From Chickamauga, we headed north 1.5 hours to the small town of Lynchburg. Some of you may recognise the name of Lynchburg, TN from a very famous American Export bottle….. Jack Daniels!
Whilst we both enjoy a tipple of the JD Honey and JD Tennesse fire from time to time, we’re not too fussed about their signature whiskey. However, we decided despite this that we would take a tour and booked a local motel, Lynchburg Inn , so we could both enjoy a tasting.
When we arrived at Lynchburg we were surprised how small the town was considering such a large company was based here.
We checked in early and took a walk to town- Lynchburg County is a dry county, which means alcohol consumption is prohibited here in bars (or so we thought) However, our first stop once in town was a distiller (not JD) and wine makers – both of which had a bar (however there is nowhere open after 6pm- most 5pm!).
We enjoyed a tasting session of the local moonshine liquors, the apple pie one particularly was delicious,
and Keefy enjoyed a whiskey tasting too, of which some he said were pretty rough!! And I had a moonshine cocktail.
It was apparent very quickly that this town was not used to tourists despite being located next to one of the biggest, of not the biggest, tourist attractions in the area. The locals were friendly and polite but definitely on edge with us. There are lots of confederate flags and pro Trump flags here and “welcome with weapon” signs are on most of the shop doors.
After our moonshine bar experience we nipped next door to The winery and embarked on a wine tasting session. Lynchburg Winery. We tried 5 different wines and they were delicious. Utterly smooth and just gorgeous. It’s times like this we wish we had a large allowance for our suitcases!
Having killed an hour or so with our tastings, we made our way to the Jack Daniels distillery for our tour.
Our tour guide, Ron, was a character and a half and during our 1.5 hour kept us entertained with historical facts and dry wit that at times had us belly laughing.
We found the tour to be exceptional. Neither of us had any idea that Jack Daniels was so historical and we learnt a lot about the distilling process. One thing that I learnt was in America, it’s bourbon until it’s dribbled through charcoal- then it becomes (the state that you’re in) whiskey. Here at Jack Daniels everything is done in house- from burning the wood down to make charcoal, to once the charcoal is past its best being bagged up to use on grills as bbq charcoal. Also the entire process is done identically to how it was done back in the late 1800s. Isn’t that just amazing?
Following our end of tour tasting – we still prefer the honey and Tennesse fire to the stand alone whiskey- we made a short walk to a highly recommended BBQ joint in the centre of the square. Luckily for us we were visiting not on a Tuesday as it’s closed then and we would have ended up with a microwave meal I think as all the cafes and restaurants close at 4!
Barrel House Barbecue couldn’t have looked any cooler if it tried!
Here we enjoyed grilled cheese on crack – which was the most delicious pulled pork with melted cheese in a toasted sandwich- oh boy this was good! And ribs (in a dry rub) with potato salad- best we’ve ever tasted and slaw. Just wow. We’ll never tire of BBQ here in the states!
We’ve travelled a lot of America over the years, including Small town Texas, and this place definitely had the smallest town feel we’ve ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong- we absolutely LOVED it here! It was traditional, and felt very far from home.
We still haven’t got to the bottom of the dry country thing. We managed to have a beer with our bbq, and brought room beers from Dollar Tree. We asked loads of locals about it and they seemed as confused as us about it. Many said, “we’re not dry we’re damp”…
Anyway, what a terrific experience we had here and would highly recommend a night here (but arrive before lunchtime so you can enjoy the town life before 5pm)
Onwards tomorrow to….
Until next time