History, scenery & heady aromas beckon at Tennessee distilleries

on 04/11/10 at 12:42 pm

Spirits

Don’t call it bourbon.

The golden elixir produced in Lynchburg might follow the same corn-heavy recipe as the stuff from Kentucky. It might be aged in the same charred oak barrels.

But this, as the Volunteer State distillers will have you know, is not bourbon, but Tennessee whiskey – a product as different from bourbon as Davy Crockett is from Daniel Boone (Fess Parker not withstanding).

Most Tennessee whiskey is filtered through a thick bed of charcoal, a process that mellows – or weakens, as some bourbon fans say – the flavor.

But whatever a traveler’s preferred poison, the three distilleries in south-central Tennessee are perfect for a visit both scenic and informative, with free guided tours through facilities steeped as much in history as in corn liquor.

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