Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tennessee Whiskey

Jim and Mark have been discussing a visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN since the day they arrived in Red Bay. We almost made the drive from Red Bay, however, when we made plans to meet here in Chattanooga, the plan changed. It's a lot closer from here than it is from Red Bay to drive to Lynchburg. Today, we got up early today and all piled into the Saturn for the 90 mile trip and Jim drove.

When we got to Lynchburg, we looked around the little town a bit and then headed out to the distillery for a tour.

This is the entrance to the visitor's center at Jack Daniels. The distillery is a large operation with a beautiful visitor's center and grounds.

Here are the guys, posing with the statue of Jack Daniels:

Dortha and me:

The tour was interesting, but since the operation is shut down right now for maintenance, we really didn't get to see the entire process, and I confess I was a little confused about all the steps involved in the production. We did find out that Jack Daniels has a special dispensation to sell "commemorative" bottles that just happen to be filled with whiskey. You buy the bottle, the whiskey is free. Since Jim's birthday is soon, I bought him one. Mark also bought one.

Mark really wanted to tour the George Dickel Distillery as well, so after the Jack Daniels tour, we set off to find George Dickel. We knew it was somewhere around Tullahoma, TN, which is just a few miles from Lynchburg. We stopped to ask directions, Mark was the requestor this time. We set off in the direction Mark told us, but got hopelessly lost. We stopped again and Mark once again asked directions, and off we went. And, again, we got lost. Finally, Dortha and I suggested we ask our waitperson at a restaurant since it was now past lunchtime.

We headed back into Tullahoma and stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesday. After a nice meal of soup and salad, we had good directions and went right to the distillery. This is a much smaller operation, and we were able to take plenty of time to hear about every step of their process. Our tour group consisted of the 4 of us and one other gentleman. It was a very interesting and informative tour. Once again, we were able to purchase a bottle (strictly for taste comparison, of course) and both Mark and Jim brought home a bottle of George Dickel.

A statue of George Dickel in front of the much smaller, homier, visitor center:

We all got to wear these cute white hats for our tour:

When we left there, we asked for directions back to the interstate. Only one wrong turn this time, and we got headed back to the Chattanooga area. Once we got back it was time for dinner, which turned out to be at a local BBQ place. It was pretty good!

I think Mark and Jim completed their George Dickel taste test, but since they've both tasted Jack Daniels, they skipped that part for tonight. I'm not sure how the test came out! I took two teeny-tiny sips, but since I don't much like the stuff, I can't really give an opinion of how good it is. I can say that we had a great day, beautiful scenery, and a grand adventure.


Janna and Mike said...

Glad you are back Ellie and I bet Jim is too. I've done the Jack Daniels tour and enjoyed it. Good luck with the Weight Watchers--I know it works.

Randy and Terry said...

That's too bad that operations weren't up and running at Jack Daniels! You just can't imagine the yucky smell that the process gives off. But, the tour was fun. Travel safely!

Joe and Sherri said...

I work with a guy who's name is Jack Daniels...oh yes and he works in the IT department.
I could have told you about Mark's directions way before you left on your tour....but then I was not asked...I am glad that you found your way and I know that the taste test will last for some time. I no longer drink Whiskey or Bourbon but have been known to in the past.
Someday I will tell you why.

Joe and Sherri

Debbie Likert said...

Ellie, I've been following your blog (and Mark and Derotha's) for probably over a year now. I even got on the chat room a couple of times, but can't seem to find the time in the evenings for that! Anyway, the reason I'm writing is that you need to go eat at Bea's Restaurant there in Chattanooga. The address is 4500 Dodds Ave. The food is TO DIE FOR! Served on a lazy susan, family style, all you can eat. Great, great food! Wish we had our dream coach (Phaeton) and were full-timing with you. Instead, I'm working and we vacation in our 95 Dolphin! Debbie

dreamjosie said...

Holy cow. 90 miles for a drink of whiskey. Don't you think that's a bit extreme? (Kidding) Sounds like fun. Have a sip for us.

Jo and Fred