Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fayetteville, TN

The next stop was as close as possible to Lynchburg, TN, home of Jack Daniels and the 21st Invitational Jack Daniels BBQ Cookoff. Lynchburg itself is a small town of about 400, so we looked for someplace closeby. Fayetteville, 15 miles away, had an Elks, which was glad to let us park there for a few days.

All around this area we found beautiful, old homes. This was one block off main street in Fayetteville. I just love the wrap around porches, especially on both floors.

We visited another whiskey distiller, George A. Dickel and Co. Ever heard of them? Me neither, but they are supposed to be one of the larger distillers of fine sipping whiskey. Since they were in a dry county, no samples, but is was a good tour. We were the only people on the tour, so we got the in depth story. Like most distillers, this one has been around for about 150 years. It was shut down and dismantled during prohibition, but the secret recipe and secret yeast was passed on and in 1939 it was rebuilt and reopened. Located in Cascade Hollow, they even have their own post office. One of their claims to fame is the way they filter the whiskey through charcoal and a wool blanket, filtering out all the impurities and fats and oils, leaving only the pure, smooth Tennessee whiskey.

But what was more interesting was Prichards'. I didn't even know rum was made in the U.S., thinking it all came from the caribbean islands. I was wrong. Right there in Tennessee a man distills rum.

Yes, above is the entire operation. They do have a small shed where the rum ages but otherwise, this old school building, then a community center, is now the distillery, offices, and bottling of Paul Prichards' Rum.

His first still. He has only been in operation commercially since about 1996. Yes, that is his wife's canning pot.

This is his current distiller. He still only distills small batches, around 300 gallons at a time.

His test still. Yes, it is a turkey stainless steel turkey fryer and salad bowl.

The packaging operation. All by hand. He employs a total of 8 employees.

And on to Shelbyville, home of The Celebration, the largest Tennessee Walking Horse Exposition and Horse Show. Not as large or impressive as Lexington Horse Farm, but still impressive.

The courthouse on the square in Shelbyville. It was like a blast from the past. Inside on the walls were copies of: The Ten Commandments; The Magna Carta; The Declaration of Independence; The Mayflower Compact; all the verses of Star Spangled Banner; The Bill of Rights; and The National Motto. These should be on display more places and people should really read them.

If it weren't for the newer cars, this could be a scene from Mayberry RFD and the 1950s.

Outside of town were horse farms.

Again, not quite as plentiful or as impressive as those around Lexington, the Tennessee Walking Horse Farms are still pretty large operations. I guess just not the same money as in Thoroughbreds.

But I think this barn needs a little work.

Shelbyville is the home of the Tennesee Walking Horse Celebration Arena, but the museum is in Lynchburg. Go Figure! They are pretty horses.

Jack Daniels was only 5'4", and learned distilling at age 14 from the Lutheran minister who raised him. When the preacher's church members insisted he get rid of the still, he sold it to Jack when Jack was 16. Once he started making money he ordered fancy clothes from the east and dressed flamboyantly with his long coat and hat.

Jack Daniels makes their own charcoal from the sugar maple tree. Here are stacks of wood ready to be incinerated.

After it has burnt it is placed in this box waiting to be used. Jack Daniels also filters their whiskey through charcoal, which is why it is not bourbon, but only whiskey.

The spring and cave where the original still was located. They still use the fresh spring water for their whiskey.

You can see here the still, the fermenting plant and above is one of the warehouses. They would not allow pictures inside.

The Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Cookoff started on Friday with a parade. Most of the 83 participants marched around town. There were BBQ teams from Germany, Britain, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Luxemburg and several countries. Plus over 20 states were represented from the U.S. To be invited you had to have won a BBQ contest which had over 50 participants or a state or regional contest.

Many of the teams had their own banners and sometimes, even dress.

Not only did Roy have great lemondade, but we found out they are full time RVers too. They now do about 28 festivals a year, but he franchises his lemonade and has many others selling his lemonade throughout the U.S. and many other festivals and even casinos. We have invited them to come out to the west and come play sometime.

Whiskey barrell totems.

I loved this t-shirt. (No offense to any vegetarians out there, I just don't like the PETA organization)

The presentation was 1/3 of the points in judging. Taste and tenderness were the other 2/3.

Entertainment was happening all day on the town square.

Ice cream being made using a John Deere tractor engine.

Training for the rodeo.

Even some of the locals played on the corner.
And yes, the BBQ was great. We wandered around getting samples until we couldn't eat any more.

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