Reputed Whiskey Brand Faces Legal Backlash
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In Lynchburg, Tennessee, Jack Daniel's has been producing whiskey for more than 150 years. Conflicts are probably inevitable when you've been around for so long, especially when alcohol is involved. For instance, Lynchburg attempted to levy a tax on each barrel of alcoholic beverage Jack Daniel's produced in 2018. Thankfully, the state government stepped in and granted an exception, potentially sparing Jack Daniel's $3 million annually. Recently, though, individuals have started attempting to shield themselves from the monetary and bodily hardships they feel the whiskey producer is to blame for.

Not because of taxes, some of Jack Daniel's neighbours in Lincoln, Tennessee, are irate. The widespread darkness caused by a whiskey fungus is upsetting the locals. One individual resides in the county where Jack Daniel's recently added extra facilities for barrel ageing. These barrelhouses are the source of the vapour, which has put a strain on finances due to high cleaning expenses. As pressure grows for Jack Daniel's to get the right permits and put in the right air filters to stop the development, more lawsuits have been filed. In addition to cleaning costs, locals are also concerned about the whiskey fungus, which has already caused Jack Daniel's to halt work on another project in response to local outrage.

What Exactly Is Whiskey Fungus?

Ethanol vapour is produced when bourbon or any other liquor is aged in barrels. The term "angel's share" refers to this. In medieval Ireland and Scotland, this whiskey was known as the "angels' share" because it vaporised into the air and scented the warehouse. Citing the renowned whiskey manufacturer Oak & Eden, they held that the whiskey that vanished into the air was intended as an offering for the angels.

These ethanol vapours are consumed by the fungus Baudoinia compniacensis. A scientist by the name of Antonin Baudoin first noticed it in 1872 near distilleries in the French Cognac region. He called it a "plague of soot". The novel fungus was misclassified until 2007, when Canadian mycologist Dr. James Scott, using DNA research, reclassified it and gave it the name Baudonia in honour of the French scientist who found the mould. On the exteriors of several distilleries all around the world, the fungus frequently grows. It is widespread in Asia, Europe, and North America and thrives in environments where fermentation takes place, such as bakeries and distilleries.

The ethanolic vapour is used by Baudoinia compniacensis to start the germination process. It provides the proteins necessary for the fungus to withstand high temperatures. Up to two per cent of all alcohol evaporates every year via barrels, releasing ethanol vapour into the air and resulting in the growth of "whiskey fungus".

Both those who first see the sooty, black goo and those who must live with it may find it alarming that it resembles the dangerous black mould. It takes root everywhere, including building materials, traffic signs, fences, automobiles, porch furniture, and basketball hoops. It can be seen on both plants and rocks. It can kill trees and harm property. However, there are no health hazards associated with human exposure to Baudoinia compniacensis. Nevertheless, public health authorities advise against inhaling spores while removing the fungus.