Smooth as Tennessee Whiskey

There is a line from the George Jones song “Tennessee Whiskey” that has been going through my head ever since we crossed the Tennessee State Line. It goes “You’re as smooth as Tennessee Whiskey”. There. Now it’s in your head, too.

Our first stop of our  fall trip was Barton Springs Campground, a TVA park in Normandy, Tennessee. We love waterfront camping so of course when I found this campground I made reservations for a site right on the water. The lake is down now during the off season but comes right in front of the campsite in spring and summer. This is a federal campground so you can use your Senior Pass to get a discount on your camping fee.

Sitting outside watching the lake was a great way to end the day after a 300 mile driving day which included going through Atlanta and Chattanooga. A doe and a fawn were across the lake grazing. A great blue heron stood on a point out in the lake. A couple launched their canoe and went for a paddle. And we were able to watch a pretty sunset.

Monday morning saw thunderstorms coming through the area. After breakfast we waited a little while for the rain to let up and then hopped in the truck to visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Jack Daniel was 13 years old when he bought his first still for $25. He developed the formula for his famous whiskey and the whiskey is still produced using the same formula and method. All the water used comes from an underground spring on the property, the barrels are still made by hand out of white oak, and the charcoal used for filtering the whiskey is made there from Sugar Maple wood. Jack was only 5 foot 2 and never married.

Our guide Janine told us the story of how Jack died. One morning Jack came to work early and tried to open the safe in his office. He was too impatient to wait for his nephew to arrive to open it so he kicked the safe and broke is big toe. He was too embarrassed to go to a doctor right away and when he finally saw one he had developed an infection which led to gangrene. He died as a result of this. It just goes to show you should never go to work early!

He left everything to his nephew shortly before prohibition shut all the distilleries down. His nephew opened a hardware store in town and made enough money to pay the property taxes every year. The distillery opened back up when prohibition was repealed.

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After our full day of sightseeing Blondie took a swim in the lake and we ended the day with a Single Barrel Jack on the rocks.

Before we left the next day I took Blondie for one last walk along the lake and enjoyed watching a Great Blue Heron and 2 Egrets. A great ending to our enjoyable stay at Barton Springs.

14 thoughts on “Smooth as Tennessee Whiskey”

  1. Boy, that was a long day with 300 miles plus going through two cities, one being Atlanta!!!

    We love touring the Jack Daniel’s facility. It is amazing how small it really is. We don’t drink whiskey but I love watching anything made.

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  2. We’re not whiskey drinkers, but your story of the man (boy??) behind Jack Daniel’s whiskey makes me want to tour the distillery. Thanks a lot for getting that song stuck in my head at 8 a.m.!
    🙂

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    1. I’m not really a whiskey drinker but it did taste good that night. The tour was very interesting an well done. Sorry about the song! It is still in my head and we aren’t in Tennessee any more!

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  3. I am not a whisky drinker but hubby would have been right there with you, especially after a 300-mile day. The campground looks very inviting. 🙂

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  4. Hard to imagine a 13 year old buying a still. You are brave to drink the whisky. Not me! Interesting story about the way he died.
    We get to drive through Atlanta tomorrow on the last leg of our trip. At least it will be early Sunday morning driving through, and we will take the loop. Hope you find some fall colors on your travels.

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