Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jack Daniel's Whiskey (bet you never expected to see that title on my blog!)

Everytime we've traveled north into Tennessee, we've seen signs advertising tours to see how Jack Daniel's make their whiskey.  Being confirmed teetotalers (neither one us has ever even tasted whiskey), we weren't much interested in learning how whiskey is made. 
However, several people highly recommended the free (emphasis on "free") tour, and we had a  Saturday to kill, so off we went to Lynchburg, Tennessee.
After looking through a small museum and watching a short video on the life of Jack Daniel's and  his whiskey we boarded a bus for our tour.
Our first stop was the area where they make their own charcoal from sugar maple wood.  The whiskey is strained through 10 feet of finely ground charcoal before it finally makes it's way into oak barrels that are also made on the property.
Playing with fire means you keep your own fire department on site.  Here's a couple fire engines from years gone by.  They still run and are driven on special occasions.
The whiskey is still made from the cold pure water coming from this spring.
A statue of Jack Daniel's guards the spring.  The statue is actually several inches taller that he was.  The youngest of 10 children, and quite the entrepreneur, he became the owner of a still at 13 years of age.  By the time he was 16 he was selling his whiskey to stores all over Tennessee.
He worked in this office everyday until he died.
One day, out of frustration, he kicked this safe and broke his toe.  Gangrene set in and it had to be removed.  Then, his leg had to be removed.  A couple years later he died "from complications due to gangrene."  Doctors today, after reading his medical records, say he actually died as a result of diabetes.  Doctors just didn't know about such diseases in the 1800's.
Then we were headed to the plant.  The large building on the hill is one of their many barrel houses where the whiskey is stored for years until it is ready to bottle and sell.  Whole barrels of whiskey cost nine to twelve thousand dollars apiece.
This is one of the many black coated trees on the property.  Our tour guide told us that a mold emitted from the plant attaches itself to trees turning the trunks black.  The mold repels insects and the trees are extremely healthy.  Even today law enforcement look for black-trunked trees.  Then they know that an illegal still is in the vicinity.
Our lesson on whiskey making complete, we headed for nearby Lynchburg to do some shopping.  And, no, we still didn't have any whiskey.  This is a dry county!
After our tour, we were famished.  Upon recommendation from a local shopkeeper we headed to a popular barbecue place.
Do you sense a theme in this town?
Hubby was happy with the food though!
Notice the little sign?  (No Peein' Off The Porch) I had to buy one for my grandson.  I won't tell you which grandson I'm talking about!
Lynchburg has the cutest little town square around this old courthouse.
We did a little shopping and headed back to Alabama.  It was an interesting day!


  1. Great post - and yes, I was surprised by the title. Looks like it would be an interesting tour. I wondered if there was any odors in the plant. I've never tasted Jack Daniels but the smell of what liquor I have smelled was not good.

    Love the porch sign!

  2. Wonderful day out.
    Laughed about the not peein off the porch.

  3. Nice tour! Have not been there is many years, but I still remember that there were no samples as it was a dry county:)

  4. I know who the porch sign is for! ;-)