caroline1939 wrote:Having many Kelso TN relatives in "them thar hills" - one or two of them became familiar with government agents during prohibition because it was rumored that they were keeping the famous distillery in business by running their stills overtime to keep up with the demand. Jack Daniels was supplying the bottles and my kin were supplying the booze.
Well....since no one else has stepped up to rain on your parade, I suppose it's my unfortunate duty to do so. Someone in your family is spinning a yarn...an engaging yarn, but a good old Southern tall-tale nonetheless.
In the first place, Jack Daniel's Distillery did not have a license to distill during Prohibition, so there would be no way for them to incorporate home-distilled product into theirs.
In the second place, Tennessee Prohibition forced the Jack Daniel Distillery to leave Tennessee in 1910. The distillery activity was moved first to St. Louis, MO and later to Birmingham, AL. Jack Daniel's did not resume production in Tennessee until Lem Motlow got the legislature to pass a bill permitting distilling activity again in Tennessee in 1937.
In the third through tenth places, there is no way any commercial distillery would be relying on a network of home distillers to augment their stocks. Because of the taxes involved (among other things), all distillery production is under US government supervision from the moment the grain is received until the moment the bottles are shipped out. If they're shipping out more bottles than the grain mash receipts account for, someone's going to jail.
Also, if a distillery were to supply bottles to home brewers to fill with booze, this implies that the home brewers would have been running a full-scale commercial operation - complete with the famous charcoal leaching apparatus to drip the raw spirit through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal and a wool blanket before going into barrels to age, aging the barrels for four years or more, mingling different barrels to obtain the desired flavor profile, and then diluting the final product to bottling proof and bottling it. The logistics against a home operation being able to accomplish this even WITH attracting government attention are astounding.
Plus, no reputable distiller with a name to protect is going to entrust their trade secrets to a network of home distillers, nor are they about to permit home distillers to bottle the product with the distillery's name. The distillery has to know what's inside, and whether the home distiller is competent enough to remove the very beginning and end of the distillate. Ragu makes quite a bit of spaghetti sauce, but never in their history would they have contacted a bunch of Italian Mammas to cook sauce for them in their homes and put it into company supplied jars. There are issues of sanitation, taxation, and other legal requirements that would prevent this from happening in a distillery just as with any other product sold for human consumption.