The Microsoft of Tennessee Whisk(e)y Rough around the edges and fairly straightforward if you like that kind of thing.
Notes: The Tennessee Whisky to most of the world (there are only two to begin with and George Dickel is the other).This distillery is much larger and produces larger batches of younger whisky (on average) than its competitor who is a distant second on quantity and sales. It is double-distilled in copper column stills then aged in new charred oak barrels. In their charcoal mellowing they drip the whiskey through about 10 ft of sugar maple charcoal over a 4 to 6 day period.
This whisky also uses a higher proportion of corn than most bourbon, proprietary yeast strains and large multistory warehouses (over 50 in number). This is a straight (unblended) sour mash bourbon with 10 hours of charcoal filtering for finishing.
Appearance: Dark gold in the bottle, wheat color in the glass.
First Impression: Heavy corn presence, saddle leather, vanilla, grass, oak grain influence, trace of mint, and char developing.
Taste: Light body, sweet with slightly astringent follow on, oak then pepper developing and causing the tongue to tingle. Charcoal causes the mouth and tongue to pucker and numb a bit. Spicy, aromatic, some grain and malty notes- medium dry finish. Smoother than I remember (I used to drink the higher proof version (90 and 93)), so that accounts for some of it.
Drinks: Works well for most bourbon drinks. Remember it is a bit drier than a bourbon, with the charcoal aftertaste.
Bottle: Basic clear glass, square shaped with rounded shoulders with thin neck with faceted neck. Name of whiskey is pressed into the glass at sloped shoulder. Old-style script with is printed on the black label. Simple layout and fonts give it an antique feel.
Final Thoughts: Pretty much the iconic Tennesee Whiskey for most people and one of the most recognized brands in the world. Some may find the dryness/char of Tennessee Whisky not to their liking as a beverage choice. While it is a good whiskey I prefer Dickel as it has more complexity and age.That being said it is a decent whisky, if a bit lacking in complexity.
Fair amount details and pictures with a comprehensive history and background, virtual tour, links. Lots of merchandise of course -one of the mainstays of the cult brand.