HomeThe legends and stories behind Old No.7

The legend of Old No.7

Why did Jack Daniel call his famous whisky Old No.7? The answer is no one really knows. The brand became recognised globally after it was named best whisky in the world in 1904. But the reason for giving the whisky such an intriguing name went to the grave with Jack Daniel.

The legend of Old No.7

There is much speculation, many legends and some stories. Here are some of our favourite theories behind the Old No.7 brand name used on Jack Daniel's whisky.



Some people think Jack Daniel decided on Old No.7 because the number seven is thought to be lucky. Others think it has to do with the roll of dice. He was a man willing to take risks, but on the roll of a dice? It seems unlikely except for the fact multi-million pound business decisions are taken every day on what could best be described as a wing-and-a-prayer. Could Jack Daniel have been that sort of business man? It is possible.



Jack Daniel never married and had no children. That does not mean there were not women though. There are many stories in Lynchberg, where the Jack Daniel's Distillery is located, about the girlfriends of Jack Daniel. Jack is buried there and beside his grave are two chairs, said to have been put there so the women in his life could mourn comfortably. Maybe he did have seven girlfriends.



This story has Jack Daniel trying six different recipes - or batches - before getting it right on the seventh. In truth, this seems the most likely explanation.



There are strange stories explaining Jack Daniel's decision to use Old No.7 as his brand, but the most improbable has to do with his writing. Apparently when he wrote a "J" it looked like a "7". Come on, is that the best we can do?



Was seven the railroad shipping number on a barrel at the time Jack Daniel was making whisky? It may have been, but this explanation seems a bit thin. Jack Daniel marketed his whisky and distillery relentlessly. Would a man with such business priorities name his main product from something on a shipping manifesto? Probably not.



This legend has it that Jack Daniel lost seven barrels of whisky. When he found them he wrote the number seven on them for identification purposes. This is certainly an intriguing explanation, although probably more fiction than fact.


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