Clay Risen took an interest and “uncovered” that Jack Daniel learned to make whiskey from a Black slave named Nearest Green, he and late night comedians across the country thought they had a gotcha. Most people from Lynchburg just shook their heads and said, “bless your hearts.” We’ve always known that there’s more to the story and the Green family’s been hiding in plain sight in Lynchburg for decades. The film ends with interviews with Nearest Green descendants, Jack Daniel’s historian Nelson Eddy, and Nearest Green Distillery founder Fawn Weaver explaining that the truth was never hidden. Instead, it was reflective of the time the two men lived in.

“There’s all kinds of controversy about the story of Jack Daniel’s,” Eddy explains. “Whenever you base a brand on authenticity and truth, that’s a difficult thing to look back 150 years.”

“I think the world has tried to make this a controversy because we have been conditioned to see conflict,” Weaver adds. “But this story isn’t a story of conflict. It’s a story of love. Has been from day one and it is now.”

Cheers to that.

The film will be available starting today on iTunes, Apple TV, Google Play and YouTube with other platforms to follow, such as VUDU, Comcast Xfinity, Dish Network and DirecTV, in coming weeks.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}