Already done the bourbon trail? Now there’s a new trip for you.
When it comes to American whiskey, bourbon tends to get most of the love. And many people agree that the best (though not all!) bourbon comes from Kentucky.
But what about Tennessee whiskey? America’s best-selling whiskey, far and away, is from Tennessee (you may be acquainted with our friend Jack Daniel). But there are dozens of others, from stalwarts like George Dickel to newer brands like Corsair and Old Forge.
And last month, the Tennessee Distillers Guild, representing 25 distilleries, announced the launch of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail — encouraging eager drinkers to map out tours of the state one whiskey at a time, similarly to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail before it.
Including both large-scale distilleries with sophisticated tourist centers, and smaller ones that may not draw much attention from afar, the Whiskey Trail helps visitors discover new brands they love across the gorgeous Southern state, while learning about the history and craft of the spirit, a mainstay of the region both pre- and post-Prohibition.
“The inspiration for the Tennessee Whiskey Trail came out of the first meeting we had as a guild,” says Kris Tatum, president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. Between them, these distilleries offer far more than just whiskey. “We wanted to showcase not only all the various Tennessee-made spirits — whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, and moonshine — but also showcase the craftsmanship and history of the state, in music, food, and more. It’s about much more than just whiskey.”
The website Trip Planner suggests a ten-day, cross-state itinerary for the truest whiskey die-hards, along with shorter, more regionally focused itineraries for the merely whiskey-curious. And with stops including Memphis, Chattanooga, and Memphis along the way, there’s plenty more than just drinking involved — although we know we’re all here for the distilleries.