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Whisky Fungus Lawsuit Halts Work on Jack Daniel’s Warehouse

Jack Daniel’s is being ordered to stop work on a new whisky warehouse being built near the distillery in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The county’s chancellor ordered zoning officials to issue a stop-work order after a lawsuit over the “whiskey fungus” that has covered a neighboring events venue with black mold.

Christi Long sued local zoning officials over what her lawyer described as improperly approved permits for the warehouses. Six have already been built on the site, with a seventh under construction. County Chancellor J.B. Cox ruled that the permitting process was never fully completed in issuing his order, and Long’s attorney expects another order to shut down the six operating barrel houses.

Long and her attorney claim the warehouses are responsible for the black mold, which she has spent thousands of dollars to remove using power washers and bleach. The mold, known as Baudoinia compniacensis, has been the subject of several lawsuits in Kentucky and Scotland from people living near distilleries. It’s a naturally occurring fungus that feeds on alcohol vapors, such as those released by barrels of maturing whisky. 

Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman was not named in the lawsuit. Jack Daniel’s spokesperson Svend Jansen issued the following statement to WhiskyCast:

“We respect the Chancellor’s ruling and look forward to working with Lincoln County on updated permits. The Jack Daniel Distillery will continue to comply with regulations and industry standards regarding the design, construction and permitting of our barrelhouses.”

Long and other neighbors are demanding that Brown-Forman install air filters on its warehouses to remove the vapors.

This story will be updated with additional information as necessary. Publish Date: March 2, 2023

Links: Jack Daniel’s