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 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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Review: Nelson’s Green Brier Belle Meade Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 18, 2014 |

A craft distillery is reborn in Nashville, Tennessee… and they’re putting “the B word” on the label! Belle Meade is, as the story goes, a relaunch of a pre-Prohibition bourbon brand that was owned by one Charles Nelson. Today, two of his great-great-great grandsons are bringing the brand back, under the auspices of Nelson’s Green Brier…

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jack daniel's white rabbit saloon

Review: Jack Daniel’s White Rabbit Saloon Whiskey

By Christopher Null | January 17, 2014 |

A seasonally-available, limited edition version of JD, White Rabbit Saloon is bottled and named in honor of the 120th anniversary of the White Rabbit Saloon, a Lynchburg bar owned by Jack Daniel himself. There’s no specific information on how this blend differs from Old No. 7, but it is bottled at 86 proof instead of…

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Review: George Dickel White Whisky Foundation No. 1

By Christopher Null | December 6, 2013 |

Just when it seems that everyone who’s anyone in American distilling has launched a white whiskey, well, you realize there’s room for one more. The latest coming out the gate is Dickel, which is bringing its Tennessee Whiskey — bourbon-style mash of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley, but charcoal-filtered before bottling —…

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sinatra bottle and giftbox 003

Review: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2013 |

  Many contemporary drinkers are surprised to hear that Frank Sinatra was a Jack Daniel’s man — through and through, that’s really all the legendary singer drank. But in the revised Sinatra mythos, many now think of Ol’ Blue Eyes as holding a martini, with Jack Daniel’s seen as a commoners’ drink. Back then, that…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Tennessee Cider

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2013 |

I first encountered Winter Jack several years ago on a trip to Germany. There it was, this curious bottle set on the back bar in an outdoor Christmas market, where it was subtitled an “Apple Whiskey Punch.” Turns out the holiday-themed spirit has been popular in that country for a few years, and now, Winter…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2013

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2013 |

WhiskyFest 2013 is now in the books, and my what an embarrassment of riches this show was. While I heard grousing about the show not having as many hits as usual (most of the independent Scotch bottlers like Samaroli were absent), I managed to find a ton of them. Driven this year perhaps by a…

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