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Sazerac starts Tennessee whiskey production

Sazerac has commenced distilling at its newly acquired Tennessee whiskey distillery after making modifications to the site.

John Lunn and Allisa Henley have filled the first barrels of Sazerac’s Tennessee whiskey

The US drinks group, maker of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon brand, confirmed it had purchased a distillery in east Tennessee in December 2016. The firm declined to officially disclose the name of the site, but confirmed to The Spirits Business that it produced the Popcorn Sutton portfolio of whiskeys.

Master distiller John Lunn and master blender Allisa Henley, along with all distillery staff, retained their positions after the acquisition.

Sazerac said the purchase would allow it to produce Tennessee whiskey using the Lincoln County process of charcoal filtration before maturation. As such, the site’s stills have been modified to be compliant with the process.

“We’re so excited to start distilling and to have the opportunity to make Tennessee whiskey again,” said Lunn. “We did a lot of tweaking to get the distillation just right, but we’re really happy with how it turned out and are anxious to taste it along its aging journey.”

Lunn and Henley sourced sugar maple from a sawmill in Tennessee and burned four ricks in to make the charcoal they are using for the Lincoln County process. The pair began filling barrels with new make spirit from the distillery on 5 July 2017.

Sazerac will rename the distillery – however this title, along with the whiskey’s brand name and age, has not yet been decided.

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