While helping my brother move across country years ago, we drove
a couple hundred miles out of our way (route back to California) to take
the distillery tour in Lynchburg. When they say it is a little town,
they aren't joking. I think there was only a handful of short streets.
I didn't drink alcohol at the time, but my brother was furious when
he found out it was a "Dry Town". Who would have thought?
If I remember correctly, even all the gift shops had non alcoholic
liquids in the memorabilia items for sale. I enjoyed the free lemonade
they gave out.
All in all it was a very impressive tour. The whole place (and town) looked
something out of the late 1800's/early 1900's. I remember them showing us
old barns which was storing aged whiskey, just massive barrels and the
vats in which they made the whiskey was about the size of center
ice face off circle. I'll try to dig up some of our pictures.
On a not so great note, it was under his watch that Jack dropped from 86 to 80 proof. I remember reading something about JD's marketing dept. saying most customers prefered a (read: watered down) lower proof whiskey. Jack used to be 90 proof back in the day.
Some much for all that tradition crap.
I met and had a short chat with Jim Bedford at the Radisson in downtown Rapid City, SD about six years back. He was there for Sturgis and was promoting JD like crazy. Gave a bunch of people in the hotel bar that night free bottles of something...Private Reserve or some such.
He was a nice guy for sure.
I just now came across this thread. HockeyChick and I were just in Nashville last week to visit a friend and also for the Kings/Predators game.
We did the Distillery tour (SMALLLLL DRY TOWN!) and it was great! Met Mr. Bedford the day before his retirement (or at least that's what the tour guide said - articles say March 31st - maybe we were there during his last week there on the premisis - who knows)! They are only able to sell a bottle with a special "Scenes of Lynchburg" label on it at the distillery - and he signed our bottles for us - our tour guide said they probably quadrupled in value - and to go 8 miles down the road to the closest liquer store and buy a regular bottle of Jack to drink instead of the one I just got!
Here are a few of our pics from our tour....in case anyone's interested :)
The main entrance...
Only 6 Master Distillers to date - including Jack himself!
Nasty looking bubbling "mash" - part of the process
For $10,000 you can get all this....and be part of the "Single Barrel Society"
HockeyChick (left) and I with Jimmy Bedford - and ready for the Kings game that night...
Hubby has been there and said its a cool place
Next time I am on that side of the country I am going to have to get him to take me
I highly recommend the tour. It's free and it's a great tour! No samples though since it's a dry town. But they did sell Jack Daniels Ice Cream in town. I swear I was tipsy off one scoop! I keep staring at my signed bottle every night and I really want a drink!!