I learned to really appreciate whiskey about ten years ago when I did my first tour of the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Before then, I could drink whiskey as a shot or in a mixed drink, but didn’t really appreciate it as a sipping drink. After that tour, though, once I saw how it was made and what went into it, I could pick up a glass of Jack and smell the wood burning in the charcoal production area and the clean, new barrels. It would transport me back to that chilly fall day, just before Thanksgiving, and then I could sip on it all day with a smile on my face.
While my tastes have grown and changed and evolved over the last ten years, there is just something about the smell of Jack Daniel's which has cast its spell over me. Like a first love or a first car I guess, just something that is (hopefully) always remembered with fondness. I’ve been back to the Jack Daniel's distillery half a dozen times or more since then and I've always enjoyed the tour. Because most of these more recent visits have been while I was guiding, and on tours where the visit was included, I have usually just breezed through Tullahoma on the way to or from Lynchburg. I always knew that the George Dickel Distillery was in Tullahoma, but never had the chance to stop and see it. I finally got there this week, and really enjoyed my tour there as well. I figured I would write this post comparing and contrasting the two tours for you. If you have the time to do both, they are both well worth the effort, but if you had to choose just one, here are a few factors to consider.