Locals tell us that the nearest liquor shop to Lynchburg is 12 miles, three steps and one screen door away, in Tullahoma, the next county over. This is a confusing statement given you’re standing in the county that produces 150,000 gallons of Tennessee whisky every day, but that’s the contradictory nature of Lynchburg. It’s the home of Jack Daniels, and also a totally dry town since 1908 when the whole state voted for prohibition. Of course, that doesn’t stop the distillery being the major drawcard. They run tours daily from 9am until 4.30pm, and you can choose from a lightning fast overview in 30 minutes; a dry run if you don’t fancy a drink; a tour plus samples of the core range of Jack Daniel’s products; or the Angel’s Share Tour. This is our pick. It lets you try the more exclusive stuff from the barrel room including single barrel whiskies and barrel proof editions that clock in at over 65 per cent proof and will really blow your socks off. On your tour you’ll visit the charcoal yards where they burn down maple hardwood for the essential mellowing process that allows JD to be considered Tennessee whisky and not just bourbon. There’s old Jack’s office with the safe that killed him (via sepsis from a broken toe he got by kicking it one day) and the natural spring where the distillery gets all their water for their production. It’s an impressive operation that is as much a lesson in American history as it is an insight in how the demon drink is made.
You probably know Jack Daniel’s as a party in glass. It’s been the drink of choice for celebrities, Vice Presidents, writers and rock stars from Sinatra to Faulkner to Keith Richards, and that black label on the square-bottomed bottle is an image synonymous with dive bars, biker bonfires and rock’n’roll. So imagine our surprise when we discover that the home of Jack Daniel’s is a picturesque and totally dry county in Tennessee that’s big on Southern hospitality. You should consider dropping by sometime.