mickblueeyes wrote:...in other states, Jack has been sold at 80* for years.
I saw a "Scenes From Lynchburg" bottle (one not yet released here) in Mexico last October. It was 86 proof.
Additionally, the company responded when the story broke nationwide last fall thus:
"The company says the switch was made because most customers prefer the less potent mix, which was marketed first in a few
states and some
overseas markets. The transition was completed earlier this year."
Also, the form email that was sent to complainers:
"Thanks for writing. We appreciate your interest.
We began bottling our Jack Daniel's Black Label at 80 proof in all markets last year. We had lowered the proof from 90 to 86 back in the late 1980s.
Actually, Jack Daniel's Black Label has been 80 proof for a decade in several
states and in a few
other countries. Over the years, we've noticed that everywhere it's 80 proof, the number of folks enjoying our whiskey is growing.
You asked, though, whether lowering the proof means changing the recipe. Although we're bottling our whiskey at a lower proof, we haven't done anything to affect the quality that has made us so many friends over the years. We're able to lower the proof without changing the character by beginning with a more mature whiskey.
To ensure the unchanging quality of our whiskey, we also continue to make Old No. 7 just as it's always been, using the same choice ingredients and time-honored process that Mr. Jack Daniel used when he began crafting his whiskey more than 135 years ago.
Thanks again for writing. We hope you'll stay in touch.
John and your friends at Jack Daniel's"
From that, I'd assume that most places -- not just Kentucky and Tennessee -- were still at 86 proof until "transition was completed earlier this year."