Punched in the Face at Jack Daniels, Tennessee

Jack Daniels Whiskey is made in a distillery in Lynchberg, Tennessee. My BF has seen adverts saying it’s a town with one “stop light” (traffic light). This sounded like a bit of a juxtaposition – the quaint town, home to a massive international brand. We had to go!

LynchbergWe did a bit of a flying visit and took a factory tour (which was free!), followed by a stroll round the village of Lynchberg.

Warning: this tour is very popular so there was quite a bit of waiting beforehand, as we waited for our number to be called for our tour. But once we got going the tour was great. The guide explained about the process they have, and walked us through the grounds of the “factory” (I use the word loosely, as the word “factory” makes it sound all industrial but it’s such a charming site).

Jack Daniels 1They showed us the safe which led to Mr Jack Daniels’ demise. He was early to work one morning, so no-one had opened the safe. He couldn’t open it so kicked the safe in frustration, hurt his foot, got an infection, and sadly died. The tour guide solemnly explained that the moral of the story is don’t be early to work. Honey, you’re preaching to the choir!

Jack Daniels 2The most shocking thing happened when we went into the room with large vats of fermenting stuff hops? The guide said we could have a sniff of the smell emanating from it, and told it it would clear our sinuses. “Great!” I thought “Just like a large Vics Inhaler” – so I took a deep breath in – until I physically recoiled and my head snapped backwards – the smell was so strong I felt like I had been punched in the face, with a hot shocking pain through my nose and face. I am amazed that smell can be that incredibly strong. It’s difficult to describe but if you go to the Jack Daniels factory and take in a nose-full of smell from the industrial sized vat then you will know! 🙂

Being a good citizen, I warned my BF, next in the queue, “Don’t breathe in!”. But being a stubborn and inquisitive man, he of course did. So it was quite amusing to watch his head snap back in surprise, and he swore as well! (he never swears!).

However, they made up for it later with a smell of the finished product, which was silky smooth and delicious! Sadly we could only sniff it (shame as I would have happily got sloshed). I’m a bit confused about this as I read it’s a “Dry County” – ie. you can’t legally drink in that part of Tennessee. Yet Jack Daniels factory now runs “tasting” tours?! If anyone knows, please enlighten me!?  Anyhow, they provided a free drink of lemonade afterwards which was refreshing. Yum!

After that we got embarrassingly lost – all my fault – and went round in a big circle. As we found out, it is not cool to go for a long drive and then notice you’re driving through the village you passed an hour ago!!  My BF seemed quite smug as normally I’m Miss I’ve-Got-Geography-A-Level. Humph.  But you will know by the fact that we’re not still driving round the loop that luckily we found our way in the end.

Next blog: Unclaimed Baggage Centre, Scottsboro, AL, USA

Previous blog: Around Nashville, TN, USA


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