Our most immediately identifying uniqueness is that our Great-Grandfather was one of the first to produce Tennessee whiskey
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and how you started in the whiskey industry?
This is when we had the realization that we had to start it back up again. We took a handful of routes to research it, including interviewing family members and searching state & city archives, as well as the Greenbrier Historical Society.
We originally were going to build on the site of the first distillery, but it proved to be too impractical when we had no money in the first place.
Can you tell us about your distillery,
and what makes it unique?
He was a contemporary of a couple other well known Tennessee Whiskey makers in George Dickel and Jack Daniel, though Jack was a bit younger and George a bit older. We still have some unopened bottles of the original Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey and other brands that Chas. produced.
The brand started in 1860, he bought the distillery in 1870 and we restarted the company in 2012, with the distillery opening in late 2014 in Nashville.
Are there any little ‘distilling’ secrets you can let us in on?
I think it’s crazy when people make too much of a thing out of it.
I find the simpler the better.
Whiskey has been phenomenally successful
in the United States and around the planet,
why do you think this is compared to other spirits?
I think because of the inherent soul of a whiskey compared to a vodka.
There is no romance or history or character therefore soul in a vodka or gin compared to a whiskey. You just get so much more out of a whiskey.
In your years in the industry, what have been the biggest surprises you have faced?
What are the big trends that are affecting the whiskey industry at the moment?
Distilleries producing canned cocktails has been huge. I love the movement to create an American single malt category and don’t seeing that going away.
That should be a popular category in the future.
Are there any interesting stories from your time in the whiskey industry that you could share?
Also hanging out with distillers at the various distiller conventions (i.e. ADI & ACSA) can yield some rowdy and interesting stories.
What developments in the whiskey industry most excite you?
Also, the overall innovation taking place around the industry. Barrel finishing is great to see as well.
What do you see as being the future of whiskey in the short term?
The classic will always stay, but innovation is a thing!
Why do you use the Glencairn Glass in your business and what makes it so special?
It is like a work of art unto themselves. Visitors comment on them quite a bit and we talk them up. The Glencairn Glass allows our whiskeys to really shine
Hear from other whisky distillers
“While working with great Master Distillers and Blenders over the years, I’ve honed my skills to continually raise the bar with each new product and batch. There are no ‘Masters’ here per se; we’re just talented people striving every day to better ourselves and our craft. I like to say that we’re making whiskeys in a small way, for a big world.”
“I had already been in the restaurant business with my brother Paul for 10 years, then we decided to open our own distillery. We started the whole process in 2009, in 2010 we incorporated & by 2011 we opened the doors.”
“ I was always a fan of whiskey as well as very attuned to the fruit aromas of various wood.”