Are you looking for a guide to the best “Whiskey destinations Tennessee”? You’re in luck! Tennessee is home to some of the most iconic distilleries in the world, and a visit to one of these locations is a must for any whiskey lover.
You need to definitely visit 3 whiskey distilleries in Tennessee: Jack Daniel’s Distillery (the world-renowned distillery provides an immersive look into the whiskey-making process, nestled in a charming town), George Dickel Distillery (offers exceptional whiskey in a serene setting, with insightful tours exploring its rich history) and Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery (Combines tradition and innovation, offering unique tastings and a captivating backstory)
From the rolling hills of Lynchburg to the bustling streets of music city Nashville, there’s no shortage of great whiskey stops in Tennessee.
Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur, a distillery tours lover, or just looking for a fun day trip, this guide has something for everyone.
So grab a glass, sit back, and explore the top Tennessee whiskey destinations together!
Popular Brands Of Tennessee Whiskey
- Jack Daniel’s
- George Dickel
- Collier and McKeel
- Chattanooga Whiskey 111
- Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon
What Is Tennessee Whiskey?
Tennessee whiskey is a type of straight whiskey that originates from the state of Tennessee in the United States.
Although it meets the legal requirements to be classified as a bourbon whiskey in some international trade agreements, most producers of Tennessee whiskey do not label their products as such.
One of the unique features of Tennessee whiskey is its filtration process through maple charcoal, a tradition that dates back to 1825.
Additionally, “Tennessee Whiskey” is a popular song by Chris Stapleton that compares the feeling of love to the smoothness of Tennessee whiskey, the sweetness of strawberry wine, and the warmth of brandy.
The song gained popularity after Stapleton performed it as a duet with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards.
How Whiskey Is Made
Whiskey is a popular alcoholic beverage that is enjoyed around the world. But have you ever wondered how it’s made?
The process of making whiskey is complex and time-consuming, involving several steps.
The first step in making whiskey is creating the mash. This is done by mixing grains such as corn, barley, and rye with water and yeast.
The mixture is then left to ferment for several days, which converts the sugars in the grains into alcohol.
After fermentation, the mash is distilled in copper stills to create a clear liquid known as “white dog.” This liquid is then placed in oak barrels to age. The type of barrel used can significantly affect the flavor of the whiskey.
For example, single-barrel whiskeys are aged in individual barrels, while other whiskeys are aged in a combination of barrels.
During the aging process, the whiskey takes on the flavors of the oak barrel, which can include notes of vanilla, caramel, and spice.
The longer the whiskey is aged, the more complex its flavor becomes. Some whiskeys are aged for only a few years, while others are aged for decades.
Once the whiskey has aged to the desired flavor, it is bottled and ready to be enjoyed.
So next time you sip on your favorite whiskey, remember the complex process of making it, from the mash to the oak barrels.
Below is the list of best whiskey destinations in Tennessee.
1. Jack Daniel Distillery – Lynchburg
If you’re a Jack Daniel’s whiskey fan, visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Located about 75 miles southeast of Nashville, the distillery offers a variety of public tours to suit different interests and budgets.
For example, the Bonded Tour delves into the production and creation of Jack Daniel’s Bonded and Triple Mash whiskeys, costing $75 per person.
Free tours are also available, while sampling tours for visitors over 21 years old cost around $10.
The distillery is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
You can find the distillery at 182 Lynchburg Highway, Lynchburg, TN.
2. Nashville Craft Distillery
Located at 514 Hagan Street near Downtown Nashville, Nashville Craft Distillery, a small-batch spirits producer, prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and resources.
Founded by Bruce Boeko, a former DNA laboratory director, in 2016, the distillery produces a variety of handcrafted spirits, including whiskey, gin, and sorghum spirits.
Visitors can enjoy distiller-led tours, tastings, cocktails, and bottle sales, providing an up-close and personal look at the fermentation and distillation processes.
Although the distillery is relatively new, having opened in March 2016 and to the public in May 2016, it has quickly established itself as a must-visit destination for craft spirit enthusiasts.
3. Leiper’s Fork Distillery
Located in Williamson County, Tennessee, Leiper’s Fork Distillery is a small-batch, artisan distillery focused on reviving the history and heritage of whiskey production in the area.
They create premium whiskeys with a distinct flavor using locally sourced ingredients, traditional techniques, and pure limestone-filtered water.
Their offerings include TN Whiskey, Bottled In Bond Bourbon, Bottled In Bond LF Straight Rye Whiskey, Old Natchez Trace TN White Whiskey, and Spirit of Tennessee.
Visitors can take tours and tastings, as well as purchase merchandise.
4. Tenn South Distillery
In Lynnville, Tennessee, Tenn South Distillery is renowned for its small-batch artisan spirits.
Their signature products, All Purpose Shine and Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey are made using locally-sourced white corn from Giles County.
The entire production process occurs on-site at the distillery, from grinding the corn to bottling the final product.
Visitors are welcome to take a tour and witness the process firsthand. Additionally, Tenn South Distillery has a sister location in Nashville known as The Big Machine Store & Distillery.
5. George Dickel Distillery – Tullahoma
Nestled in the picturesque Cascade Hollow between Nashville and Chattanooga, the George Dickel Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee, offers tours and self-guided tastings.
Reservations are strongly recommended for tours. The distillery is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. but closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Visitors can discover the unique and time-honored traditions of George Dickel Tennessee Whisky and sample their award-winning products.
6. Pennington Distilling Co.
In Nashville, Tennessee, Pennington Distilling Co. is an independent distillery founded in 2011 by Jeff and Jenny Pennington.
The distillery produces high-quality, small-batch spirits such as Tennessee Whiskey, vodka, and sipping cream.
Visitors can take tours and participate in tastings at the distillery, which is situated in the historic Nations neighborhood of Nashville.
Previously known as SPEAKeasy Spirits, Pennington Distilling Co. also sells its products online through Spirit Hub.
7. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – Nashville
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery is a renowned whiskey distillery specializing in producing a variety of Tennessee whiskey and bourbons, including the award-winning Belle Meade Bourbon.
He was established by businessman Charles Nelson and later his wife, Louisa, in Greenbrier, Robertson County, Tennessee; the pre-Prohibition historical distillery operated from 1870 to 1909.
The new Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery opened in Nashville in 2014, offering daily tours and tastings and a large mercantile gift shop featuring bottles, barware, and other merchandise.
Visitors can learn about the fascinating history of Nelson’s Green Brier brand name and the previous distillery and enjoy tastings and a behind-the-scenes look at the production floor.
8. Corsair Distillery – Nashville
Located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, Corsair Distillery is an independent distillery established in 2008.
Known for its innovative whiskeys, gins, and unique spirits, Corsair has won over 450 medals for its products.
The distillery is housed in a charming brick warehouse building and offers aged whiskey tastings and tours.
Corsair Distillery is at 601 Merritt Ave, Nashville, TN 37203. In 2022, Corsair was awarded the “Tennessee American Single Malt Distillery of the Year” by the New York International Spirits Competition.
Visitors can also enjoy the taproom with a food and cocktail menu and a store featuring merchandise and gifts.
9. Chattanooga Whiskey
Chattanooga Whiskey is breaking ground as the first distillery in over a century to produce whiskey in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Their specialty is a unique style of straight bourbon whiskey known as Tennessee High Malt. The Experimental Distillery, situated at 1439 Market Street, serves as a research and development center and a tourist attraction.
Visitors can take a tour of the distillery, which includes a lesson on the history of distilling in Chattanooga, a hands-on demonstration of the production process, a visit to the barrel room, and a whiskey-tasting flight in the tasting room.
People also search: Tennessee Waterfalls
10. Old Dominick Distillery – Memphis
Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, Tennessee, Old Dominick Distillery is a spirits-making operation with a rich history.
Initially established in 1866 by Domenico Canale, the distillery was revived in 2017 by fifth-generation founders Chris and Alex Canale.
Visitors can enjoy a one-hour tour that explores the history of Old Dominick and offers an up-close look at the grain-to-glass craft.
The distillery produces a variety of Tennessee bourbons, gins, vodkas, and other spirits.
Housed in a beautifully restored 50,000-square-foot industrial building, the distillery also features a tour and tasting room, retail bottle shop, event spaces, and a restaurant.
11. Old Forge Distillery – Pigeon Forge
If you want a unique distillery experience, check out Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
This craft distillery, located at 170 Old Mill Ave, offers a range of spirits to try, including moonshine, gin, cream liqueurs, bourbon whiskey, rum, and vodka.
As a member of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, Old Forge Distillery is a must-visit destination for any whiskey lover.
In addition to their spirits, they also offer a variety of merchandise and food items, such as moonshine cake and Bloody Mary mix.
Visit Old Forge Distillery for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience.
12. Sugarlands Distilling Company – Gatlinburg
If you want a unique experience in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, check out Sugarlands Distilling Company.
This distillery, housed in a charming barn-style building, offers visitors the chance to tour their distilling process and even sample their award-winning Sugarlands Shine.
Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about distilling and taste some delicious spirits!
13. Smith Creek Moonshine – Pigeon Forge
If you want a unique experience in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, check out Smith Creek Moonshine.
This distillery offers a variety of moonshine flavors and a tasting bar and retail store where you can purchase apparel, jams, sauces, and more.
With twelve different flavors to choose from, ranging from White Lightening to Chocolate Silk, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Visit Smith Creek Moonshine for a taste of Tennessee’s finest moonshine and a fun shopping experience.
14. Thunder Road Distillery – Sevierville
Old Tennessee Distilling Company, formerly Thunder Road Distillery, is located in Kodak, Tennessee, and produces a range of spirits, including corn whiskey, rum, gin, and moonshine.
The distillery opened in 2014 and pays homage to the whiskey runners and moonshiners who once operated in the area. 2019 the company rebranded but still offers the same products, including Runner’s Rye and Corn Whiskey, Renegade Rum, Coconut Rum, and Mitchum’s Thunder Road Classic American Corn Whiskey.
Visitors can drop in for a free tasting any day of the week during business hours, which vary depending on the day. The 1958 film Thunder Road inspires the distillery and celebrates the history of illegally distilled spirits in East Tennessee.
Old Tennessee Distilling Company is a must-visit destination for those interested in learning about moonshining and trying locally-made shades.
15. Ole Smoky Moonshine – Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg
For those looking to try moonshine, Ole Smoky Moonshine has two locations in Tennessee – one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg.
The Pigeon Forge location at The Barn on 131 The Island Drive is open daily from 10 AM to 11 PM and offers live country music, tastings, and a wide variety of moonshine and whiskey flavors.
The Gatlinburg location, known as The Holler, is the state’s first federally licensed moonshine distillery and provides an authentic experience.
Both locations are suitable for families and offer tours of the distillery, tasting bars, and retail stores.
16. H Clark Distillery – Thompson’s Station
H Clark Distillery, located in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, has a rich history as the first legal distillery in Williamson County in over a century, opening its doors in August 2014.
Formerly known as H Clark Distillery, the company rebranded as Company Distilling in 2020.
The distillery is housed in a building that was once used by local farmers to store grains before shipping them out on the railroad, adding to its historic charm.
H Clark Distillery produces a range of spirits made from grains, including Tennessee Bourbon, Gin, and Black & Tan.
Among their offerings, their gin is the most popular product. Visitors can experience the distillery’s history and products by taking a tour and tasting from Thursday to Monday.
17. Tennessee Legend Distillery – Sevierville & Nashville
Tennessee Legend Distillery is a distillery that produces a full line of spirits, shines, whiskeys, and cream liqueurs.
They have two locations in Sevierville and Nashville, Tennessee. The Sevierville location is a fun, laid-back, interactive place that provides an authentic mountain experience for locals and tourists alike.
Visitors can enjoy a tour of the distillery and tastings of their products.
The Nashville location should be mentioned in the provided search results. Tennessee Legend Distillery is also listed as one of the distilleries participating in the TN Whiskey Trail
18. Jug Creek Distillery
Jug Creek Distillery, a small artisanal distillery passionate about producing high-quality spirits, was founded in 2015 by Heath Frazier and Kyle Luttrell.
Situated on 54 acres in the hills of Lascassas, Tennessee, the distillery’s address is 1049 Oregon Rd, Lascassas, TN 37085.
They are best known for their award-winning potato vodka. However, it’s important to note that Jug Creek Distillery has closed its operations in Wilson County, and its Yelp page confirms this. It could be more apparent if they have relocated or ceased operations entirely.
19. Nearest Green Distillery – Shelbyville
Located in Shelbyville, Tennessee, The Nearest Green Distillery is the proud home of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. This brand pays tribute to Nearest Green, the world’s first-known African American master distiller.
The distillery is situated on a sprawling 432-acre property that serves as a testament to the rich history and storytelling of the region.
While the distillery and farm operate Monday through Friday, tours, retail experiences, and dining options are available only on Thursdays through Sundays.
The distillery offers self-paced and guided tours, and visitors can explore the property on Thursdays and Fridays from 9 AM to 6 PM, Saturdays from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Marathon village?
Marathon Village is a historical complex, a vibrant hub of energy and excitement that attracts visitors worldwide!
Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of delights, where you can indulge in sweet treats at the candy shop or sip on some of the best coffee in town at the cafe.
Is Tennessee whiskey better than Kentucky whiskey?
Let’s face it, the debate over Tennessee whiskey versus Kentucky whiskey has been raging like wildfire for years.
But which one is better? Is it the smooth and robust Tennessee whiskey that’ll have you singing “Rocky Top” in no time? Or is it the classic and timeless Kentucky whiskey that generations have enjoyed?
It’s like choosing between two-star quarterbacks – both have their strengths and weaknesses.
But ultimately, it comes down to personal taste. Are you in the mood for a bold, spicy Tennessee whiskey or a mellow and oaky Kentucky whiskey?
Either way, you can’t go wrong. Just sit back, pour yourself a glass, and let the debate continue.
What is the difference between Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon
Let’s talk about the nectar of the gods, Tennessee whiskey, and Kentucky bourbon. You might think they’re the same thing, but boy, are you wrong.
It’s like comparing a Ferrari to a Lamborghini. They have engines, wheels, and seats, but their differences make them unique.
Tennessee whiskey is like the cool kid at school who always wears a leather jacket. It’s filtered through charcoal and aged in new, charred oak barrels.
This gives it a smooth, smoky flavor that’ll make you want to kick back and bask in the glory of Southern hospitality.
Kentucky bourbon, on the other hand, is like the sophisticated older sibling who always wears a suit and tie.
It’s made from at least 51% corn and aged in charred oak barrels, giving it a bold, oaky flavor that’ll make you feel like you’re sipping on a glass of liquid gold.
So, which one is better? That’s for you to decide. We know both will make you feel like a true American badass.
What happens to charcoal used to filter Tennessee whiskey
Have you ever wondered what happens to the charcoal used to filter Tennessee whiskey? Let us tell you, it’s not just any charcoal. This stuff is premium grade, top of the line, and carefully crafted to make your whiskey taste like heaven in a glass.
But what happens to it after it’s done its job? Does it get tossed to the wayside like yesterday’s news? Not. We take that charcoal and give it a second life.
We’re talking about charcoal that’s been through the ringer. It’s been used to filter America’s finest whiskey, so it’s got to be good for something else.
Well, let us tell you, this charcoal is so versatile; it can be used for everything from cooking on the grill to purifying water. That’s right; we’re talking about charcoal that can save lives.
So, the next time you sip Tennessee whiskey, remember that charcoal did more than just filter your drink; it’s a true multi-purpose hero.
Conclusion on Whiskey Destinations Tennessee
Tennessee is home to some of the best whiskey distilleries in the world, and visiting these destinations can be an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or just looking for a unique vacation spot, Tennessee’s whiskey destinations offer something for everyone. From the historic Jack Daniel’s distillery to the up-and-coming Corsair Artisan Distillery, there’s no shortage of options to explore.
So pack your bags, grab your designated driver, and get ready to experience the rich history and delicious flavors of Tennessee whiskey.