Tennessee Whiskey

The subject of eternal debate among whiskey enthusiasts, Tennessee whiskey is technically a type of bourbon. It must be produced to the same specifications as bourbon: at least 51% corn, aged in new, charred oak containers, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. Unsurprisingly, it must also be produced in the state of Tennessee. The most unique requirement, however, is that it must use the Lincoln County Process in its production. While most whiskey is filtered through activated charcoal before bottling, the Lincoln County Process is a more elaborate filtration procedure that uses sugar maple charcoal before it goes into the barrel. The result is a “mellowing” of the whiskey, as well as unique maple and smoke notes in many expressions. The most famous Tennessee whiskey, and also the best-selling American whiskey in the world, is Jack Daniel’s. There are only a few other Tennessee whiskey producers today, partly owing to Jack Daniel’s dominance of the category and also because Tennessee, until the 2010s, heavily restricted the production of alcohol in the state.

Top Tennessee Whiskey Posts:

A Visit to Jack Daniel’s Distillery
A Visit to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
George Dickel Tennessee Whiskies – Cascade Hollow, No. 8, and No. 12

Review: Cascade Moon Rye 13 Years Old and Barrel Proof Spirit 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2022 |

Cascade Moon — the upscale sub-brand of George Dickel — recently dropped two new releases. Also dropped has been the numbering system which came with its first two whiskies, dubbed No. 1 and No. 2. Going forward, Cascade Moon bottlings will be distinguished by unique labels and descriptive naming systems explaining exactly what’s in the…

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Tasting Report: Jack Rose Premier Drams 2022

By Drew Beard | August 5, 2022 |

It was a terrible, no-good two years for in-person spirits events (make that in-person events of any kind), but things are finally, thankfully starting to return to normal. Chris noted (with some surprise) that Whiskies of the World held its San Francisco event last fall but at a reduced scale. Washington, D.C.’s famous Jack Rose…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Bonded and Triple Mash Whiskey

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2022 |

Jack Daniel’s has been on a tear of late, dropping special editions and permanent line extensions like JD 10 Years Old left and right. It’s odd that JD calls these two new whiskeys “the first super premium line extension in 25 years,” but I’m not sure what qualifies as “super premium” under Jack’s rubric, so…

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Review: Sweetens Cove Kennessee Bourbon

By Drew Beard | May 22, 2022 |

On the back label for their newest release, Sweetens Cove asks: “Did we just become best friends?” That question seems intended for any number of recipients including, most obviously, consumers, but also the rival whiskey-producing states from which these bourbons are sourced and perhaps even to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly fans (Google it).…

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Review: Bardstown Bourbon Founders KBS Stout Finish

By Drew Beard | March 31, 2022 |

In addition to its steady stream of Fusion and Discovery Series offerings, Bardstown Bourbon Co. has a robust portfolio of finished whiskeys. We’ve covered several of their impressive wine-finished installments done in collaboration with Phifer Pavvitt and The Prisoner Wine Company, but the finishing regimen also extends to cognac, sherry, and even beer. Recently, the distillery…

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Review: Uncle Nearest Master Blend Edition No. 5

By Monica Uhm | January 20, 2022 |

For those new to the lore, Nearest Green is credited about 160 years ago for helping to perfect the Lincoln County process that revolves around the hallmark charcoal-filtration method required in Tennessee whiskey production — as well as having mentored the Jack Daniel. We lightly touched upon some of the backstory in our reviews of…

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Review: Savage and Cooke Digits Bourbon 5 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2022 |

California’s Savage and Cooke continues to crank out odd but engaging whiskeys, its latest being a collaboration between winemaker-cum-whiskey blender Dave Phinney and famed basketball star Scottie Pippen. Curious, eh? Digits is a 5 year old Tennessee bourbon, but beyond that details are elusive. There’s also a photo of a hand on the label. With…

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Review: James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2021 |

With James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based Ole Smoky Distillery takes another step away from its moonshine roots, with a real Tennessee whiskey — or Tennessee bourbon, as they call it — now on the market. The whiskey is sourced stock from unstated parts — though it has to be in Tennessee…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Special Release 2021 – Coy Hill High Proof

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2021 |

Jack Daniel’s has been putting out special release whiskeys for a few years now, and its 2021 release is a doozy: Coy Hill High Proof, aged on the top ricks of its oldest barrel houses, which are located on Coy Hill, the highest hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property in Lynchburg, Tennessee. These barrels…

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Review: George Dickel Bourbon 8 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 18, 2021 |

This new bottling from Dickel flew a bit under the radar when it was released this summer, but it merits discussion, as it’s a new permanent member of the George Dickel lineup, carrying an age statement of 8 years old. At first it may seem there’s not a whole lot to the story — it’s…

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