More so now than ever :)
It took about an hour and a half to drive there...through beautiful country roads with little teasers all over the place about the distillery.
As we drove through the gate we realized that it was a holiday weekend and CROWDED!
We went inside and signed up for a tour and were told we would be waiting awhile.
So we wandered around and read all the info in the visitors center, before being rescued.
(by the way, this pic of Jack is life-sized. He was 5'2!!)
We had just heard a tour called and commented that the guy who was guiding seemed like a lot of fun. A moment or 4 later, he approached Anthony and I and asked how many of us there were. We told him 2, and he asked if we'd like to go now. Of course, we jumped at the chance! He probably saved us an hour or so of waiting AND he was a lot of fun.
So we boarded the bus, and away we went!
A moment of silence for "that slow sippin' Tennessee whiskey"
Ron, our guide, explained to us that in the past they used to give a free shot of whiskey at the end of the tour. After disappointing us by telling us they no longer do that, he did tell us that we had a unique opportunity...to get a free shot of jack on the rocks. Here's mine:
(it was such a bad joke I HAD to to...)
The safe that killed Jack. He got angry and kicked it one morning, resulting in infection and eventually death.
Here Ron gives us the recipe for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
We weren't allowed to take pictures of the production, but let me tell you. We got to smell the sour mash, and we got to breathe in the whiskey that is nearly done. Amazing!
Enjoying our free...lemonade...at the end of the tour!Now, Lynchburg, Tennessee is in what's known as a "dry county". Those aren't found where I come from so let me explain: alcohol cannot be bought/sold anywhere in the county. Not in stores, not in restaurants, nowhere. So...the distillery has a bit of a loophole. They can sell commemorative bottles in their gift shop that contains the "product", but see...they're just selling the bottle as a collector's edition. We were thankful for that particular loophole!
We did both buy a commemorative bottle of Jack. There were two to choose from, and we each got a different one so that we could enjoy more. We've decided that this should really be an annual trip so that we can get each year's bottle.
However, to get the licensed merchandise, we had to walk about a half mile to the town square. The general store is what carries all the Jack stuff. Here's a shot of it.
I kind of wish we had ended up with more time to explore the square--it was a typical small town feel and looked fun. But we had to get back for our poker night (which I did VERY well at, by the way) so we hoofed it back to the car after buying our merchandise.
(A got a shot glass, I got a shot glass that says Jack Rocks as well as a mason jar glass and a few other small things)
So there you go! We enjoyed the day immensely, and were both glad we'd made the effort to finally get out there!