Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You Can Drink at the Jack Daniel's Distillery Now?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 5:08 AM

From The Green Bay Gazette:

For the first time, visitors can sample Jack Daniel whiskey on tours at the Lynchburg distillery under plans being fine-tuned. It was outlawed until recent legislation authorized it.

But a distillery spokesman says there's little worry about getting tipsy.

"You get three samples, just a sip," said Steve May.

And if you go to the Jack Daniel's website, they sure do say, "For a nominal fee, Jack Daniel’s is now offering Distillery tours, which include a sampling of our hometown product."

Let's not spend too much time wondering why a gal has to go to a Wisconsin newspaper to learn such exciting things. I leave it to the Bites people to ponder why this hasn't received a whole lot of in-state attention (and by "not a whole lot," I mean I couldn't find any).

What I want to know is, which piece of recent legislation authorized this? The two pieces of legislation having to do with whiskey this session were HB 3013 (requiring anything claiming to be a Tennessee whiskey to have a certain percentage of Tennessee-grown grains in it) and HB 3582 (requiring things calling themselves Tennessee whiskeys to have been distilled here in Tennessee).

But look at what's buried in HB3610:

The tastings may be held, at the option of the retail licensee without filing any notice with the commission, during the hours the retail licensee is open for business and no charge or fee may be assessed by the commission for a retail licensee to offer such complimentary samples. The commission may limit the size of each tasting to a specific ounce and the number of samples a customer may taste in any one day. In addition, the commission may limit the number of different products a licensee may offer for the complimentary samples in any one day.

That'll be added to Tennessee Code 57-3-404(h)(2) right after a list of all the ways alcohol sellers can provide you with samples. Usually, it's under the guise of educational wine tastings or letting employees sample the merchandise in order to learn about it. The new language seems to allow Jack Daniel's to offer tiny samples.

This is a good idea, I think. So, it's kind of peculiar that it didn't get more coverage here. But, hey, the tourists will like it. And we need tourists — so maybe telling them first isn't that bad a deal.

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