Jack Daniels and coke is as American a highball cocktail as you can get – mixing two great American drink traditions. Despite my British husband trying to convert me to gin and tonics, I am still a big fan of Jack and Coke. So I was super excited to visit the world-famous Jack Daniels in Lynchburg TN to take a Jack Daniels Distillery tour which explains how Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey is made. Then I got to check out the Lynchburg Tennessee attractions in downtown Lynchburg for its restaurants and stores. There are some great Southern barbecue places and the Lynchburg General Store is the place to stock up on Jack Daniels merchandise.
Jack Daniels Distillery Tours
The Jack Daniels Distillery Tours are super popular. Three hundred thousand people visit Jack Daniels Lynchburg TN every year! The busiest times to tour Jack Daniels distillery tend to be summer weekends.
Types of Jack Daniels Distillery Tours
There are four types of Jack Daniels distillery tours. Every Jack Daniels distillery tour starts out essentially the same but they end differently.
- The Dry County Distillery Tour does not have a whiskey tasting at the end and it is open to all ages.
- The Flight of Jack Daniels Tour has a whiskey tasting of 5 Jack Daniels products.
- I took the Jack Daniels Flight of Angels tour at the end of which is a selection of mid-range whiskeys to taste. At the end of the Jack Daniels Distillery tours, I got souvenir Jack Daniels glasses which were pretty cool!
- The Taste of Lynchburg Tour includes the tour, the whiskey tastings and lunch at Miss Bobo’s.
Each of the Jack Daniels Distillery tour and the Flight of Jack Daniels Tour lasts an hour and a half. The whiskey-free tour is marginally shorter and the Taste of Lynchburg takes 3 hours.
Tennessee Whiskey vs. Bourbon
The Jack Daniels Distillery Tour shows you how charcoal mellowing to filter whiskey is a special step for Tennessee Whiskey (versus bourbon – that OTHER Southern whiskey).
Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey uses the so-called Lincoln County method of charcoal mellowing where the whiskey is slowly dripped through 10 feet of charcoal (and another 3 feet of charcoal if its double mellowed like Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack). It can take a few days for the whiskey to be charcoal mellowed.
After the filtration process, the whiskey comes out clear. The distinctive color of Jack Daniels comes from the white oak barrels where the whiskey is kept.
Jack Daniels in Lynchburg TN
Believe it or not, Moore County (where the Jack Daniel’s Distillery Lynchburg Tennessee is located) has been a dry country since 1909. In 1995, an exception was made for the Jack Daniels Tour and for its employees.
The distillery only uses the Jack Daniels barrels once. Then, they are resold to other manufacturers like hot sauce makers (as we found out on our Tabasco factory tour on Avery Island, Louisiana).
There are about 2 million Jack Daniels barrels maturing at the Jack Daniels facilities at any time. Considering you get about 240 bottles of Jack Daniels per barrel, that’s a very good time!
Many generations of Lynchburg residents have worked at the distillery. For example, there has been a Green working at the distillery since the time of Earnest Green, the first Jack Daniels master distiller (although that wasn’t his title at the time).
Jack Daniels Alcohol Content
The Jack Daniels alcohol content is 125-140 proof when it comes out of the Jack Daniels barrels. You add water to get the alcohol levels down.
You can buy Jack Daniels Single barrel proof which is not watered down. The Jack Daniels alcohol content for its single barrel whiskey usually comes in at 133 proof!
Fun Facts From the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour
When you tour Jack Daniels Distillery you are immediately surrounded by a fair share of Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey enthusiasts. Having been on other whiskey tours, such as the Bushmills Irish Whiskey factory, I did not expect it to be so much of a pilgrimage for some of the people.
I’ve had my fair share of Jack Daniels and coke in my life, but some of the facts I learned from the Jack Daniels Distillery tour were fun to learn!
Jack Daniels Lynchburg TN
- Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Old No 7 earned its first gold medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
- On the first Friday of every month, every employee at Jack Daniels gets a free Jack Daniels bottle of whiskey!
- All Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey sold anywhere in the world is made at Jack Daniels in Tennessee!
- The Frank Sinatra Jack Daniels love affair was well known. In fact, Frank Sinatra loved his Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey so much he was buried with a bottle of No. 7!
- The Jack Daniels company actually sold beer from 1992 to 1998.
Mr. Jack the Legend
- Jack Daniels the man was a bit of a prodigy. He left home at the age of 6 to make his own way in the world and bought his whiskey distillery around the age of 13! At the age of 16, he registers Jack Daniels as the first registered distillery in the USA.
- Mr. Jack was taught the mysteries of whiskey distilling by an enslaved man, Nearest Green. He would have been the first master distiller of the company.
- Mr. Jack was quite the dapper dresser – possibly to mask the fact that he was only 5’2’’ tall!
- Mr. Jack never married but he had many female friends.
- Mr. Jack died from a series of complications that arose from when he kicked his safe in frustration which lead to a grangrenous toe and an amputated leg.
Lynchburg Tennessee Things To Do
If you want to stretch your legs and walk off some of that whiskey, there are a handful of Lynchburg Tennessee things to do that you may find entertaining. There’s a little gem of a jail museum, great places to eat lunch and plenty of opportunities for souvenir shopping.
Downtown Lynchburg is a charming small town just a short walk from the Jack Daniels Distillery and totally worth a visit.
Moore County Jail Museum
The Moore County Jail Museum is a small jail converted into a museum in downtown Lynchburg. This jail was operationally as recently as 1990!
For the admission donation of a mere $1, you can see how small town justice worked in the old days. The museum operator was actually a former deputy sheriff who was a wealth of information.
When asked what sort of trouble you could have in this small town, the deputy sheriff had lots of stories. For a small town, there was a lot of trouble (including murders) because people would get drunk on hootch and go crazy.
The building is small and the families of the sheriff lived in the front of the building. The sheriff’s wife was the chef and made meals for everyone.
Lynchburg Tennessee Attractions
The main Lynchburg Tennessee Attractions seem to revolve around shopping.
- Velma’s candy store is a charming old-fashioned candy store
- The Moonpie General Store is a good introduction to moon pies and other Southern food specialties.
- There are several general, gift and antique stores which could easily serve as a black hole for browsers.
Downtown Lynchburg is as good an introduction to Southern culture as any. In the back streets of Lynchburg I saw the Confederate flag flying proudly.
Lynchburg Tennessee Restaurants
The Barrelhouse BBQ is a charming local downtown Lynchburg restaurant recommended to me. You ate on barrels and the food was great. I had a grilled cheese sandwich with a difference – pulled pork and Monterey jack – and it was delicious!
If you want something fancier, then try Miss Mary Bobo’s which has been around so long that even Mr. Jack used to frequent the establishment. You need to make reservations to eat here.
Jack Daniels Merchandise
For Jack Daniels merchandise visit the Lynchburg Hardware General store. With everything Jack Daniels branded from clothes to Christmas ornaments, it’s hard to leave this store without treating yourself to at least one piece of Jack Daniels merchandise.
- Jack Daniels Distillery Tours – 133 Lynchburg Highway
- Moore County Jail Museum – 10 Mechanic Street
- Miss Mary Bobo’s – 295 Main Street
- Barrelhouse BBQ – 105 S. Mechanic Street
- Velma’s Candy – 14 Short St
- Lynchburg Hardware General Store – 51 Mechanic Street
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We received a complimentary ticket to the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour courtesy of Jack Daniels in Lynchburg TN and Tennessee tourism board, but the opinions contained in this review are entirely my own.
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