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What Is Tennessee Whiskey?

Learn about Tennessee whiskey from the experts at NYC's Rye House in this Howcast video.


Tennessee whiskey, like Jack Daniels or George Dickle, is whiskey that's made in Tennessee from a process that's similar to bourbon, but not quite. You'll see sometimes "sour mash" on the label, that's part of the production process where they'll reuse part of a given mash, which is when you put all your grains together and you get them good and hot and they start to ferment. So by reusing some of it, much like sourdough, hence the name sour mash, you get a consistent taste from batch to batch, which is one of the reasons that these liquors taste so distinctive. Another thing you'll see in Tennessee whiskey, besides the fact that it needs to be made in Tennessee, is that it'll be charcoal filtered which gives you a little more consistent flavor and it definitely gets a little softer. You taste the sort of tang of the sourness but no so much the heat of the alcohol. Tennessee whiskey is, with bourbon and rye, one of the other great American whiskeys. And that's a quick rundown of Tennessee whiskey.

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