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

Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2017

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2017 |

San Francisco’s WhiskyFest seemed as popular as ever this year, kicked off with the stampede to the Pappy Van Winkle booth that always marks the start of the show. As always, there was plenty to enjoy at this year’s event — both new expressions and classic old friends ready for tasting. Here’s a full rundown…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2017 |

Five long years in the making, I have to give credit to Jack Daniel’s for being ultimately transparent with the creation of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Straight Rye. JD didn’t call up MGP for rye stock to bottle. They made their own from scratch. In 2012 a sampling was released of unaged white dog. In 2014…

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A Visit to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2017 |

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, located in the heart of Nashville, is a young distillery but it has an incredibly old story. When we visited, brothers Charles and Andy Nelson took us back to their great, great, great grandfather, (also named) Charles Nelson, who was making whiskey in this part of Tennessee back in the 1860s. He…

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A Visit to Jack Daniel’s Distillery

By Christopher Null | March 13, 2017 |

With sales of nearly 12 million cases per year, Jack Daniel’s is far and away the biggest whiskey brand in the world. No one else even comes remotely close. And if you spend any amount of time at the home of Old No. 7 in Lynchburg, Tennessee, you’ll be told in no uncertain terms who…

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Review: 6 Whiskeys From Mosswood Distillers

By Christopher Null | February 5, 2017 |

Berkeley, California-based Mosswood isn’t the first company to source whiskey and finish it before releasing, but it might be the most interesting one operating today. All of the whiskeys reviewed here are finished, some in relatively traditional barrel types, some in extremely unusual ones. Note that with the exception of the Irish whiskey, all the…

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Review: Nelson’s Green Brier Belle Meade Bourbon Cognac Cask Finished

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2016 |

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville is doubling down on barrel finishing. This rendition of Belle Meade Bourbon (sourced form MGP) starts with a mash that includes 30% rye. The stock used is a blend of whiskeys drawn from barrels aged 6 to 9 years – but we’re not ready for bottling just yet. At…

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Understanding Different Types of Whiskey

By Ivan Lauer | December 22, 2016 |

Overwhelmed by the complex world of wines, beers, and spirits? You’re not alone. Today let’s look at one of the most common questions that we receive day in and day out: What the heck is the difference between all these different types of whiskeys? Today’s the day to find out. Join me in a brief…

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Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project Whoop & Holler American Whiskey 28 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 23, 2016 |

For this ninth release in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project, the company has turned to George Dickel, of all places, where it has unearthed a 28 year old expression of this Tennessee classic. Produced at Cascade Hollow in Tullahoma, it is made from Dickel’s standard mash of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley, and…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary Limited Edition Whiskey

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2016 |

Tennessee’s iconic Jack Daniel’s is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and to celebrate the occasion it’s releasing a special edition of Old No. 7. Production on this release is the same, but JD offers some variations on how (or rather where) it was aged, and it’s bottled at 50% abv instead of 40%. No age statement…

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Review: George Dickel Distillery Reserve Collection 17 Years Old

By Christopher Null | August 29, 2016 |

  Who doesn’t love a good backstory on a whiskey? Here’s how Tennessee’s George Dickel positions this new 17 year old limited edition release, which is available only at Dickel’s visitor’s center and at a few Tennessee retailers. When Distiller Allisa Henley first discovered George Dickel Tennessee Whisky’s newest 17-Year Old addition to the portfolio,…

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