MURFREESBOBO, TN (July 11, 2018) Last July, Master Distiller John Lunn and Distiller Allisa Henley started cranking up their pot stills and distilled their first Tennessee whiskey for Sazerac in Newport, TN. Now one year later, John and Allisa are looking forward to moving their operation to Murfreesboro, TN as Sazerac starts planning for a new distillery, including bottling, barrel warehouses and a visitor center on the 55 acres it recently purchased.
The initial plan is to build two barrel warehouses, each of which will hold approximately 20,000 barrels. A visitor center which overlooks the property’s iconic five acre lake is also planned, all to be operational in 2020.
“Murfreesboro is one of the fastest growing cities in the country,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “We are excited about Sazerac’s investment in our community and look forward to celebrating a brand new Tennessee Whiskey from our hometown.”
Meanwhile, John and Allisa are continuing to distill Tennessee whiskey on their three pot stills at the Newport, TN location. After the new distillery in Murfreesboro is built, all stills and barrels will be moved. With the oldest whiskey being only a year old, the barrels still have many years to rest before being bottled and sold, giving John and Allisa plenty of time to determine brand name for the Tennessee whiskey, the age of the whiskey and even a name for the new distillery.
The two just burned their second batch of sugar maple in John’s backyard to make the charcoal they use for the Lincoln County process, essential for making Tennessee whiskey. To be classified a Tennessee whiskey the whiskey must be filtered through maple charcoal, which distinguishes it from bourbon whiskey.
“We’re looking forward to having a new home for our distillery in Murfreesboro and we’re excited about being so close to Middle Tennessee State University and partnering with their students in the fermentation program,” said Master Distiller John Lunn.
Although the main focus for John and Allisa will be Tennessee whiskey, they note they enjoy having the freedom to conduct a few experiments if they like. “Sazerac is known for experimentation, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with experimental spirits in Tennessee,” stated Distiller Allisa Henley.
Sazerac’s new Tennessee distillery will employee 20-25 full time workers. The new site will give complimentary tours and tastings when the visitor center is open. Tourism projections for visitors within five to ten years of opening is 50,000. Employment opportunities will be posted online at www.sazerac.com in late 2019 or early 2020.
Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit www.sazerac.com.