Travelling out of ORT, I was always wondering what this trip was going to be like and my excitement and high expectations were met – and then some. I stayed at the exquisite Hermitage Hotel. This was the beginning of an exhilarating adventure with my favourite whisky.
My first “touristy” engagement was at the war museum, with the Nashville senator. This affable gentleman gave me the first tale about Jack and the tunnel in that museum and I took some really nice shots of the famous tunnel. Of value though was the explanation on prohibition during Jack’s time and how he got “Old No7’ conferred whisky status after a bit of a hassle with the state. Nelson Eddy was also quite a great historian and narrator and the cart ride through down town Nashville was refreshing. I learned from Nelson; why the square bottle? Late in the evening we had a night at Tootsies Orchid Lounge and a personal performance by three songwriters at an exclusive venue. I did the nightlife in Nashville twice and enjoyed it both times.
Any amount of imagination will fail to even comprehend my excitement at the trip to Lynchburg. We started with the Cooperage and learned so much about not just their Cooperage, but about a lean and mean value chain. Getting to see the process of the barrel and to top it off, signing my name on it is what history is made of. On that day at the cooperage, I became a part of Jack Daniels history.
We would need a whole book for me to articulate my emotions about the distillery. As a Jack drinker, only another Jack drinker can comprehend my words – the likes of Pacino and Kevin Spacey. Walking the distillery was like a pilgrimage every lover of Jack Daniels must embark on. From Big Bertha to the old house where the safe still stands to the cave and the water springs, it is a world of this consistently gratifying and ever masculine whiskey. And then there was the food at Miss Marry Bobo’s. Wholesome, tasty, homely and just downright South – I am not just talking about the food! Allow me state my total gratitude to you Elizabeth for a dream Camp Jack trip and a better understanding of the true essence of the brand, product and soul of Jack Daniels. Also to Molly and her team for being fantastic hosts. On this pilgrimage I got to interact with the brand at all levels and I am proud to say out loud that at some stage in my life, I got to eat, breath and take a walk alongside the most iconic brand of all time.
And finally, I go to say my last goodbye to the man who introduced me to Single barrel those years ago. On my all, I still have my letter from Jimmy Bedford. “Cheers to master distiller of note!!”