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: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

By Christopher Null | March 17, 2016 |

It’s no secret that Jack Daniel’s has been working on its rye for the better half of the decade. The company has been putting out works in progress since the beginning. “Unaged Rye” came in 2012; a brash “Rested Rye” hit in 2014. Now, in 2016, the finished product is finally here. My math pegs this…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 5 and Barrell Whiskey Batch 1

By Christopher Null | January 23, 2016 |

Turns out Barrell Bourbon, first released in 2014, wasn’t a one-off. To date the company has released six small batch Bourbon offerings, all  of which are significantly different from one another. As a trend goes, they’re getting older — significantly so, considering Batch 1 was a mere five year old baby. The last two releases have…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Granite State Collection Head-to-Head

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2015 |

Headlines were made earlier this year when the largest ever single barrel purchase of Jack Daniel’s — 15 barrels’ worth — was completed. Big liquor store? Weathly billionaire? Not exactly. The purchase was made by none other than the state of New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a “control” state, which means it operates its own…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century

By Christopher Null | October 10, 2015 |

Jack Daniel’s is making a second stab at Sinatra’s legendary love of JD with another ultra high-end bottling of its signature Tennessee Whiskey. If you thought Sinatra Select was ostentatious, wait’ll you get a load of Sinatra Century, which arrives at more than twice the price. Sinatra Century — bottled in honor of Frank’s 100th birthday…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof

By Christopher Null | August 6, 2015 |

Here’s what’s hard to believe: Jack Daniel’s has never released a barrel strength whiskey. That’s changing, with the release of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof, the company’s first-ever cask strength offering. The whiskey isn’t a terribly complicated idea: Take the JD Single Barrel Select (which we only just reviewed a few weeks ago) and don’t…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey (2015)

By Christopher Null | July 23, 2015 |

Say what you want about JD, but the company’s Single Barrel releases, which debuted in 1997, really did play a role in bringing ultra-premium whiskey to the masses. Today, JD Single Barrel remains on the top shelf of many a back bar, and collectors snap up the bottles — reasonably priced but each a unique…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2014

By Christopher Null | November 5, 2014 |

Another WhiskyFest has come and gone, filling the masses with a smorgasbord of Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, and a little bit of everything else. There was nothing not to like in San Francisco this year, with the masses gobbling up the west coast introduction of Yellow Spot, a rare showing from Stranahan’s, and a surprise appearance…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 1

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2014 |

Barrell Bourbon is bottled in the heart of Bourbon Country, in Bardstown, Kentucky… but it’s made somewhere else. That’s what makes this stuff a real rarity: Tennessee Bourbon that’s bottled in Kentucky. What is known is this: The whiskey is a mash of 70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% malted barley, aged for five years.…

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Jack Daniel's Rested Rye - bottle shot

Review: Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2014 |

Hey, remember a couple of years ago when Jack Daniel’s decided it was going to make a rye whiskey? Give Jack credit: Rather than simply buy someone else’s rye and put their label on it, Jack decided to make its rye itself, legit. The catch: Making whiskey takes time, so in 2012, when the rye…

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Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire Bottle

Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire

By Christopher Null | March 22, 2014 |

JD jumped into the honey-flavored whiskey market and made massive waves. Why not try it again with cinnamon? Tennessee Fire is a classic cinnamon-infused spirit, with a nose that’s immediately redolent of Red Hots, but not overpowering. The body is more quiet and candylike than, well, fiery. The palate starts off sweet, with vanilla caramel notes,…

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