Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Visiting Nashville - Jack Daniels Distillery

When my husband Gabe and I decided to visit Nashville for the first time, one thing was on our "must do" list - visiting Jack Daniel's Distillery.
Jack is my hubby's drink of choice. It was my first legal drink purchase on my 21st birthday and  the only thing I drank in my early 20's. I will always have memories of my Grandma ordering Jack and Coke at the Bar - imagine with a VERY southern accent "Give me a Jack and Coke, Coke on the side and don't you dare put ice in it". It's something that will always make me smile.
We made the easy hour drive to Lynchburg Tennessee, a small town in Tennessee which is a dry county and happens to be home of the highest selling American whiskey in the world. I found that pretty ironic!
We opted for the tasting tour, which took an hour and a half. We spent the first hour and ten minutes touring the distillery and seeing first hand the steps it takes to make Jack Daniel's. It was a very interesting and educational experience. I strongly suggest anyone visiting Nashville to take the trip over to Lynchburg!
While waiting for our tour to start, we checked out history of Jack Daniels Whiskey.
Our tour began by the group boarding a bus to take a short ride up to the property. We began in the Rickyard, where they burn stacks of sugar maple until it's charcoal.


We headed to the Cave Spring next. This continuous flow of 56 degree water year round is one of the most important parts on the property.
We even stopped to take a selfie with Gentleman Jack. Side note - We are NOT this pale in real life!
We stopped through Jack Daniel's office, where we saw his desk and other personal items. Also in this office was the safe that eventually killed him. 

The story goes - Jack couldn't open his safe, so he kicked it out of frustration. He injured his left tow and ended up getting his leg amputated which is eventually what killed him. Our tour guide joked that he could have saved his life, if he dipped his toe in a cup of Jack Daniel's Whiskey. Makes you wonder!
We passed the Grain Mill and headed to the still house, where photos taken from the inside were prohibited. We can't be giving away the trade secrets!
Next stop was the still house, where they distill the product down to 140 proof. No photos were allowed at this location but we did go to the fermentation area and witnessed various levels of fermentation taking place. It was wicked hot in there but so cool! 
We made it to the bottling area, which was closed for the day (we went at one of the later tours on a Friday). 
We also saw some of the original tools used to make Jack Daniel's!
It was eventually time to make our walk back down to the tasting room. How awesome are these street signs?
Then it was time for the tasting! It was an interesting feeling knowing you were drinking Jack Daniel's in the location Jack was made, in a town located in a dry county.  
We tasted Gentleman Jack, Old No. 7, Single Barrel, Tennessee Honey, Tennessee Fire. Oddly enough, my favorite straight up was the original Old No. 7, the first drink I had when I was 21. Well that say something! All and all, this was a true highlight of our trip to Nashville. The drive out was peaceful and well worth it!

Some info you may need:
Jack Daneils Distillery
Tours Daily: 9:00am - 4:30pm (CST)
182 Lynchburg Highway  
Lynchburg, Tennessee 37352

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