Whiskey History: What Is Tennessee Whiskey

Further proving the misconceptions of the definition of Tennessee Whiskey, even our friendly neighbors to the North don’t have it quite right.  Tennessee Whiskey was defined by House Bill 1084 and signed into law in May of 2013.  Here are the simple requirements:

  1. Manufactured in Tennessee;
  2. Made of a grain mixture that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) corn;
  3. Distilled to no more than 160 proof or eighty percent (80%) alcohol by volume;
  4. Aged in new, charred oak barrels in Tennessee;
  5. Filtered through maple charcoal prior to aging;
  6. Placed in the barrel at no more than 125 proof or sixty-two and one- half percent (62.5 %) alcohol by volume; and
  7. Bottled at not less than 80 proof or forty percent (40%) alcohol by volume

Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel have been using this method of producing Tennessee whiskey for decades.  New Tennessee whiskey producers include Tenn South Distillery’s Clayton James and Beechtree Distillery’s 120 proof White Whiskey.

A further correction should mention that Attorney General Slatery wrote an opinion earlier this year, disallowing the Prichard’s grandfather clause attached to the bill stating, “There is no discernable reason to distinguish one distillery from other existing distilleries on this basis, especially since the exemption at issue is purportedly the one that distinguishes Tennessee Whiskey from bourbon.”

Angel’s Envy | News | Whiskey History: What Is Tennessee Whiskey.

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