Answer: It depends.
Jack Daniel’s is an excellent old whiskey brand. It is the most popular and in-demand American whiskey in the world, and with good reason.
Yet, you may find yourself asking, is Jack Daniel’s vegan? Halt before you pour a glass of single malt, and find some answers first!
Is Jack Daniel’s Vegan?
The good news is that Jack Daniel’s is primarily a vegan brand. According to the company, Jack Daniel’s does not contain animal products or use animal derivatives, including processing aids. This includes a few exclusions, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and some go-to products.
There is more to being vegan than simply consuming products that don’t contain animal yield. If you are vegan with a strict resolve, the process of production and the brand’s chosen agendas are also significant affairs.
As you read further, you’ll learn more about Jack Daniel’s and its products and methods.
How Is Jack Daniel’s Made and What Does It Contain?
Jack Daniel’s is produced at the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The Brown-Forman Corporation has held ownership of the distillery since 1956.
The brand has, time and again, assured consumers of its vegan and vegetarian-friendly nature.
According to its word, every single drop of Jack Daniel’s whiskey has been made with naturally obtained ingredients. These include rye, corn, barley malt, and iron-free water from the distillery’s cave spring.
The distillation process occurs in large copper stills. The preparation for the whiskey then undergoes filtration through the use of maple sugar charcoal that the distillery produces.
You may have heard of the popular term ‘Lincoln Country Process’ that describes this method. It eliminates any impurities and removes the taste of the corn in the whiskey.
Once the filtering is over, the whiskey matures in new and charred white oak barrels, earning its characteristic brown hue. It is vital to note that the company does not use sealants on its barrels, that is, wax adhesives or glue.
In addition, Jack Daniel’s whiskey does not include any artificial flavors, colors, or other additives. All the above factors make it evident that Jack Daniel’s is a vegan whiskey brand.
Filtration Through Wool: A Matter of Concern
Recently, some rumors surfaced regarding the distillation process at Jack Daniel’s Distillery. These came from people who took the sampling tours, stating the whiskey was filtered through two feet of wool. Since then, the company has dismissed these claims and reiterated its policy of not using animal products or by-products.
Are All Jack Daniel’s Whiskeys Vegan?
While the bulk of the whiskeys that Jack Daniel’s produces is vegan, exceptions do indeed exist.
For instance, a single malt scotch whiskey comes from malted barley and water. Similarly, a grain scotch whiskey may contain grains with unmalted or malted barley and water. All of these align with the pillars of veganism so that you can consume them safely.
Here is a list of the labels produced by Jack Daniel’s that are safe for vegans and vegetarians to consume:
- Jack Daniel’s Black Label
- Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack
- Jack Daniel’s Green Label
- Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select
- Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cider
- Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye
- Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
Another variant, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, has an unclear status concerning veganism. The company has stated that it is suitable for vegetarians but not recommended for vegans. Jack Daniel’s Ready To Drink products also come under the same category.
According to the company, the Ready To Drink products are not suitable for vegans since some contain honey. In addition, they are bottled and packaged using the same machines, creating opportunities for cross-contamination.
To reiterate from before, Jack Daniel’s Honey is not suitable for vegans since it contains honey.
Other Factors to Consider
If you are a strict and determined vegan, the importance of your resolution may go beyond the control of consumables. Often, this also means condemning brands and companies involved in activities violating veganism’s foundation.
For many vegans, sports and events involving animals and their mistreatment or agony are unacceptable. The packaging that a label uses is also a matter of importance.
Jack Daniel’s: A Sponsor of Bull Riding
Jack Daniel’s, as an establishment, is a significant sponsor of bull riding. Jack Daniel’s has heavy involvement with the Professional Bull Riders or PBR. Also, the company is a serious sponsor of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or PRCA.
Bull riding is a cruel sport for several reasons.
Firstly, it is essential to know that bulls are not naturally aggressive animals. The aggression that bulls riding shows comes from the continuous torment and isolation of the bulls. Often, the bulls are physically abused too. The animals may get fatally wounded during the event as well.
Jack Daniel’s being a sponsor of bull riding may not be acceptable to you. However, most of their products are vegan, so the choice is up to you.
The use of adhesives and glue to fix labels onto a bottle are potential areas of concern for some vegans. Often, these adhesives and glues contain casein in addition to other polymers. Casein glue is a form of bond that is made using proteins present in skim milk.
If you are hunting for more insight into this, it is best to contact the company and ask for details.
The Risk of Cross-Contamination
Some vegans don’t mind cross-contamination. It is because you can never say how a product undergoes manufacture.
You can assume the same with Jack Daniel’s. The company has acknowledged the possibility of cross-contamination in some of its products.
Cross-contamination is an enduring risk for vegans and vegetarians unless they have witnessed the preparation of the product or made it at home. Several vegans understand cross-contamination to be a given when it comes to consuming packaged items.
For others, it is a severe violation of their diet. It would help if you decided to buy Jack Daniel’s whiskey with this news in mind.
Is Alcohol Usually Vegan?
A range of ingredients goes into the production of alcohol, so you’ll have to think hard before making a choice. Usually, alcoholic drinks are not naturally suitable for vegans. Often, the process of making alcoholic drinks contains animal products at some stage.
Many companies use isinglass in their alcohol production. Isinglass is a substance that comes from the bladders of fish.
In addition to this, you must also watch out for alcoholic drinks that contain gelatin. It is made using animal collagen, a type of protein that constitutes connective tissues.
Animal albumin, which comes from eggs or dried blood, is also something to watch out for. Furthermore, companies may also use egg whites during production. These animal products capture impurities, which is why they’re used in filtration.
Naturally clear spirits that go through a distinctive type of filtration are generally vegan-friendly. These include white rum and vodka, among others. However, getting in touch with the brand you’re assessing is best to learn more about their production processes.
Jack Daniel’s does not use any animal derivatives during maturation or filtration.
The Risks of Consuming Alcohol
For many vegans out there, their diet is a choice based on health reasons. However, the absence of animal products in vegan alcohol labels like Jack Daniel’s does not make them healthier. Alcohol is a persisting risk to your health, regardless of its natural content.
According to health professionals, if you wish to consume alcohol with low-risk levels, limit your intake to 14 units each week.
The more you drink, the more you expose yourself to the likelihood of developing a range of health issues. These include throat, mouth, breast, and heart cancers and the more common liver diseases.
Alcohol can also prompt your body to gain weight since most alcoholic drinks are high in calories. Regular intake of alcohol can cause damage to your appearance as well, in the form of puffy and dehydrated skin and blemishes or spots.
To Sum Up
Every drop of Jack Daniel’s whiskey is produced using completely natural products. Except for Jack Daniel’s Honey, all variants of the famous whiskey are vegan.
The company does not use animal products or derivatives from ingredients, sealants, filters, or processing aids.
Would you like to look closely at how the company crafts its whiskey? If so, you can visit Jack Daniel’s website and take a virtual tour of the historic distillery. It is bound to give you the assurance you need regarding the vegan-friendly nature of Jack Daniel’s.