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: Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey

By Drew Beard | January 20, 2019 |

It’s often said that to succeed in the whiskey business a product needs to, of course, be good, but it also needs to have a good story. In recent years, with more and more new whiskeys claiming little more than the title of “First Distilled in ___ Since Prohibition,” it’s seemed like all the good…

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Review: Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey Edition Four

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2018 |

Sugarlands Distilling is best known for its wackily flavored moonshines and “sippin’ creams,” but it’s slowly been moving upmarket, into the realm of real whiskey. It’s called Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey, and six editions have been released to date. These are tiny, tiny releases. Edition Five was made up of just 600 bottles, and…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selections – High Angel’s Share Barrels and Hickory Smoked

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2018 |

It’s only taken 143 years for Jack Daniel’s — one of the U.S.’s oldest distilleries — to get into the experimental whiskey game. And at last, here we are, with the first two entries into the so-called Tennessee Tasters’ Selection line, all limited edition bottlings that will be sold only at JD’s distillery and “select…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Heritage Barrel (2018)

By Christopher Null | October 26, 2018 |

Hot on the heels of its new Bottled in Bond selection, Jack Daniel’s is out with another release. This one is going to be far more prized than the Bonded expression (which is now a permanent offering), with just 200 barrels’ worth of this “Heritage Barrel” offering on the market. JD explains what that is:…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond

By Christopher Null | September 8, 2018 |

At long last, Jack Daniel’s has released a bottled-in-bond expression, finally jumping on the trend of higher-proof, more boldly flavored whiskeys. This is a permanent extension to the JD line, but there’s a catch: It will only be available in travel retail (aka duty free) stores. “Whiskey-making in the 1800’s too often produced a hodge-podge…

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Review: George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish

By Christopher Null | August 18, 2018 |

Listen, if you’ve never been to the Tabasco factory outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, you should go. Not only will you get to taste Tabasco and watch a movie about Tabasco, you will learn about Tabasco: Specifically, that the sauce spends years in a wooden barrel, covered with salt, as it ferments. What happens to…

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Drinkhacker Asks: Bourbon Authority and Author Fred Minnick

By Drew Beard | July 14, 2018 |

For our latest installment of Drinkhacker Asks we sit down with best-selling author and bourbon authority Fred Minnick. If you’re a spirits nerd, like me, chances are you’ve got one or two of his books on your shelf like Whiskey Women, Bourbon Curious, Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of America’s Native Spirit, or Rum…

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Review: Nelson’s Green Brier Belle Meade Whiskeys, First 108, and Louisa’s Liqueur (2018)

By Christopher Null | July 11, 2018 |

We’ve been fans of the gang at Nashville-based Nelson’s Green Brier since they hit the scene a few years ago, and have enjoyed our visits with them at the distillery and at various whiskey events. Today we take a deep dive into the distillery’s production, with a fresh look at four sourced bourbons (which Nelson’s…

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Review: Heaven’s Door Whiskey – Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 22, 2018 |

Mama take this badge from me I can’t use it anymore What I can use is a glass of whiskey, courtesy of musical icon Bob Dylan, who has partnered with an outfit called Spirits Investment Partnership (“SIP”), to launch Heaven’s Door, a collection of three American whiskeys. “Bob Dylan’s first and only brand partnership, Heaven’s Door…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest Washington DC 2018

By Drew Beard | June 7, 2018 |

As with each of DC’s past three WhiskyFests, everyone in the room looked like they could use a few drinks. Thankfully, there was no shortage of unique whiskey options, from Knob Creek Single Barrel samples that were pulled directly from the barrel(!) to a young Tennessee whiskey whose distillery still doesn’t have a name. I…

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