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Day Trips

Follow the trail to Lynchburg, Tenn., and the Jack Daniel's Distillery

By Gerald E. McLeod, June 20, 2014, Columns

Jack Daniel's Whiskey is made in only one place in the world. To get there, you have to drive through the Tennessee hills to find Lynchburg, but that is part of the charm.

The tours of the distillery are educational, humorous, and a good day's hike through the maze of the whiskey-making process. At one point, our guide had the group lift a heavy lid on a tank so we could taste a bit of the angel's share in the thin mist.

Jack Daniel's is released from the barrelhouse by taste rather than age. After about four years, the group of staff tasters determines if the barrel meets their standards of consistency. To get that job, somebody has to die or retire, and then you have to pass a rigorous tasting test.

To produce "Old No. 7," Jack's signature brand, 175 barrels are combined to make a single batch. Our guide said the whiskey might have received the name because Jack was 7 years old when he made his first moonshine, it took him seven tries to get it right, or it was his lucky number. It is part of the legend and history of the Tennessee hills.

The Jack Daniel's Distillery is 73 miles south of Nashville. The tours are between 9am and 4:30pm daily, and include a small museum and film. Don't miss a chance to get a free shot (photo) of Jack Daniel on the rocks.

1,194th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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