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.

Tenn South Distillery- the perfect mix of tradition & innovation

IMG_7534This is the picture of a craft distillery.  The barn-like exterior isn’t meant to fool you into thinking that Tenn South is a small distillery.  Tenn South is a small distillery.  Tiny, even.  About an hour’s drive south of Nashville, one arrives at Tenn South purposefully; it’s not on the way to anywhere. Less than 10 miles off I-65 in Giles County, you’ll go through “downtown” Lynnville before arriving at the distillery.  This sleeper town occupies a whopping .3 square miles and is home to about 350 people.  Lynnville is also home to other regionally famous artisans Colonel Littleton and The Lynnville Pie Company.

Not an uncommon aspiration to Tennesseans, brothers-in-law Blair Butler and Clayton Cutler dreamed of making Tennessee Whiskey.  Dr. Butler, a radiologist in nearby Columbia and Cutler, a technical process engineering guy with a long history in inkjet manufacturing, may not seem to be your likely suspects for following through on such a dream.  But June 25, 2009 turned that dream into a plan when Governor Phil Bredesen signed off on a law allowing for the “manufacturing of intoxicating liquors” in counties that had approved retail package sales and liquor-by-the-drink sales.  The distillery bill, SB1955/HB1720, exponentially increased the number of counties where dreamers like Butler & Cutler could open their own distilleries.  Where once there were only three, now dozens of counties were eligible.

Enter Tenn South Distillery. Continue reading Tenn South Distillery- the perfect mix of tradition & innovation