How to Tour the Jack Daniel's Distillery

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Visitors to the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, can relish the anomaly of sampling premium bourbon in a county that has remained dry since Prohibition. A more enduring thrill, however, is to tour the oldest distillery in the U.S., where every drop of the famous charcoal-mellowed whiskey is produced.

Things You'll Need

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Photo ID

Free Tours

  • Head to Lynchburg, just 75 miles southeast of Nashville. The distillery is off the Lynchburg Highway.

  • Begin at the Visitor Center, where you can sign up for a tour and browse artifacts, bottles and historical pictures.

  • Take a free guided distillery tour, lasting an hour and 10 minutes and running regularly from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Tours visit the barrel warehouses, stills, spring and bottling plant.

  • See the iron safe that Jack kicked, causing his toe to turn gangrenous and leading to his untimely death. Visitors are welcome to give it a commemorative tap with their feet.

Sample Whiskey

  • Upgrade to a sampling tour for a nominal fee. These tours are available six times a day, Monday to Sunday, to those over 21 and last roughly an hour and 45 minutes.

  • Visit the grinding room where charred sugar maple is crushed and pulverized to provide the 10-foot filter through which the whiskey is passed before it is aged in charred oak barrels. This slow filtration process gives the Tennessee whiskey its unique character.

  • Study the wall in the grinding room where a host of celebrities have signed their names in charcoal.

  • Round off the tour with a much-awaited tasting. Visitors are served small plastic cups that each have just a dash of house blends, from Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey to Gentleman Jack, to the mellow, single-barrel whiskey.

  • Visit the White Rabbit Bottle Shop to buy commemorative bottles of house blends. Since this is a dry county, the customer buys the glass bottle and the whiskey is free.

  • Soak up some of those fine bourbon samples with a hearty Southern lunch at the historic Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant, where Uncle Jack himself dined more than 100 years ago.

Tips & Warnings

  • Arrive in plenty of time for the sampling tours, which sell out quickly and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as all tours involve moderate amounts of walking both inside and outside.
  • Visitors may not bring backpacks, tote bags or bottles on the tours.

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References

  • Photo Credit Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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