Tag Archives: George Dickel

Whiskey Trail, Day One

On Monday evening, I opened up the bar at Octane and then left. From there, I went home, packed, ate, and went to pick up my rental car. You know it’s going to be an interesting night when your reservations specify a “Toyota Camry (or similar)” and the person behind the counter asks if you’d rather a SUV or minivan.

When I walked into the parking deck and spotted my white Ford Expedition, I immediately named her White Lightning. She was bigger than the foyer of my apartment building and handled like a yacht. Driving in such a contraption was both awesome and terrifying, and I blasted CHVRCHES and my trashy, trashy road trip playlist.

One uneventful drive later, I stopped by No. 308 in Nashville to see Alan and crash the local USBG party that was going on there. Five words: Lucky Charms and Jameson punch. It was rad.

The next morning, I bade White Lightning farewell and hopped on the Discus (Distilled Spirits Council) bus to the George Dickel distillery. It was (shamefully) my first ever distillery tour, and the combination of whiskey, food, nerdery and scenery was so cool.

From there, we rode to Lynchburg, TN to the Jack Daniels distillery. During our time on the property we toured, ate, and spoke with both their master distiller and assistant master distiller. After dinner, the group hopped back on the bus and headed to Bowling Green, KY to spend the night.

Thanks to the excessive amounts of espresso and tea I consumed to make it through the drive, I didn’t sleep much that night, which meant the rest of the day was kind of surreal. But if the week keeps up at this pace, I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

I’m lumping my late night drive into this entry because I want to. So there.

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#allthewhiskey

I found all the whiskey.

I found all the whiskey.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to go on a media trip around the American Whiskey Trail. After a few seconds of indecision, Adam convinced me that I would be crazy not to.

So far, he’s been right. Before I left, I successfully pitched six related articles. I feel more legitimate about calling myself a writer than ever before. Bonus points: three of them are in a new-to-me publication.

As a bartender, learning about whiskey making and everything that goes into it gives me personal knowledge of the subject. Touring distilleries gives will give me a sense of the place where it’s made. Talking with distillers gives me ideas for new ways to use spirits in cocktails. Traveling opens me up to new experiences and people and ideas.

During the trip, I’ve been using the travel time (other than the drive up, duh) to work. I’ve gotten a blog post and a fact-check assignment nailed down, and I’ll hopefully get to work on other things during our drive to Lexington.

If you want to follow the fun in real time, I’ll be using the tag #allthewhiskey to label my tweets and Instagram posts. Over the next few days, we’ll be visiting distilleries including Bulleit, George Dickel, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve. We’ll also be participating in a small producers dinner and touring Vendome Copper.

I’m a happy camper – I’ll be sippin’ and writin’ all week long. Bring on the whiskey, y’all.

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