That’s right, fans of spirits everywhere. You have a new tourist destination: Tennessee.
Well, chances are, you already knew that the old TN was good for a booze cruise. But now it’s official. As of Monday, June 19th, 2017, the Tennessee Whiskey Trail is officially open for business.
Kentucky, Tennessee’s hat, is well-known for its Bourbon Belt. And, indeed, Tennessee could never replace that. But they are looking to provide their own experience to tourists who come to seek the water of Tennessee knowledge. Twenty-five distilleries all across the state, of all different sizes, have come forward to put their name on the map of tourism– and we honestly can’t wait to try them all.
Whiskey tourism has been around for a long time in Tennessee, but it’s just in the past couple years that local distillers have united to turn it in to something big. They formed the Tennessee Distiller’s Guild to ensure that these Tennessee brands, “responsibly promote and advocate for the distilling industry in Tennessee through the collective voice of its members.” Per Kris Tatum, president of the guild:
“All the way back in 2014, our goal was to launch a trail that not only tells the story of Tennessee whiskey but also a trail that allows visitors from around the world the opportunities to experience all the distilled spirits produced in our great state. From Tennessee rum, gin, vodka, bourbon — yes, we make bourbon — and of course, some good ol’ Tennessee moonshine. We wanted a trail that allows visitors to see how the big boys of George Dickel and Jack Daniels’ make whiskey, but also gives the visitors a chance to meet and greet smaller distilleries,” Tatum said.
Find a full list of the guild’s members here. All of these member distilleries are included in the official Tennessee Whiskey Trail.
As you can see, the Smokey Mountains are full of spirits. Now it’s up to you to get out there and try them all.
You can download a passport on the WhiskeyTrail website to complete that journey. The guild has put together a 10-day itinerary if you wanna sniff, try, and sample every single distillery on the list, or break it up into multiple vacations. Either way, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime for all of your senses. If you do happen to catch ’em all, you will receive a commemorative gift and be honored on the guild’s website. Life goals? We think so.
If you’re looking for something big though, be sure to check out Townsend, TN’s very own Grains and Grits Festival November 3rd and 4th of this year.