Sean and I took a day trip up to Fayetteville, TN. We were in search of drapery fabric at Sir’s Fabrics, a store up there that sells good fabric for cheap prices. As a bonus side trip, we finished the other 15 minutes to Lynchburg, TN, known only as the home of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Upon arriving at the Visitor’s Center. We got our tour number and then proceeded to wait for our tour to begin. The tour was amusing, especially with our tour guide named Dusty. During the year, he’s a first grade teacher and during the summer, he’s a tour guide at the distillery. He’s also related to Jack Daniels himself. Dusty is the great-great-great-nephew of the founder himself. I thought that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, about the only thing he gets for being related is a bottle of whiskey each year.
Our tour guide wasn’t the only high point of the tour. We started up at the Rick Yard, where the charcoal is created to filter the whiskey through. We then moved down the hill, where one of the Aging Houses was pointed out to us from afar. We also got to see some of the original fire engines used at the distillery at the Fire Brigade House. After walking down the hill a bit longer, we got to the Still House. Here, we walked first into the Still Room and then into the Mash Room. Dusty let us taste a little bit of the mash. It was like sour corn mixed with beer. Interesting. After the Mash Room, you walk back outside and then into the next building that has the Mellowing Room. This room was the closest we got to tasting a sample of the whiskey (Lynchburg is in a dry county). Dusty fanned the top of one of the vats and said, “Now, if you wet the back of your tongue, breathe in and then swallow, it’s just like taking a shot of whiskey.” Everybody got a kick out of that. It really was almost like drinking the stuff. After the Mellowing Room, we wandered down into the bottling room for the Single Barrel whiskey and then onto the final stop, the Barrel House. This is one of my favorite places. It’s a dark house with stories of barrels containing aging whiskey in them. There’s something about the musty smell with a strong overtone of the aging whiskey that is wonderful. At the beginning of the tour, one of the other people on the tour asked if we got to have a sample of the whiskey at the end of the tour. Dusty explained about being in the middle of a dry county, but he added, “In the Barrel House, if you walk slowly and breathe deeply, it’s just like drinking a bit of whiskey.”
I think I’ll take the smell over the real stuff any day.