Visiting the Jack Daniel’s distillery is like going to a mini Disneyland for whiskey lovers. The road to the distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee is lined with signs welcoming you to “Jack Country,” and when you pull into the parking lot, you are warned the speed limit is 7, a playful quip on the number that adorns the brand’s label. Spread out across the property are the buildings where No.7 and all the others are made, and, while there are no whoops and screams to be had here (unless you count my little squeal at finally visiting the place), it’s still a fun ride.
After touring the two George distilleries – Washington in Virginia and Dickel in Tullahoma (where I swooned over the gorgeous foliage up on the hills where the barrels are aged), our group has learned a lot about how whiskey is made. As you would expect on a tour of this kind. What I didn’t expect was how fascinating the whole process is to see, and how familiar the smell of the mash being created at each if the places would become. It makes me wish Instagram pics could be scratch-and-sniff.
It’s also been interesting to see where the water source for the respective whiskeys comes from. Jack is sourced from a cave that Mr Daniel used back in the day to become a master distiller at the very old age of 16. One thing we’ve heard over and over again: the better the water, the better the whiskey!
Of course, there has also been a lot of whiskey tasting. Seeing what has gone into each little sip makes me feel a tad more appreciative, and today it continues as we head to Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, this time to sample that most American of whiskeys, bourbon.
Number of whiskeys sampled: 11 – 5 at George Dickel, 6 at Jack Daniel’s, including the sweet Tennessee Honey, which, I’m told, goes well with milk.
Number of whiskey cocktails consumed: 1, post-dinner
Number of miles run: 4.1, from Nashville’s Hutton Hotel to Centennial Park, where a makeshift track field and makeshift Parthenon can be found.
Number of states visited in 1 day: 2 – hello, Kentucky!