Monday, April 9, 2012

Tennessee Spirits: Chattanooga Whiskey Company

We have a special installment of the Tennessee Spirits series today, a look at a brand new company, Chattanooga Whiskey Company. I got to spend some time this past weekend with Joe Ledbetter, one of the founders of the new company, talking whiskey history and Chattanooga's place in that history. We got time to put some of the conversation on camera Saturday morning and he brought along some of his 1816 Reserve and 1816 Cask whiskies to sample during the video.

It's not often one of my interview videos goes longer than 10 to 15 minutes...I just feel like that's a comfortable length of time for someone to sit and watch. We ended up shooting over 35 minutes for this, so I cut it into two sections.

In Part 1, Joe talks a lot about the history of whiskey in Chattanooga and the origins of his company.

In Part 2, we tried both types of whiskey, talked about what we were tasting and  Joe told me a bit about their distribution those outside the Volunteer State will be able to get a taste soon!

The thing that surprised me the most is that 100 years ago Chattanooga had 30+ we have exactly 0 (legal distilleries, anyway). As an editorial comment: it is time for the Hamilton County lawmakers to change this and bring back a piece of a history that all of us hear in southeastern Tennessee should be proud of.

Chattanooga Whiskey Company will be hosting a launch party this Friday, April 13, and the whiskey will be on local store shelves the following Monday, April 16. Having sampled both, I can definitely recommend either variety: I liked the 1816 Reserve a lot and loved the 1816 Cask. As mentioned in the video, Chattanooga Whiskey is a sponsor of the Chattanooga Tweet-Up in August; so if you have trouble finding it for sale where you live, make sure you show up for the Tweet-Up so you can give it a try...and then run out to one of our local shops and buy a bottle to take home!

Links You Should Check Out:
Chattanooga Whiskey Company
The Pre-Prohibition Collector's Resource Site
Chattanooga Tweet-Up Information
Burns Tobacconist (Tweet-Up Tickets)


  1. I love the series! I know there are a couple of distilleries opening up here in Nashville. Next time you come up maybe they'll be open. Great videos & Cheers! The link is dead on the Tennessean, so I couldn't send it to you.

  2. We pride ourselves on stocking quality drams at reasonable prices, including some rare and hard to find whiskies.