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: 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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george dickel rye

Review: George Dickel Rye

By Christopher Null | October 29, 2012 |

Everyone is getting in on the rye game, and the latest to join the party is George Dickel, which has crafted this whiskey from 95% rye and 5% malted barley, then aged it for five-plus years. Sourced from Indiana (where plenty of rye is being produced for just about everyone), it’s still made to Tennessee…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2012 |

How do you know when white whiskey has become a Big Thing? When Jack Daniel’s, the largest spirits brand in the world, gets into the game. By way of backstory, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 uses a fairly traditional Bourbon-style mashbill, 80% corn, the other 20% rye and malted barley. This is the way it…

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Review: George Dickel Tennessee Whiskies – Cascade Hollow, No. 8, and No. 12

By Christopher Null | July 19, 2012 |

Like Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel is not Bourbon. That’s not because, like Jack, it’s made in Tennessee instead of Kentucky; you can still make Bourbon down there (or anywhere in the U.S. now). Rather, like Jack again, it is filtered through charcoal before it goes into the barrel, a no-no in the Bourbon world. [Update:…

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Jack Daniel’s Responds to Claim that Its Original Formula Has Been Discovered

By Christopher Null | June 19, 2012 |

You can rest easy. According to JD, the famous Tennessee whiskey is still a 100% American creation. Jack Daniel Distillery Says Welshman’s Claimed Discovery Of Jack Daniel’s Original Formula Contrary To History LYNCHBURG, Tenn., June 19, 2012 — The Jack Daniel Distillery responded to recent headlines in the United Kingdom that a Welshman has uncovered Jack…

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