15 Best Tennessee Whiskey Distilleries & Tours for 2024

By | Writer
Last Updated: December 16, 2023
Best Whiskey Distilleries and Tennessee Whiskey Tours

Best Tennessee Whiskey Distilleries & Whiskey Tours for 2024

Chris Stapleton sang about it for a reason. Tennessee whiskey is some of the smoothest and richest on the market, and on top of incredible barbeque and some of the greatest musical artists the United States has ever known – like Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin – it’s one of the state’s many pride and joys.

There are a million and one reasons to visit the great Volunteer State, but whatever your occasion is, you can’t go wrong with adding a stop or two along Tennessee’s phenomenal whiskey trail to your trip.

On top of famous whiskey labels like Jack Daniel’s that have won the world over, there are dozens of distilleries in the state with their own stories just waiting to be uncovered. If you’re looking at adding a little local culture to your trip, then keep reading for our list of the best whiskey distilleries in Tennessee.

Picture of Tennessee whiskey with an ice cube
Behold the captivating dance of an ice cube as it plunges into a glass of smooth Tennessee whiskey. The splash signals the moment of an exquisite transformation – the gentle chill of the ice subtly tames the spirit’s fiery kick, unlocking new layers of aroma and flavor. Perfect for those seeking a mellow sip, this chilled delight showcases why whiskey on the rocks is an art in its own right.

Jack Daniel Distillery: The Oldest Whiskey Distillery in Tennessee

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133 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352

(931) 759-6357

Let’s begin our journey with the obvious: if you’re adding a distillery visit and whiskey tasting to your trip to the Volunteer State, then it ought to include Jack Daniel’s. Established in historic Lynchburg way back in 1866, this iconic stop on the whiskey trail is the oldest registered distillery in the country.

Luckily for you fellow whiskey lovers out there, Jack Daniel Distillery offers tours seven days a week, and being equal parts history and whiskey, taking the drive down to Lynchburg will give you one of the best distillery tours in the state. If you’d prefer to avoid driving and would like a private, guided experience in a comfortable vehicle, arrange a tour direct to the distillery from Nashville.

Who would have thought the country’s most popular whiskey and its world-famous black and white label would have grown to fame and fortune in one of Tennessee’s last dry counties?

Nashville Barrel Company Distillery and Whiskey Bar

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809 Heathcote Ave, Nashville, TN 37210

(615) 891-1046

There is a ton of fun to be had in Nashville, and yes, as wild as the honky tonks are, much of the fun can be found off Broadway and away from downtown’s neon lights. If you’re taking a trip to Music City and are looking for something to wash down that hot chicken, then this is the stop for you.

Even though this Nashville spot is quite young – only opening its doors in 2018 – cofounders James Davenport and Mike Hinds lead their operation with their unique cocktail of ingenuity, experience, and vision. Curious to taste some of their award-winning spirits? Nashville Barrel Co. offers flights, premium tastings, and more. If you’re looking for a more intimate tasting experience at one of the best distilleries in Tennessee, you can schedule a private tour at their Nashville location as well.

Recommended: Consider taking our recommended guided craft distillery tour along the Tennessee whiskey trail and leave the driving to someone else. You’ll meet at a central location in downtown Nashville, and all distillery entrance fees are included.

Ole Smoky Distillery

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423 6th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 647-8272

Every time we get an itch to head back down to Music City, we always head to the Ole Smoky location on 6th and Peabody right after dropping off our bags. Not only do they make some of the best moonshine in Tennessee, but their Nashville location hosts a fun bar serving all the live country music and hot chicken that you would expect. From what we’ve heard, the Ole Smoky Pigeon Forge distillery is a pretty great time too.

Make no mistake though. Just because Ole Smoky specializes in flavored moonshine doesn’t mean they don’t distill some amazing whiskey as well. Their barrelhouse distillery in Gatlinburg makes some of the best whiskey and moonshine in Tennessee, complete with group tastings.

Old Forge Distillery

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170 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

(865) 774-4126

We mentioned Pigeon Forge in the last section, and even though that town is mostly for tourists, they do have some great whiskey, including the Old Forge Distillery. Located in Old Mill Square, this Pigeon Forge distillery is a historic icon and has one of the oldest continually operated gristmills in the country.

Like Ole Smokey, the folks at Old Forge produce and serve a wide variety of different spirits. Bourbon is what made them famous, but if that’s not what you’re in the mood for, they offer several other award-winning drinks, such as vodka, cream liqueurs, their famous 1830 moonshine, and more.

Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.

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1950 Cascade Hollow Rd, Tullahoma, TN 37388

(931) 408-2410

Cascade Hollow might not sound too familiar, but if you’re a bourbon lover like most of us are at Winetraveler, then their signature product, George Dickel, certainly ought to. When it comes to whiskey distilleries in Tennessee, Cascade Hollow is one of the most famous out there, so making a trip out to their Tullahoma location is absolutely worth your while.

George Dickel’s successors still make their bourbon in honor of their founder’s vision, and your guide can fill you in on all the steps they go through to make their Tennessee whiskey “mellow as moonlight.” Add some ice, pour some bitters, drink it neat, whatever you want; but George Dickel deserves to be enjoyed during your trip down the Whiskey Trail.

Leiper’s Fork Distillery

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3381 Southall Rd, Franklin, TN 37064

(615) 465-6456

Among all of the whiskey distilleries in Tennessee, this gem in Franklin is one of our personal favorites. Maybe it’s because we’re history lovers, but there is something so inspiring about their dedication to the age-old distilling methods that Tennessee’s original Irish and Scottish settlers used. A trip to Franklin itself is worth it, but once you’re there, stop by the distillery for a glass or tasting to see what makes Leiper’s Fork so authentic and beautiful.

They also host monthly live music events called still house sessions. If you haven’t gotten enough whiskey or live music during your trip to Tennessee, then there aren’t many better ways to experience both at the same time.

Best Tennessee Whiskey Tours

Tennessee whiskey tours
Image courtesy Tennessee Whiskey Tours.

In addition to the whiskey tours we mentioned previously, there are several others that are ideal if you’d prefer not to worry about the logistics of planning or driving.

Nashville to Jack Daniel’s Distillery Bus Tour with Whiskey Tastings

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Our most highly-rated tour, step into the storied world of Tennessee whiskey with Tennessee Whiskey Tours. Depart from Nashville and immerse yourself in whiskey history as you journey to the iconic Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Here, you’ll embark on an intimate tasting experience, savoring several premier Tennessee whiskeys that celebrate the spirit of the Volunteer State. But the experience extends beyond the barrel. You’ll also enjoy ample free time to meander through the charming town nearby, known for its Tennessee Walking Horse. Wander the quaint streets of downtown Lynchburg, find a cozy spot for lunch, and indulge in a bit of shopping. With Tennessee Whiskey Tours, you’re invited to bring your own beverages for the ride, stashing them in the on-board cooler for added convenience. This is more than a distillery tour – it’s a Tennessee adventure.

Wine Me, Shine Me, Dine Me

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Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Tennessee’s spirited beverages with Smoky Tours. This Pigeon Forge Wine, Whiskey, and Moonshine Tour seamlessly blends the cultural history of Appalachia with the flavors of the region, all without the need to worry about transportation. Kick off your adventure at a centrally located meeting point in Pigeon Forge before setting out to explore two prominent local distilleries. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to sample a diverse array of vodka, moonshine, and whiskey that capture the essence of Tennessee’s spirited history. But the experience isn’t all hard liquor – you’ll also get a taste of Tennessee’s wine offerings after relishing an included lunch. With its concise duration, this tour offers a hearty helping of Tennessee culture and leaves you ample time for your evening plans. Let Smoky Tours take you on a spirited journey through Pigeon Forge.

Nashville’s Premier Distillery & Craft Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings

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Experience the flavors of Nashville like a local with The Ville Tours. This specialty tour introduces you to an impressive array of local brews and spirits through engaging tastings at the city’s distinguished distilleries and breweries. Take the stress out of navigating public transport as VIP transfers whisk you from one location to the next, allowing you to focus on the flavors. You’ll stop at 3–4 distinct locations where you’ll have the chance to sample the craftsmanship that goes into making beers, bourbons, moonshine, and vodka. With this tour, you’re not just tasting – you’re also learning about the craft and passion behind every bottle. Savor the taste of Nashville and leave the logistics to The Ville Tours.

Downtown Nashville Walking Food Tour

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Take a break from distillery hopping and unearth the authentic taste of Music City on this guided culinary journey, operated by A Little Local Flavor. As you meander through Nashville’s iconic landmarks, such as Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, and Printers Alley, you’ll also delve into the city’s rich history. Savor quintessential Southern delights ranging from the infamous Nashville hot chicken and BBQ to locally brewed beer, served at the city’s beloved eateries. This tour presents the perfect opportunity to blend culinary exploration with Nashville’s vibrant culture, making it a must-do experience for food enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Included in the tour are lunch and two alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, our guides are more than happy to offer their local insights and recommendations to enhance your Nashville journey. Meet us at a conveniently located central spot to begin your food-filled adventure!

Tennessee Big Machine Distillery Guided Tour with Tastings

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Delve into the art of spirit production with the Big Machine Store & Distillery’s immersive tour, located in the heart of downtown Nashville. Witness the crafting of an array of spirits such as vodka, whiskey, gin, and moonshine, and learn about the unique filtration process that results in their specially crafted vodka. This tour is an ideal experience for both foodies and spirits enthusiasts, offering a rich understanding of traditional Southern spirits. Participants can indulge in a tasting flight of Tenn South spirits and a crafted cocktail, deepening their appreciation for the craft. The opportunity to purchase spirits and merchandise as mementos of this engaging experience is also available.

Famous Moonshine & Wine Tour From Pigeon Forge

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Embark on a half-day journey through Tennessee’s rich liquor heritage, operated by Tennessee Mountain Tours. Discover the intriguing history of moonshine and prohibition in the region, as well as gain insight into local breweries and distilleries from your well-versed guide. Enjoy a visit to multiple moonshine distilleries and wineries, with potential stops including Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Hillside Winery, Smith Creek Moonshine, Mountain Valley Winery, or Tennessee XXX Moonshine. This small-group tour allows for an intimate, insider’s perspective into Tennessee’s spirited culture, offering complimentary tastings and a free gift from local wineries. Transportation for pick-up and drop-off from Pigeon Forge is provided, making this an effortless way to dive into the region’s famous drinkable delights.

Nashville Combo Tour: Sightseeing, Murals, and Brewery

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Nashville tour on a golf cart
Image courtesy Joyride Tours, LLC.

Immerse yourself in the diverse offerings of Nashville with a unique, small-group combo tour operated by Joyride Tours, LLC. This well-rounded tour allows you to experience a comprehensive view of the city, from iconic landmarks such as the Tennessee State Capitol and the renowned honky-tonk bars, to the city’s Instagram-worthy murals, all from the comfort of a golf cart. Further, you’ll get to explore the local spirit scene with tastings of locally brewed moonshine, whiskey, and vodka in two distilleries. With a cap of only seven participants, this tour ensures a personalized experience, introducing you to local hotspots while covering a plethora of sights efficiently.

Barbecue, Beer & Bourbon: Nashville Adventure

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Experience the ‘Music City’ from a different perspective on a food and drink tasting tour operated by MJT Nashville LLC. While Nashville is renowned for its music, it’s equally celebrated for its BBQ and brew culture. This specialty tour lets you immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant food scene by visiting three of Nashville’s hottest spots where you’ll sample craft beer, local bourbons, smoked meats, and exquisite whiskeys. The tour culminates with an exclusive insight into the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Move beyond the typical tourist track and explore the city’s food and drink scene like a local, accompanied by captivating stories that weave the rich tapestry of Tennessee’s iconic city.

Private Whiskey Nashville Jack and Back Tour

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Dive deep into the world of the renowned Jack Daniels whiskey with the exclusive tour provided by Legendary Tours. For over 145 years, this illustrious liquor has been a staple of Tennessee, and this tour enables you to explore the rich history and unique production methods behind the famous brand. Forego the stress of arranging transportation and enjoy a lavish ride in a private limo bus, straight to the Jack Daniels Distillery. Wander through the Visitor Center and Bottle Shop, learning about the distinctive Lincoln County Process of whiskey making, all while sampling some of the finest Jack Daniels offerings. With this tour, not only will you enjoy whiskey tastings, but also partake in interesting discussions about whiskey production and uncover insider secrets that add a fascinating layer to your experience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tennessee Whiskey Distilleries

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