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On June 1796, President George Washington signed a bill granting statehood to Tennessee. In 1866 Jack(Jasper Newton) Daniel registered the first distillery in America. In 1896 he bottled Jack Daniel’s Centennial in celebration of Tennessee’s 100th birthday in a special decanter that he designed himself and due to the time it took to craft the unique twisted glass shape few were made. For Tennessee’s bicentennial Jack Daniel’s (now owned by Brown-Forman) bottled a Jack Daniel’s Bicentennial Whiskey at 96 proof in a very similar decanter. The highest proof bottling at that time. Now you have Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel and Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select both at 100 proof! The Bicentennial was a limited bottling that was sold in 1995 and can now only be found on the secondary market for 400 to 600 dollars.
Distilleries all across America, actually the world are stepping up to help in this time of crisis. With hand sanitizer flying off shelves and it becoming as scarce as a bottle of Pappy, some people have stepped up. Distilleries have parts of the distillate that can’t be used for consuming but they can be used for cleaning or cleaning hands. It’s not as easy as you think. There are laws and restrictions in place that make it difficult to produce. Luckily the government, specifically the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau actually waived parts of the law, particularly the part where they had to obtain permits or bonds to create hand sanitizer. This doesn’t mean that the distilleries knew how to make it. They had to get together with each other, watch webinars and consult online guides in order to make this stuff. Is does have to be at least 120 proof or 60% alcohol. We don’t recommend drinking it( just tastes awful) but it does well in killing germs, like covid-19. There has been some talk that you can even make your own whiskey into hand sanitizer as long as it’s 120 proof or more but who would do that? Here are just a few of the good people that jumping into the fray. Brown Froman, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Rabbit Hole Distillery, St. Augustine Distillery, Proof Artisan Distillery, Jameson, Carve Vodka, Heaven Hill, just to name a few. A great quote from Matthew Bagdanovich from Fish Hawk Spirits in Ocala FL said “You’d have to be a jerk not to lend a hand if you’ve got the ability to lend a hand”. Love that. Another good quote comes from Bill Thomas, owner of Jack Rose Dining Saloon said “And this is absolutely proof that the whiskey drinker is the best kind of human being on the planet”. That kind of says it all. So, we here at Whiskey and a Hammock raise our glass to all that are doing what they can to help.
With the whiskey/bourbon boom it seems that some of those brands out there aren’t giving us the truth. The number of distilleries has gone from 100 to 1400 in the last ten years which means that obviously demand has gone crazy. Well… this being an aged deal, it takes a minute for it to mature and be ready. A short cut many of these brands are using is sourcing it from MGP(Midwest Grain Products). This in itself really isn’t the problem. The problem lies with some of these brands coming out with a great marketing story only to find out it’s false. Come to find out that people don’t like being lied to. Now some brands come right out and say it, that either they don’t distill it themselves or are using this as a starter. It comes down to if it’s good whiskey we’ll give it go but don’t tell us that it comes from some mystical water source or some secret recipe that was found it a collapsed mine. Nobody likes to find out that they’ve been drinking horse pucky.
For the news this month we figure that we’d give you the low down on Chatt Whiskey. First off, they are the first distillery in Chattanooga in over 100 years! So what we are dealing with here is Tennessee High Malt, 75% yellow corn, the rest is Malted Rye, Caramel Malted Barley, and Honey Malted Barley then aged for 2 years. Same mash bill for the 91 and 111, single fermentation with 4 barrels at #3 char and toast and 4 barrels with a #4 char and then mix them together. The big difference, is that the 91 goes into a 4000 gallon solera barrel that has a #1 char to it. They are a whiskey from Tennessee but not a “Tennessee Whiskey” the difference is no charcoal filtering.
Plus they have an experimental distillery(the only one in the states to our knowledge) where other distilleries play with 20-30 malts or barleys a year, not Chattanooga. They play with over 100! With this experimental distillery they can try things out and make small runs and see how they turn out. For instance they came out with a maple bourbon and a mead flavored bourbon(no, we didn’t get to try those). The drawback, these can only be found at their distillery. If you make drive, take their distillery tour. I did and it was awesome! Lots of great information, see their aging cellar and at the end enjoy a flight of what they got and maybe a bourbon forward drink to. Thanks again to Chris Helmly the Florida State Sales Manager from Chatt Whiskey for taking the time to talk whiskey! Check out all three videos below.
check them out here: chattanoogawhiskey.com
Our good friend George McDaniel stops by for a visit with a bottle of 1925 Prohibition era Gooderham and Worts Whiskey which he himself, diver extraordinaire, pulled out of the Niagara River in the mid eighties. Get a little history on one of the biggest distilleries in the world at that time. How people made fortunes “rumrunning” across the great lakes. How George happened to find it and recounts his whiskey run story. Thank you George for this once in a lifetime experiences!
The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride combines classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to not only come together for a great cause but also look good doing it. This event was inspired by Don Draper from the TV show Mad Men and Mark Hawwa from Sydney, Australia decided it would be a great way to get bike enthusiasts together and ride. It then turned into something more as it was decided to focus on men’s health and raise money in support. It started in 2012 with 3 thousand riders in 64 cities, the next year 11 thousand riders in 145 cities raising 277,000 dollars. Last year it has now grown into 114 thousand riders in 648 cities in 102 countries raising 6.2 million dollars! In support of men’s health ride with me and register www.gentlemansride.com if you can’t ride and would still like to donate click here: https://www.gentlemansride.com/fundraiser/WhiskeyKaptain
Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife artfully combines renowned beverage tastings and inspired cuisine from some of the South’s best chefs and local culinary superstars, with a chance to experience coastal wildlife up-close, all in one weekend! The weekend’s events will raise funds and awareness for programs of the Jekyll Island Foundation, with the island’s research and education experts on-hand Friday and Saturday, showcasing some fun, interactive programs with coastal wildlife, from sea turtles to alligators!