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 Master Blend Edition No. 5

By Monica Uhm | January 20, 2022 |

For those new to the lore, Nearest Green is credited about 160 years ago for helping to perfect the Lincoln County process that revolves around the hallmark charcoal-filtration method required in Tennessee whiskey production — as well as having mentored the Jack Daniel. We lightly touched upon some of the backstory in our reviews of…

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Review: Savage and Cooke Digits Bourbon 5 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2022 |

California’s Savage and Cooke continues to crank out odd but engaging whiskeys, its latest being a collaboration between winemaker-cum-whiskey blender Dave Phinney and famed basketball star Scottie Pippen. Curious, eh? Digits is a 5 year old Tennessee bourbon, but beyond that details are elusive. There’s also a photo of a hand on the label. With…

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Review: James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2021 |

With James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based Ole Smoky Distillery takes another step away from its moonshine roots, with a real Tennessee whiskey — or Tennessee bourbon, as they call it — now on the market. The whiskey is sourced stock from unstated parts — though it has to be in Tennessee…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Special Release 2021 – Coy Hill High Proof

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2021 |

Jack Daniel’s has been putting out special release whiskeys for a few years now, and its 2021 release is a doozy: Coy Hill High Proof, aged on the top ricks of its oldest barrel houses, which are located on Coy Hill, the highest hill on the Jack Daniel Distillery property in Lynchburg, Tennessee. These barrels…

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Review: George Dickel Bourbon 8 Years Old

By Christopher Null | September 18, 2021 |

This new bottling from Dickel flew a bit under the radar when it was released this summer, but it merits discussion, as it’s a new permanent member of the George Dickel lineup, carrying an age statement of 8 years old. At first it may seem there’s not a whole lot to the story — it’s…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s 10 Years Old Batch 1 (2021)

By Christopher Null | August 31, 2021 |

Jack Daniel’s has been making headlines for its latest bottling, the first whiskey with a 10 year old age statement in more than 100 years. (You can see an old bottling of JD at 10 years old in the photo above.) Most JD carries no age statement at all, of course, so it’s unusual to…

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Review: George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey Bottled in Bond 13 Years Old (2021)

By Drew Beard | July 2, 2021 |

In 2019, George Dickel impressed us so much with its 13-year-old Bottled in Bond that we put it in our Top 10 Whiskeys list for the year. In 2020, the distillery produced a very solid, if somewhat less balanced and slightly younger, sequel. Now, round three is hitting the shelves. Perhaps in response to some…

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Review: Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon (2021)

By Drew Beard | June 9, 2021 |

Sweetens Cove hit the ground running with their inaugural release last year, a 13-year-old stunner blended by the talented Marianne Eaves. Now Marianne and her celebrity backers have returned with round two, which aims to be considerably more accessible than the original with more than twice the number of barrels reportedly bottled. While five different…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection – “Twin” Blend

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2021 |

This 7th entry in JD’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection is one of its simplest concepts: Tennessee Whiskey (a type of bourbon) blended with Tennessee rye. 50 barrels total were used for this release — 30 rye, 20 Tennessee whiskey. All of them were distilled on May 19, 2014 (14E19, per the code on the label), then…

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Review: High N’ Wicked The Honorable Bourbon 12 Years Old

By Drew Beard | May 2, 2021 |

High N’ Wicked is a new whiskey brand based out of Jackson, Wyoming, but beyond that, there’s not a lot I can tell you about their operation. It’s almost certainly a non-distilling producer, as their stated mission is to “present and develop unique American whiskies – releasing singular expressions annually that it deems worth of…

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