TIME Companies

Jack Daniel’s Fights Change to Definition of Tennessee Whiskey

Distilleries in Tennessee want to change a year-old law that states "Tennessee Whiskey" must be made a certain way—nearly identical to how Jack Daniel's does it, including special charred oak barrels—to earn the title

If it’s not made like Jack Daniel’s it’s not Tennessee Whiskey.

That’s according to a year-old law on the books in Tennessee, which says whiskey must be fermented in the state from mash of 51 percent corn, aged in brand-new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at over 80 proof in order to earn the title “Tennessee Whiskey,” the Associated Press reports. And that’s exactly how Jack Daniel’s makes its whiskey.

Now lawmakers are considering changing the rule, which they say makes it difficult for craft distilleries to sell their whiskey as “Tennessee Whiskey” and puts them at a significant disadvantage. But Jack Daniel’s opposes the change, saying that any adjustment would dilute the appeal of Tennessee Whiskey.

“It’s really more to weaken a title on a label that we’ve worked very hard for,” Jeff Arnett, a master distiller for Jack Daniel’s, told the AP. “As a state, I don’t think Tennessee should be bashful about being protective of Tennessee whiskey over say bourbon or scotch or any of the other products that we compete with.”

The big change would be to allow whiskey makers to re-use their barrels, which would significantly cut costs since the required brand-new specialty barrels can cost up to $600.

“There are a lot of ways to make high-quality whiskey, even if it’s not necessarily the way Jack Daniel’s does it,” said Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson. “What gives them the right to call theirs Tennessee whiskey, and not others?”


TIME Industries

Holy Shih Tzu! Americans Spent $56 Billion on Pets Last Year

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New figures released Thursday show Americans are spending more money than ever on their pets. They forked out a record $55.7 billion in 2013—or about $10 billion more than Germany's entire defense budget—and are expected to top that this year

Keeping Fido happy ain’t cheap.

Americans spent a record $55.7 billion on their pets last year, an industry trade group said Thursday, a figure that could increase to a whopping $60 billion this year. The amount Americans shelled out for puppy chow, cat litter, toys, grooming and all matter of indulgences last year is equivalent to the gross domestic product of Croatia, and $10 billion more than Germany’s entire defense budget.

The American Pet Products Association, which has been tracking spending on pets since the mid-1990s, unveiled the latest figures Thursday during the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla. Spending increased 4.5 percent from 2012 to 2013.

“People are pampering their pets more than ever,” said Bob Vetere, the president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, citing spending on everything “from interactive and innovative toys to dog walking, doggy day-care and pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and airlines.”

Spending on pets has surged since the group first started tracking it: In 1996, total spending was $31.1 billion, adjusted for inflation. Most of the money spent last year was on food, $21.5 billion in total, the association said. Another $14.3 billion was spent on veterinary care, $13.1 billion on supplies, and $2.2 billion on the actual purchase of pets. Services like grooming and pet-sitting are among the strongest growth sectors of the industry.

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