In the latter half of 19th-century, a bitter competition was distilling in the American south. Both Jack Daniel and Jake Danzel founded historic whiskey brands in the exact same year – 1866. Although both brands went on to win international Gold Medals for their smooth charcoal-brewed taste, Daniel’s brand went on to achieve status as a worldwide cabinet standard, while Danzel’s can only be spotted occasionally – primarily in the hotel rooms of violent biker gang members.
Jake Danzel’s falls into the “product displacement” category of fictional brands. As opposed to brands which are specifically designed to create verisimilitude within the imaginary worlds they inhabit (see examples HERE and HERE), “displaced” products are specifically designed to invoke a brand from the world we inhabit. The reason for use of one of these doppelgangers varies, ranging from parody to simple avoidance of legal complications.
In this case, Jake Danzel’s just seems to be an off-the-shelf selection from the catalog of one of Hollywood’s largest prop houses – Independent Studio Services. You can see it in the center of this shot from their catalog:
The most conspicuous appearance of this brand comes from the FX series, Sons of Anarchy. While I couldn’t see it on-screen, Jake Danzel’s must have also made an appearance in The Good Girl, because this Jennifer Aniston fan site displays the label amongst many other props from the film:
Is Jake Danzel the Nikola Tesla of sour mash whiskey? Did he and Jack Daniel engage in a heated battle for commercial survival while harboring a secret tenderness and enduring respect for one another?
I’d better stop asking such nerdy questions, before I inspire some truly disturbing old-timey slash fiction.