Tennessee Whiskey Trail distillery spirits

Exploring the Top Distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is a massive state-wide tour of the most notable distilleries in the state. It’s the perfect way for spirit-loving travelers to experience all that Tennessee has to offer, spanning the entire length of the state from Memphis to the Smoky Mountains. There’s something for everyone on the trail, from casual bootlegger-style warehouses to modern, upscale tasting rooms and everything in between. You can even get a digital “Pawsport” highlighting all the pet-friendly distilleries where you can enjoy tours and tastings with your furry best buddy.

Every distillery on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail is worth a visit a few that stand out above the rest. A truly memorable distillery experience offers visitors something more — a wide variety of spirits, unique tastings, tours, and other services, delicious food, and inspirational origin stories. If you can’t make it to every distillery on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, then check out the ones on this list for an unforgettable adventure.

Big Machine Distillery

Big Machine Distillery spirits

Big Machine Distillery / Facebook

Big Machine distills every drop of its vodka 25 times — whereas most vodkas are produced using three to seven distillations — then filters it through platinum beads for an impossibly smooth finish that’s perfect for shots, cocktails, and Spiked Coolers, refreshing boozy juice pouches that are equal parts naughty and nostalgic.

But Big Machine is for more than just the vodka lovers. Other spirits distilled and aged there include rum, bourbon, moonshine, gin, and Tennessee whiskey. At the Lynnville distillery, the original location, you can take a tour, bottle your own spirit, and enjoy cocktails with your favorite four-legged friend on the 28-acre dog-friendly property. In Berry Hill, the outskirts of Nashville, you’ll find the Big Machine Tavern serving a long list of classic and seasonal cocktails like alongside brunch, lunch, and dinner dishes, including The Nashville Benedict, made with poached eggs, Nashville hot chicken, and sausage gravy.

bigmachinevodka.com

(931) 527-0027

1800 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472

Nashville Barrel Company

Stella at Nashville Barrel Company

Nashville Barrel Co / Facebook

Nashville Barrel Company’s origin story is all about good times and good company. Three whiskey-loving friends decided to buy a batch of barrels in 2018, mainly with the intention of picking whiskey together with their wider circle of friends. But word spread fast and, by 2021, Nashville Barrel Company was producing award-winning single-barrel spirits.

Tours at the Nashville Barrel Company production facility offer varied experiences, including a standard flight in the tasting room, a premium tasting experience, a flight straight from the barrel, and a mock single barrel experience where you can bring home your own bottle of your favorite spirit thieved straight from the barrel. You and up to eight of your closest friends can even pick your own single barrel of rye, bourbon, or rum, and have it bottled the very same day with a custom logo — the perfect gift for yourself, your group, or your organization. You might even run into Stella, the mini Goldendoodle who acts as Nashville Barrel Company’s president, HR, and guest outreach specialist.

At the Church Street tasting room in downtown Nashville, you can enjoy all the same tastings and tours as at the Fesslers Lane headquarters, plus blend your own whiskey after sampling a flight of selections out of the barrel. At Nashville Barrel Company, you get so much more than the standard tours and tastings — you get an unforgettable distillery experience.

nashvillebarrelco.com

(615) 669-0083

222 Fesslers Ln, Nashville, TN 37210

Nashville Craft Distillery

Nashville Craft Distillery experience

Nashville Craft Distillery / Facebook

Most Tennessee distilleries are known for their whiskeys, so when you find one that offers something a little further off the beaten path, it’s definitely worth the effort to check it out. That’s where Nashville Craft comes in. This distillery specializes in small-batch spirits made from regional ingredients. Its current offerings include three types of bourbon, two gins infused with four and seven botanical ingredients, spiced honey liqueur with ginger and cinnamon, and sorghum spirits made from Tennessee sorghum sugar cane, similar to molasses but with a subtle difference in flavor.

The tasting room is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and the hours vary by the day of the week, so check the schedule before you stop in. In addition to the usual tours, tastings, and cocktails you’ll find at most distilleries, Nashville Craft Distillery has a two-day hands-on distillery experience where aspiring spirit specialists will learn the ins and outs of the business of distilling, from legal classifications of different spirits, mechanical distillery operation and maintenance, the aging process, and successful business strategies. This in-depth workshop is run by Nashville Craft Distillery’s founder, Bruce Boeko, a 20-year forensic scientist whose love of experimentation and innovation is on full display during this rare behind-the-scenes distillery experience.

nashvillecraft.com

(615) 457-3036

514 Hagan St, Nashville, TN, 37203

Old Dominick Distillery

Old Dominick single barrel whiskey

Old Dominick / Facebook

This Memphis distillery began its journey in 1866 as a grocery wholesaler by Domenico Canale, who sold whiskey in ceramic jars under the name Old Dominick. About 150 years later, Canale’s great-great-grandsons discovered an unopened bottle of Old Dominick Toddy, a fruity bourbon cordial. They were inspired to reopen the brand and became the first legal distillers of whiskey in Memphis since the end of Prohibition. Today, Old Dominick Distillery produces whiskey, bourbon, gin, and vodka at their Front Street distillery, along with a few experimental spirits from the lab of Master Distiller Alex Castle, like All the Cookies Bourbon.

Beyond the expected daily distillery tours, Old Dominick hosts a monthly Beyond the Barrel experience that offers an exclusive viewing of the distillery’s aging loft and, of course, a flight of whiskey to sample along the way. The onsite bar serves signature cocktails using house spirits, including The Landing with citrus vodka, ginger syrup, and grapefruit soda; the Pink Palace with gin, red currant syrup, and Sichuan peppercorns; and bourbon cider punch with whiskey, apple cider, sweetened with honey and cranberry syrup.

olddominick.com

(901) 260-1250

305 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103

Junction 35 Spirits

Junction 35 Spirits whiskey

Junction 35 Spirits / Facebook

Junction 35, named after the train junction where loggers by day became bootleggers by night, transporting moonshine along the rails as far as they could go to evade Prohibition patrols, is Tennessee’s first full distillery and restaurant. Junction 35’s wide selection of spirits is distilled onsite, including gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, rye, bourbon, and even tequila. That’s right — tequila, not agave. Though agave spirits must be distilled in Mexico to be called “tequila,” Junction 35 partners with a distillery in Mexico to distill the blanco tequila, then ages the reposado and añejo tequilas in its own bourbon barrels, giving their own finishing touch to authentic Mexican tequila.

After your distillery tour, head over to the kitchen and bar to fill up on food and cocktails. The full restaurant features dishes like Tennessee poutine, smoked barbecue trays with Southern sides like coleslaw and stone ground cheese grits, smash burgers, and more. At the bar, you can enjoy various flights — a whiskey flight, a moonshine flight, a mixed flight including whiskey, moonshine, and vodka, and a premium flight with any four of Junction 35’s top-shelf spirits — plus craft cocktails made with spirits distilled in-house. Standout bar menu offerings include the Bam Bam Hurricane, gin or moonshine mojitos, and a Tennessee margarita made with jalapeño vodka.

junction35spirits.com

(865) 365-1019

2655 Teaster Ln, Ste 280, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Brushy Mountain Distillery

Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary

Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary / Facebook

Most Tennessee distilleries have whiskey and moonshine tastings and tours, but at Brushy Mountain Distillery, where End of the Line Moonshine is distilled and bottled, you get a memorable history lesson as well. Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a former maximum security prison, once held infamous criminals like James Earl Ray, admitted assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. And while there are plenty of illegal moonshines made in prisons around the world, End of the Line Moonshine is the only legal one.

When Brushy Mountain closed in 2009, all its residents were transferred to another facility, and in 2017, End of the Line Moonshine opened the prison doors again. Today, you can take a tour of the distillery and have a drink at the tasting room, then (from April through November) go on a guided or self-guided tour of the prison grounds, where former guards and non-violent prisoners are standing by to give you an inside look at Brushy Mountain’s dark history. For more thrill-seeking moonshine lovers, Brushy Mountain also hosts overnight paranormal tours year-round. After a night of frights, you’ll definitely be ready for a drink when the distillery opens at 10:30 a.m.

brushymoonshine.com

(423) 324-8687

9182 Hwy 116, Petros, TN 37845

Old Glory Distilling Co.

Old Glory Distilling Co. spirits

Old Glory Distilling Co. / Facebook

Old Glory Distilling Co., owned by Clarksville, Tennessee native Matt Cunningham, is an artisan bourbon distillery, restaurant, and silo park. Old Glory’s bourbon and whiskey are the stars of the show, but its offerings don’t stop there. Other spirits distilled onsite include Pinup Gin with 12 botanicals, Tennessee Vodka filtered through sugar maple charcoal, and Smooth Shine moonshine in four mouthwatering flavors.

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At Old Glory, like most distilleries, you can take a tour of the site and get a behind-the-scenes look at its inner workings, but the newly opened restaurant and silo park add even more value to your visit. The restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday, dinner seven days a week, and brunch on the weekends. Some of the rockstar spirit-inspired dishes on Old Glory’s menu include egg rolls made from prime rib smoked with an oak stave, an essential element in whiskey aging, Chicken-Bourbon-Mac, and bourbon barbecue nachos. And for brunch, stop by to enjoy a bacon old fashioned or Shine mimosa. When the weather is nice, you can take it outside to the Old Glory silo park, a family- and pet-friendly outdoor space with drinks served out of an old grain silo.

oldglorydistilling.com

(931) 919-2522

451 Alfred Thun Rd, Clarksville, TN 37040

Short Mountain Distillery

Short Mountain brunch plate and cocktail

Short Mountain / Facebook

Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury, Tennessee, about an hour south of Nashville, was the sixth legal distillery to open in Tennessee after prohibition was repealed. This family-owned distillery produces Tennessee whiskey, bourbon, rye, and moonshine, including a Charred Shine, briefly aged in charred oak whiskey barrels. At Short Mountain, you can take an hour-long tour, complete with a private tasting, and learn to make Short Mountain’s signature cocktails in a mixology class.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Short Mountain sits on a 400-acre, dog-friendly farm where guests can play disc golf, hike on the mile-long Greenway Walking Trail loop, and even learn the history of the farm on a guided tour in a wagon pulled by mules. You can easily make a full day of it at Short Mountain, refueling at the Rye and Revelry restaurant. This is a must-visit restaurant for fried chicken in Tennessee, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other sensational snacks and entrees, like a fry flight with regular, beer battered, and buffalo french fries; a bourbon bacon jam burger; and chicken, pulled pork, or shrimp bowls with freshly grilled pineapple. Come early on the weekend for a satisfying brunch and cocktails before you set out exploring the distillery and farm.

shortmountaindistillery.com

(615) 563-1243

8280 Short Mountain Rd, Woodbury, TN 37190

Nearest Green Distillery

Nearest Green Distillery

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey / Facebook

Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville is the maker of award-winning Uncle Nearest Whiskey, named after America’s first Black master distiller, Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green. Uncle Nearest, the forgotten founder of Tennessee whiskey, was a formerly enslaved person believed to have perfected the Lincoln County Process, the traditional method of filtering Tennessee whiskey through charcoal before aging. In honor of this historical claim to fame, Nearest Green continues to give back to the Black community through initiatives like the HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, a campaign to raise $1.4 million to offer one full-ride scholarship to every Historically Black College and University in the United States.

A visit to the Nearest Green Distillery is an unforgettable experience. With a footprint of 432 acres, the grounds of Uncle Nearest have been dubbed “Malt Disney World” by the press. Onsite, you’ll find Humble Baron, the longest bar in the world at 518 feet, where you can enjoy signature house cocktails, daily live music, and Sunday brunch. When you get hungry, stop by Chuck’s Barrel House BBQ, open Tuesdays through Sundays, for the famous Grilled Cheese on Crack sandwich loaded with smoky pulled pork along with other barbecue favorites and southern sides.

unclenearest.com

(931) 343-7809

3125 Hwy 231 N, Shelbyville, TN 37160

Corsair Distillery

Corsair Distillery barrels

Corsair Artisan Distillery / Facebook

Some of the best origin stories start with an accident, and Corsair Distillery is no exception. Two childhood friends, Nashville natives Andrew Webber and Derek Bell, were brewing beer and wine in Bell’s garage when they decided to try their hand at making a biodiesel plant from home-brewing equipment. The prototype gave them more trouble than they anticipated, and they joked that making whiskey would be a more fulfilling endeavor. Before long, it stopped being a joke, and Corsair Distillery was born.

When Corsair opened in 2010, it became Nashville’s first post-prohibition distillery. Since then, Corsair Distillery has received over 800 medals at various national and international spirits competitions and other awards, including American Whiskey Distillery of the Year at the 2017 Berlin International Spirits competition. You can take a tour at both Nashville locations and sample Corsair’s whiskey, rye, and gin along with local craft beers. The Clinton Street location offers freshly baked pizza to snack on while you sip, and, if you’re lucky, you might run into Copper Cat, the house mouser. At the Merritt Avenue distillery, you can play party games on the outdoor deck.

corsairdistillery.com

(615) 499-6577

1200 Clinton St #110, Nashville, TN 37203

Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel's Distillery interior

Jack Daniel Distillery Lynchburg Tennessee / Facebook

Of course, any list of Tennessee distilleries would be woefully incomplete without the legendary Jack Daniel’s Distillery, one of the biggest names in whiskey and the oldest registered distillery in the United States. The Lynchburg distillery is open for tours seven days a week (except for a few major holidays — check the website before you go), but there’s more than just your standard tour and tasting here.

The many tour experiences include a kid-friendly Dry County tour, and the Angel’s Share tour featuring a sampling of several single-barrel whiskeys, including two limited edition offerings. But the star of the show is the Taste of Lynchburg, which starts with a tour of the Angel’s Share whiskeys at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, followed by a family-style meal at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House (owned by Jack Daniel’s), one of Tennessee’s local favorite fried chicken restaurants, less than a mile away.

When you finish your distillery experience, head over to the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store. A hardware store may seem like an odd stop on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, but don’t worry — this is the place to go if you want to stock up on some Jack Daniel’s souvenirs, since the distillery doesn’t sell any.

jackdaniels.com

(931) 759-6357

280 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352

Bootleggers Distillery

Bootleggers Distillery

Bootleggers Distillery / Facebook

In Tennessee, whiskey making is often a family affair, but family-run Bootleggers Distillery takes it all to another level, boasting 16 generations of many master distillers, including the two youngest master distillers in the country. Today, Bootleggers Distillery makes whiskey, rum, and more flavors of moonshine than you can imagine, bottled in the canning jars.

The distillery offers tastings and tours, plus one extra special experience — the inventive Build a Barrel program. Here, you will get to make your own whiskey to your exact specifications from start to finish, creating your ideal mash with the help of Bootleggers team members and distilling it to your desired proof level. After whatever aging period you choose, Bootleggers will bottle your whiskey and give it a personalized label for you, and you will get a keepsake souvenir (or a special occasion sip).

bootleggersdistillery.com

(865) 323-5444

3567 Hartford Rd, Hartford, TN 37753

Company Distilling

Company Distilling interior

Company Distilling / Facebook

Tennessee was the first state to pass a Prohibition law banning alcohol sales in stores and bars. Though it was repealed in 1933, by 2009, there were still only three distilleries in the entire state. One of the founders of Company Distilling was instrumental in writing and promoting the Tennessee law that made legal craft distilling more accessible. In 2014, H Clark Distillery (the future Company Distilling) became the first legal post-prohibition distillery in Williamson County.

Today, Company Distilling’s two locations produce bourbon, whiskey, gin, and beer, and limited-run and flavored spirits. Each has three unique tastings — a portfolio tasting with your choice of five spirits, a premium tasting of four Company whiskeys, and a bourbon and chocolate tasting with a selection of sweets from local chocolatier The Chocolate B’ar. The original Thompson’s Station location offers a limited menu from the neighboring restaurant, Circa Grill, is available, including charcuterie, shrimp kabobs, and crawfish beignets.

The Townsend location sits next to the Townsend Greenway, a multi-use trail for hikers and bikers, making it a great place to start or finish a day of outdoor adventures. Here, you can fuel up on hot and cold sandwiches like roast beef, smoked trout, and focaccia grilled cheese from Amico Delicatessen, along with signature house cocktails. Bring your friends on Wednesday nights for trivia.

companydistilling.com

Multiple locations

Methodology

lots of barrels

Matthew Thomas Nicholson/Shutterstock

All the distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail are exceptional, but these distilleries were selected for this list based on meeting two or more of the following criteria: diversity of spirits available, memorable visitor experience, onsite restaurant, and interesting, inspirational, or historical origin stories.

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