Tour Short Mountain Distillery

In the hills of Cannon County, TN, an area once dotted with the stills from local moonshiners, Short Mountain Distillery has claimed that heritage and brought it into the legal world. Because of its founder though, this is much more than just a shiny copper still in the woods, it’s a entire self sustaining farm-to-bottle enterprise well worth the trip. While a bit off the beaten path, a tour of Short Mountain Distillery will satisfy all of your senses and you’ll have an experience that is unlike any other distillery in the region. And after a few pours of their moonshine, you’ll travel along in high spirits.

The History

Billy Kaufman, owner and founder, moved to Cannon County in 2001 to start farming. In 2010, he opened his distillery, Short Mountain Distillery with an aim to highlight the history and heritage of the local area. He has even gone so far as to employ several local Moonshiners to bring their skill set and reputations to bear for the benefit of the local community and the whiskey world writ large.

The Offerings

Short Mountain Distillery offers a wide range of options with a focus on moonshine offerings. Short Mountain Shine, their core white whiskey, “has the coolness of peppermint and the flavors of sweet corn with a warm, smooth finish. It is double distilling from a mash of cane sugar and heirloom corn, locally grown and stone milled on our 300 acre farm.” Short Mountain Shiner’s Select is “made in our old fashioned 2 barrel still. Handcrafted exclusively by our Moonshiners & only once distilled Shiner’s Select reflects an even more traditional take on the history of Moonshine.”

They also offer a few flavored bottles. Short Mountain Apple Pie blends “the kick of our Tennessee Moonshine with the sweetness of Grandma’s Apple Pie.” While their Short Mountain Prohibition Tea is a “cocktail that is sweet yet strong with a touch of peach.”

They also offer a Barrel Select program for their upcoming Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey. Here’s how they describe the program – “You can choose from 6 different recipes then decide the proof, and even add your own name or company logo to the bottle.  You will receive your very own small-batch, private stock of bottled whiskey. You also get to keep the barrel it was aged in. The prices and quantity of our packages vary depending on the desired alcohol content of the spirit.”

The Tour

You should go to Short Mountain for a variety of reasons. First for the whiskey tour. While the aged products are still in development, the heritage and traditions are such that they produce some of the best unaged whiskey and moonshine in Tennessee. Beyond the still, the entirety of Short Mountain  is worth a day to itself.

As this is a working farm, tours are scheduled Friday through Sunday from 11:30 til 2:30. Contact us for special opportunities as we have close connections with all the distillers to make sure you get the tour time that works best for you.

The entire 300 acre farm is replete with livestock, walking trails, and entertainment opportunities. Short Mountain will put on a concert series during the season and their new restaurant, The  Stillhouse Cafe at Short Mountain Distillery, will serve you the best meal in the county. It’s a quick drive east from Nashville, a little over an hour so definitely doable on a half day trip. Choose TN Whiskey Trail Tours and allow Grand Avenue to deliver the best of TN Whiskey in style.

 

Who: Short Mountain Distillery
Where: 8280 Short Mountain Rd, Woodbury, TN 37190

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky

Tennessee Whisky. Yes whisky. There’s only one and it is George Dickel. Nestled in the hills of Middle Tennessee, this distillery provides bucolic scenery and iconic whiskey well worth the quick trip from Nashville to take this unforgettable tour.

The History

In the mid-1800’s George A. Dickel, a Nashville Merchant, began rectifying whiskey and developed a reputation for quality and smoothness. In 1878, he invested in the Cascade Hollow Distillery in Coffee County, TN which in 1958 began to produce Geo. A Dickel Tennessee Whisky. (No typo there, the Dickel tradition follows their Scottish forefathers in the spelling of whiskey) For nearly 6 decades, George Dickel has, along with its neighbor Jack Daniel’s, been the mainstay of TN Whiskey. Consistency, quality, and a dedication to craft are the defining characteristics for George Dickel. A draw unto itself, this tour will give you a glimpse into the larger side of the craft industry.

The Offerings

Historically, George Dickel has offered two main products. George Dickel Classic No. 8 Tennessee Whisky, which they describe as “A bold whisky with aromas of light caramel and wood. A smoky finish with hints of maple and buttered corn.” They also produce George Dickel Superior No. 12, which they describe as “Concentrated flavors of rich oak and subtle vanilla lead to a long finish with hints of maple, butter and smoke. A whisky with enormous depth, range and personality – considered by many to be the gold standard of Tennessee Whisky.”

Some of the more recent offerings include George Dickel No. 1 Whisky, an unaged white whisky expressing the the very heart, the pre-mellowed expression of this classic Tennessee spirit. Along with their newest Rye Whisky they offer a Barrel Select. The George Dickel Barrel Select is unique for them in that only 10 barrels are hand-selected by their Distiller for this small-batch handcrafted whisky. Here is how they describe it, “Aged between 10 and 12 years. Charcoal mellowing and our unique aging process form a smooth, premium whisky that stands in a class all by itself. A perfectly balanced, rich and silky taste with hints of vanilla, spice and charcoal.”

They have one new and very special offering, the George Dickel 17 year-old Tennessee Whisky. Only available in the gift shop and select liquor stores in Tennessee, this is a unique opportunity from a distillery who typically only keeps their offerings for 10-12 years. The flavors are a lovely blend of oak, caramel, smoke, and grain, with a finish that leaves you feeling as relaxed as an an afternoon in Cascade Hollow. As a result of its limited distribution, the George Dickel 17 year-old Tennessee Whisky is highly sought after as both a luxurious spirit and a collector’s trophy – it is the oldest Tennessee Whiskey released in recent time.

The Tour

If you have an opportunity to choose an out of town excursion, strongly consider George Dickel. While not as overwhelming in scale as its neighbor in Lynchburg, the tour provides context for a distillery which is well established and confident in its quality. The approach to Cascade Hollow alone is worth the drive. You’ll not only arrive in comfort with TN Whiskey Trail Tours, but your guide will enlighten you about the region in an informative and entertaining way. Choose TN Whiskey Trail Tours and allow Grand Avenue to deliver the best of TN Whiskey (and Whisky) in style.

 

Who: George A. Dickel & Co. Distillery
Where: 1950 Cascade Hollow Rd, Tullahoma, TN 37388

Corsair Distillery, Something for Everyone

A Commitment to Innovation

One name comes to mind when people hear “Tennessee Whiskey” – Jack Daniel’s. While that brand is known worldwide for its product, its name is known more for consistency than product innovation. Realistically, Jack Daniel’s wouldn’t benefit from being product innovators. Their Old No. 7 is the most widely distributed American whiskey (yes, that includes bourbon) on the market. No, product innovation is best left to those who don’t already fit in a mold. Corsair Artisan Distillery is arguably one of the most innovative craft distillers of the last decade.

Corsair is in its 8th year of operation and owned by long-time friends Darek Bell and Andrew Webber. Home brewers turned business partners, Bell and Webber started their first distillery not in Tennessee Whiskey country, but in bourbon country – Bowling Green, KY. You see, when they launched in 2008, distilling was only legal in three counties in Tennessee. Not long after their opening in Kentucky, Tennessee legislation changed that prohibition-era law and the rest for Corsair is history.

Corsair is more than just a distillery – of which there are currently three. They are also a brewery and malting facility. Generally speaking, Corsair produces most of their Whiskey (Tennessee Whiskey, Bourbon, etc.) in Nashville and most of their clear sprits (Gin, vodka, etc.) in Bowling Green. The original facilities were pretty small, but the latest location in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood in Nashville is clearly a step up for the brand and considered their headquarters.

Corsair’s Products

Winners of multiple industry awards from publications like Whisky Advocate, various national spirits competitions, and peer reviewed industry trade groups, Corsair is known primarily for their innovation in Gin and Whiskey. Self-proclaimed “Booze for Badasses”, Corsair tries to deviate from the 200+ year old American Whiskey mold as popularized by Kentucky Bourbon.

Triple Smoke is by far their most popular whiskey. The malt (malted barley grain) is what distinguished Corsair’s whiskey from others. Their unique process of smoking their own malt with three varieties of wood really translates to the palate. The use of peat is a throw-back to Scottish tradition, the beechwood-smoking will be familiar to fans of smoky German beers, and the cherry was simply a nod to the American South. Corsair’s Nashville bourbon and its quinoa whiskey are also gold medal winners and innovative in their own right. You won’t find a traditional Tennessee Whiskey at the distillery, but there’s always a hint and nudge that one may be just around the corner.

Though they may be most known for their whiskey, Corsair certainly has a cult following for their Gin production. Their standard release Gin is made with organic, sustainably sourced botanicals which are infused into the spirit using a vapor basket – a traditional method. This unique process gives the gin its crisp cucumber flavor with floral and white pepper notes. Corsair also produces a Barrel Aged Gin, where they take the botanical gin and age it in used spiced rum barrels for 3-6 months. This process imparts baking spice and vanilla notes to the botanical gin, making for a complex and citrusy spirit. Finally, and a personal favorite, Corsair produces a Genever. Considered to be the precursor to gin, genever is a malt based spirit infused with some of the same botanicals as gin. The result is a spirit rich in juniper and citrus peel flavors, strong like a whiskey but crisp like a gin.

The Tour at Corsair

A tour at any of their locations is a treat, but we at the TN Whiskey Trail Tours enjoy showcasing their newest (and largest) location at Wedgewood-Houston in Nashville. Corsair is not afraid to try something weird. That essence is demonstrated in their tour, which culminates in the tasting room. Genius!

Not everyone can be a Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. But as seen by the growth and popularity of Corsair Artisan Spirits, not everyone needs to be. We hope to have you join us for a tour of Corsair and the many other distilleries throughout Tennessee. Come and Tour the Trail with us!

 

Who: Corsair Artisan Distillery
Where: 601 Merritt Ave, Nashville, TN 37203