In Nashville we got a chance to watch part of one of the Stanley Cup Playoff games from a large gathering downtown. We had both been to the area before so we just walked around and enjoyed the scenery.
In Knoxville we had a wonderful dinner right on the river and drove through the orange lit UT athletic facilities at night.
Pat Summit plaza, a women’s basketball legend and the all-time wins record basketball coach , is located right outside of Thompson-Boling Arena where she coached for over 30 years before tragically passing away from Alzheimer’s last year. Just inside of the arena is a UT basketball mini-museum.
In Knoxville is also the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
We drove through Pigeon Forge, TN, home of Dollywood and Dolly Parton.
Also through Gatlinsburg, TN which is essentially a tourist trip.
The highlight was driving through the Smoky Mountains on the way to North Carolina.
Jack Daniels tends to be my drink of choice. So to say the least I was beyond excited to finally be visiting the actual location of Jack Daniels, especially after having been to the area a couple of times but without a pilgrimage to this sacred place.
Jack Daniels is in Lynchburg, TN. In honor of this I am drinking a version of a Lynchburg Lemonade as I write this. It is located in Moore County, TN one of the smallest counties in the state and a dry county. Jack Daniels received an exception from the legislature a couple of years ago and is now able to sell its Tennessee whiskey at its property. They Lynchburg winery is the only other source of alcohol in the county and is permitted as it falls under agricultural laws.
From Jack Daniels it is 13.2 miles and 12.1 miles to the edge of the county but more specifically to the nearest liquor store.
In the tour you are shown a 7-story storage building that holds 20,000 barrels containing 53 gallons each. As there is a $13 per gallon tax on the whisky so it’s worth $14 million to the federal government. There is no insulation and no heating. It’s 130-140 degrees at the top. Barrels spend 5-7 years at the top and 4-6 years in the rest of the facility.
Heat makes whiskey go into the barrel whereas cold pulls it back out into the main part of the barrel. This in and out is how flavor is added. The Devil’s cut is whiskey trapped in the barrel. The long it is in the barrel, the soother the flavor and the darker the color.
Tennessee whiskey is defined as a charcoal dripped whiskey. Rickyards (unit of measurement) of hard sugar maple are doused with 140 proof Jack and set on fire. They can’t use petroleum as a fire starter as it’s not consumable. They make their own charcoal and then drip the whiskey through ti to take out the fatty oil and what not.
There’s a spring on the property that Jack Daniels uses. It has Tennessee limestone filtered water leaving it pure and fresh, free of iron. They added a statue of “Jack on a Rock” to the area. The artist added 7 inches to Jack as he was larger thank life but in reality was only 5’2″.
- Jack Daniel’s full name was Jasper Newton Daniel – “Jack”. He never married and had no kids. He gave it to his nephew.
- On the tour you get to see the safe that killed Jack. He forgot the combo and couldn’t open it. He kicked it and broke his toe rather than waiting for his colleague who had the combination. It took Jack 6 months before he finally went to the doctor, the toe had gangrene and Jack died soon after from blood poisoning.
- His best friend was a black man which was rare for the time.
- You can join the single barrel society for a price of $9,000-$15,000. You’ll get 240 bottles, all engraved and your name added to the wall. The barrels weigh 550 lbs each.
- Jack Daniels has a Sinatra label. This whiskey has grooves in the barrel giving it more surface area.
- The tasting is done in the store house with barrels that were there just for show containing only water. The corks and barrels need to stay moist or else they risk drying out.
- Around alcohol facilities you’ll find black moss, aka “drunk moss”, the organisms eat the alcohol vapors.