Updated: Aug 6
Each year over 300,000 people make the pilgrimage to Lynchburg, Tennessee, and the Jack Daniels Distillery. It doesn't take you very long, usually just a few conversations with us locals, to figure out that whiskey, particularly Tennessee Whiskey, is something more than meets the eye around here.
Tennessee Whiskey is a tradition, passed down by generation after generation. One of the first crafts really celebrated in this area, even if we had to hide it in the woods. This tradition, this artisan if you will, has been crafted all over the map of our great state. Registered or not, quality always.
So the next time you make the pilgrimage to Lynchburg, our southern middle Tennessee, enjoy this list of crafted spirits made right here in the hills of Tennessee.
7 Distilleries to visit near Jack Daniel Distillery
From the hollows and hills of Lynchburg emerges the stories of those families that made distilled spirits both before, during and after prohibition. Did you know that in 1876 there were 15 Legal distilleries in Lynchburg area alone? We are bringing back those “Good Old Days” with products that are a part of our American culture. The American Craft
In the early 20th century, moonshine became a key source of income for many Appalachian residents like Scots-Irish Charles Kirkpatrick, one of our owner/distillers great grandfather. “Grandad” and his brother Joe were “corn farmers” known for knowing exactly where to cook their “product” in the hills of east Tennessee in Hawkins county. They sold their Whisky Moonshine from 1920’s to 1930’s. Another owner/distiller’s family were raised here in the heart of Tennessee and had a history of distilling spirits of all kinds. Grain, Corn or even fruits to make ‘shine, brandy and whiskey.
Born 40 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, George A. Dickel was an established Nashville merchant when he entered the whisky business. Dickel grew his reputation for selling the smoothest, most mellow spirits in the region.
Thus, Geo. A. Dickel & Co. was born and when the Cascade Hollow Distillery opened in 1878 in neighboring Coffee County, George Dickel bought a large share. George Dickel followed in the Scottish tradition of spelling whisky without an “e.”
George Dickel preferred whisky made in the winter months more than summer months because he felt it made the whisky taste smoother, so the company began advertising their Geo. A. Dickel’s Cascade Tennessee Whisky as “Mellow as Moonlight.” This is why our whisky is chilled before undergoing the charcoal-mellow filtration known as the Lincoln County Process. This extra step smooths out the flavor and we’re still the only Tennessee distillery to do it.
Five generations ago, when Granddaddy Benjamin Prichard of Davidson County, Tennessee passed his “still, tubs and utensils thereto” to his son Enoch, his will of 1822 provided documentation of the last known “legal” distiller in the Prichard Family. Ben made his whiskey with a high sugar content white corn, pure Tennessee spring water and it was distilled using ancient pot still techniques.
Through the years we have had many different styles of bottles. Keeping with the “hand crafted” feel and setting our spirits to be unique among a myriad of look-alike bottles on retail shelves and behind bars. Prichard’s Distillery newest bottle is a reasonable recreation of a hand-blown early American bottle. Made from amber glass to help protect our spirits from deterioration by light.
Branchwater is founded by Bud Kelley, master distiller. His belief in “the old way” of distilling, sets his moonshine above the rest. Taste of tradition!
The hills and hollows above Lynchburg, Tennessee don't easily give up their secrets. The whispers have always been here, lingering in the shadows, undiminished by the passage of time and the buss of the larks and mockingbirds.
Here, where Tennessee whiskey was born, the story quietly endured for nearly two centuries kept alive through the recollections of kinfolks and neighbors and faded ink on brittle, yellowed pages.
Was it possible the godfather of Tennessee whiskey was a man the world never knew? Was it true that a former slave became Tennessee's premier master distiller, helped perfect the process still followed today, and taught his craft to others who would find worldwide fame and become whiskey legends in their own right?
Let us tell you the story of the man they called Uncle Nearest.
We are proud to be a modern part of an Old-World industry that has stood the test of time. With having 20 years experience in the distilled spirits industry, it was only a natural progression for us to apply both our experience and passion to create premium distilled spirits…..and so Southern Pride Distillery was started.
A dream made real in March of 2012, Southern Pride Distillery became a small batch artisan distillery committed to producing some of the finest distilled spirits on the market today. To say that our ancestors held their families and whiskey recipes close to their hearts is an understatement. Our story starts with a great grandmother and her Bible with the family recipe tucked safely inside the cover. Preserved by family members as all family secrets are.
Distilled in a copper pot still, our products are created much like those of our ancestors. We use locally grown corn milled at the distillery and our water comes from a natural spring that is on the property.
The products we offer are of the highest quality to keep the family proud! Our skilled craftsmen take both pride in their work and the end results, true to the family. This give you the best of both worlds --- time proven recipe and modern upgrades to accommodate our many valued customers.
Big Machine Distillery - Miles from Jack: 54
The backbone of distillation for Big Machine Distillery is located in the romantically-preserved town of Lynnville, TN. One hour south of Nashville on the whiskey trail, Big Machine Distillery (formerly Tenn South Distillery) features a picturesque 28 acres of rural farmland in the Tennessee countryside. Here is where our 20,000 square-foot distillery and tasting room preserve the romantic origins of our hand-made craft spirits. This is also the source of our high-quality artesian water which comes from our wells located on the property.