When it comes to the world of Tennessee whiskey, the two clear key players are guys named Jack and George. Jack, of course, is Mr. Daniel, and his familiar black-labeled square bottle is synonymous with brown liquor from the Volunteer State. But the George in the equation is Mr. Dickel, and he started selling his whiskey in Nashville more than a decade before the first drop of Jack Daniel's first flowed off the end of their still.
George Dickel is still making fine whiskey, and now you have the chance to see and taste the process at the source as part of a special Cascade Hollow Distillery Experience on Friday, September 21, as part of a partnership with Hotel Thrillist. The tour is limited to 25 participants, so jump on this opportunity if it whets your whistle. A bus will leave from the Downtown Westin Hotel at 11:30am and carry the group down to Cascade Hollow -- one of the most beautiful spots in the entire state -- alongside a sparkling clear creek that provides the water that eventually turns into George Dickel Tennessee Whisky.
Guests will enjoy a farm table-style family lunch and then break into smaller groups for intimate distillery tours and special tasting experiences. You’ll take a hayride up to one of Dickel’s rickhouses to watch the lovely liquor reposing in oak barrels, tour the production side of the distillery, and take a class where you’ll experiment with cocktail recipes. (You can even drink your classwork!) There will also be free time for a game of cornhole near the visitors center and to shop for souvenirs and commemorative bottles in the gift shop. The bus will leave around 3:45pm for the return trip through the bucolic rural countryside on the way back to Nashville.
George Dickel was a German immigrant who came to Tennessee in the first half of the 19th century, and his most popular product was produced at the distillery in Cascade Hollow near the pleasant town of Tullahoma, TN, where the distillers helped to perfect what is known as the “Lincoln County Process” that differentiates Tennessee whiskey from the bourbon made popular by their neighbors to the north in Kentucky.
Legend has it that Dickel preferred whiskey made in the winter to mimic the cooler climes around his favorite distilleries in Scotland. (He also chose to used the Scottish spelling of “whisky” without the “e” on his labels.) To simulate the Scottish distilling process, Dickel chills their whiskey after distillation and filters it through woolen blankets and layers of sugar maple charcoal to mellow the product and produce the smooth finish that Tennessee whiskey is known for.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’d better act fast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to hold your spot on the party bus.