Bienville Bites LoDa Food Tour, Mobile, AL

Celebrating the cuisine of the Mobile, Bienville Bites, the first and only food tour company in Mobile, began offering food tours in downtown Mobile in October, 2017.  Along with the tasty treats, the tour offers brief historical tidbits about the city as we walked through the downtown streets. Chris and Laney Andrews have embarked on providing tours of gastronomic fun and a bit of a history lesson featuring the best of Mobile.

https://bienvillebitesfoodtour.com/

Royal Scam

Royal Scam on Royal Street was our meet up point. Owner David Rath opened the restaurant in the 2006 and it has become a regular treat for Mobilians.  A little bit of rain did not deter our group of seventeen food tour participants.  Tour guide Laney Andrews offered ponchos to those who wanted them but down South a little rain doesn’t discourage hungry souls from some of Mobile’s finest cuisine.

Gumbo!

We sampled the Gumbo, a tomato based traditional Southern recipe created in 1702 by Madame Langlois. Their rue based broth made with onions, green peppers, celery, okra and shrimp is an excellent offering of this tasty dish.

https://royalscammobile.com/

Panini Pete’s

Once the rain shower passed, we were off down Royal Street to Panini Pete’s.  On this holiday weekend, Labor Day and the start of college football season, the place was unusually quiet.

 

 

Beignets

We were treated to Pete’s take on a scrumptious beignet, Pete’s own recipe based on the New Orleans delicacy.  Here the doughy treat is served with a lemon wedge and adds a little twist to the powered-sugar treat. We also sampled a selection of Panini’s. I chose the Muffaletta which was full of flavor with its olive tapenade. The Roast Turkey, their most popular Panini, was described by Chef Guy Fieri as the “State bird of Flavortown.” Pete’s prides itself on “Real food in our food”.  They are a scratch kitchen and make their own mozzarella cheese. Owner and executive chef Pete Blohme is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has made his mark with a multiple locations in the area. Pete’s is open for breakfast and lunch.

http://www.paninipetes.com/

A&M Peanut Shop

Crossing the street, we sampled a small tasting of nuts from the A&M Peanut Shop. A fixture of Dauphin Street for over seventy years, it treats passersby’s with the aroma from the roasting peanuts. It’s hard not to stop in for a bag of goodies.   You even get a musical treat.

Music Time!

https://sites.google.com/site/ampeanutshop2/

 

 

 

 

Three George’s

Our walking party made its way up Dauphin Street to Three George’s, which at 101 years old is one of the oldest companies in the city.

Candy maker, Tasha Thompson entertained our group with her energetic praline making and a hardy “Roll Tide”.  (Did I mention it was the opening weekend of college football)?

Pralines!

This Southern confection of sugar, butter and pecans is delicious and having them hot out of the pot only added to their magnificence.  The sugar buzz was well worth it.

http://www.3georges.com/

 

 

Hero’s Sports Bar and Grille

We continued our stroll up Dauphin Street to Hero’s Sports Bar and Grille.  The rain had left us so we sat outside across from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the glorious Catholic Church that dominates Cathedral Square.

Spinach and Crawfish dip

Hero’s is a mainstay of sports bars in downtown Mobile and we were treated to one of Hero’s staples, Spinach and Crawfish dip.  Served with pita bread, the smooth dip is a rich treat while watching the game on one of the many televisions showing the games of the day.  Hero’s is open for lunch and dinner.

https://heroessportsbar.com/

Wintzell’s Oyster House

The next stop on our stroll was Wintzell’s Oyster House. An iconic landmark on the Mobile Restaurant scene since 1938, it began as a small oyster bar.  It is a must do visit for visitors and locals alike. Surrounded by its signature signs, it offers a giggle for those who peruse the funny sayings.

Wintzell’s Oyster Bar

We bellied up to the Oyster Bar for tasting of several offerings of oysters, Chargrilled, Monterey and Rockefeller.

Oysters!

Those who were so inclined were offered a raw oyster in its shell.  A small dap of Tabasco sauce and you have a heavenly mouthful of deliciousness. Wintzells’ is open for lunch and dinner.

http://www.wintzellsoysterhouse.com/

 

 

 

Von’s bistro

The light shower began falling was headed back down Dauphin Street to our final stop, Von’s Bistro that opened in 2012. With its unique mix of Asian and Southern cuisine, this eatery is not to be missed.  Our tasting included a wonton and spring roll, both light and delicious. You will enjoy Von’s flare on traditional southern fare. Von’s is open for lunch and dinner.

http://vonsbistro.com/

 

During our stroll, Laney treated our group to historical tidbits about Mobile as well as the restaurants we visited. Mobile’s First and only Food Tour is a delightful way to spend an afternoon. They offer tours on Thursday evenings, Friday and Saturdays.  The Old Mobile Tour which features some of Mobile’s better nighttime restaurants and the Loda Stroll, featuring the seven eateries described here. During Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration, they feature Floats and Food tour. Be sure to check the Bienville Bites website for details on the tour times and tickets.

Visiting Mobile or just looking for an afternoon of relaxing fun, seek out this gastronomical tour that will be a treat for all your culinary senses.

https://bienvillebitesfoodtour.com/

 

Ozan Winery, Calera, AL

Ozan Winery

Just off Interstate-65 at exit 228 is an oasis of venticulture in Alabama. Ozan Winery, established in 2005, sits on a hill in Calera, Alabama surrounded by Norton grape vines.

Tasting room

 

 

On this warm Saturday, my friend and I found ourselves seated at a small tasting table ready to sample the offering of twelve wines, from a Chardonnay to dessert wines.

 

Wine stock

We found our favorites in the Peach and the Norton Silver red wine. The wines are aptly named for their flavor.  Lunch of a chicken salad sandwich and delicious sides of pickled vegetables accompanied our robust tasting.

Our train

 

After enjoying our wine, we spent the afternoon, “riding the rails”, in a 1950’s train from the nearby Heart of Dixie train museum. Onboard we opted for the pleasure of the air conditioned 1905’s passenger car.

Train car

 

 

 

Here is a quick video of the train switching locations to continue our short journey.  Video_20180602143635

 

Ozan is a popular site for weddings as the vineyard adds a touch of elegance. The winery itself offers small plates and tastings daily, except Mondays.  On most spring and summer weekends, you can have a magnificent wine tasting and train ride in the morning or afternoon. Ozan has recently begun distilling spirits. Their Yella whiskey, White whiskey and Vodka are tasty additions to their award winning wine.

Medal winners

 

 

New distilled spirits

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of Dixie

Not far from Ozan is the Heart of Dixie Train Museum, which features a number of rail cars and massive locomotives.  Run by local train enthusiasts, the Heart of Dixie makes a fun stop to learn about Alabama’s railroad history.  The Heart of Dixie has twenty-five miles of track which is privately maintained to preserve Alabama’s railroad history.

Porter’s hats

 

 

 

https://www.hodrrm.org/

Ozan’s Hard Working staff

If you’re traveling north or south on I-65, take some time and stop in at Ozan and enjoy some of their tasty treats at Café Vino and the sumptuous wines.  You’re sure to leave with a bottle or two!

http://www.ozanwine.com/

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum, Montgomery, Alabama

In the two most recent additions to the civil rights trail, I found both the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum to be powerful experiences. I was pleased to see and hear the respect that was being paid by the visitors at each location.  Sculpture is an integral part of the site.

Sculpture of slaves by
Kwame Akoto-Bamfo

 

Overloooking the Memorial

The six acre Memorial site is designed to contextualize this horrific past of racial terror in our counties history. It is part of our collective history and these events should be remembered, recognized and reconciled.

Expanse of the Memorial

Comprised of eight hundred and five Corten steel markers hung from the ceiling and etched with the names of the victims, one for each county where a lynching took place throughout the United States the Memorial is an impressive structure.

Beginning the Memorial

Upon entering, you start at eye level then the markers rise as you continue your journey through stories of those individuals lost to these horrific acts.

 

Humphey’s County MS marker

 

 

 

Over time the markers will weather in the elements and the site will continue to be transformed.

Markers

To the side of the Memorial is a field of markers waiting to be claimed and installed by the counties they represent.  Leaving the grounds of the Memorial is another sculpture.

Raise Up
by Hank Willis Thomas

 

 

 

 

Legacy Museum Entrance

The Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum is located a short distance from the Peace Memorial, on the site of a former slave warehouse were the enslaved were imprisoned. The eleven thousand square-foot museum was erected midway between an historic slave market, main river dock and train station where tens of thousands of enslaved people were sold at the height of the domestic slave trade.

Slavery evolved
provided by EJI

The exhibit take visitors through an in depth look from the beginning of slavery to the mass incarceration of African Americans today. Just before the Civil War, Montgomery was the capital of slave trade and one of the state largest slave owning states in the United States.

 

Some of the displays and recorded stories recounted here can be graphic and difficult to view but it is important to recognize and reconcile this into our mass consciousness. To date, the team at EJI has documented over four thousand lynching’s that occurred between 1877 and 1950.

Legacy Museum Jars
provided by EJI

Large jars of dirt that has been reclaimed from many lynching sites and are displayed in order to move toward reconciliation and to right the wrong done to the lynching victims and their families.

 

Both the Peace Memorial and Legacy Museum are the singular vision of Attorney and Author Bryan Stevenson; he is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

A brief video from my visit to the Memorial.

https://www.facebook.com/roadrunnerjounerys/videos/294119417802132/

Oprah Winfrey had an inside look at the Memorial and Museum before its opening in April on 60 Minutes.

“We want to tell the truth, because we believe in truth and reconciliation but we know that truth and reconciliation are sequential.  We can’t get to where we’re trying to go if we don’t tell the truth first.”  Bryan Stevenson said of the Memorial and Museum.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/inside-the-memorial-to-victims-of-lynching-60-minutes-oprah-winfrey/

Bryan Stevenson further explains. “This shadow cannot be lifted until we shine the light of truth on the destructive violence that shaped our nation, traumatized people of color, and compromised our commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice.”

If you are in Montgomery, I urge you to visit these two powerful monuments.

https://eji.org/national-lynching-memorial

https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/museum

My thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative for providing pictures of the Legacy Muesum.

National 9/11 Memorial and Museum,  New York, New York

9-11 Muesum

It was a glorious blue sky New York day when I visited the Memorial in December, just as it had been on September 11, 2001. You cannot walk this sacred ground to the Twin Towers Memorial Pool and view the inscribed names of those lost in the terrifying events without remembering of that horrific day.

Memorial pools
Remembrances

 

 

 

 

 

The museum is located next to the recently completed One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower)

Freedom Tower

 

Oculus

and the Oculus Shopping Area. Both of these buildings symbolize the endurance and tenacity of New Yorkers.

The 9-11 memorial opened ten years after the attack and the museum opened on May 15, 2014.

Beginning our tour, my friend and I viewed a film that chronicled the events of the attack and the eight months of debris removal following the tragedy. The flag that was raised by the firemen over the site is displayed just outside the theater. There you can read the story behind the search for the flag that was lost for years.

The flag that flew over the site

 

 

 

 

 

Heading down the escalator, we moved past the Tridents, massive beams that were removed from the site and you are walking through the massive basement area where the towers stood.

Tridents from below

Down a darkened corridor, you hear the voices of survivors relating their stories of that terrible day that had began as a lovely September morning.

Beginning the tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Septemeber 11, 2001

Pictures of the tower before the event and immediately after surround you as your path spirals downward and you reach the bottom floor of the museum. Standing tall is the last beam removed from the site. It is covered in memorials to those individuals who worked on the site cleanup.

 

Moving down an escalator, you notice a concrete staircase next to you. This is the “survivor’s staircase”, where many escaped the plaza before the towers collapsed. This was the first artifact to be installed due to its weight.

Survivors Staircase

At the bottom of staircase, I stopped to listen to a docent as he was giving a talk to a small group of visitors. Afterwards I learned he had been a firefighter on the site on the day.  “This is my way of giving back”, he told me. It surprised me that he could so easily relate his experience but everyone finds a way to deal with tragedy.

 

Cell tower

 

Viewing the remnants of the massive cell tower that sat atop the tower was daunting.  The fire trucks that were partially collapsed reminded you how fragile seemingly strong machines can be.

The final beam removed from the site

Entering the center of the exhibit, a thirty-six foot long, sixty ton beam dominates the room.  Here, there are many artifacts here to view.

Twisted beam after the tower collaspe

Twisted iron beams that were crushed under the weight of a collapsing building, items used by the crews to dig for survivors.

 

A single window that survived the towers collaspe

A single glass window from the towers that survived the epic destruction, intact is remarkable.

The interior museum within the museum is where emotions begin to tell the story. No photographs allowed here due to the very personal nature of the artifacts. For me, the most striking exhibit is the Flight 93 voice recordings presented in real time. It is difficult to hear as those men and women knew they would not survive but did everything in their power to stop the attack. They are true heroes. You cannot leave the area without being emotionally moved.

After the attacks

Much has been and will be written about 9-11, the causes and aftermath and you learn about both here. From the rise of terrorism around the world, previous attacks and the steps taken to try and resolve the conflicts. Your emotions will range from grief, pain and anger to pride and love. You will not forget a visit to this scared ground.

We can only pray that an event like this never happens again.

Tickets for the museum can be purchased online for timed entry to this unique and meaningful memorial.

https://www.911memorial.org/

Mobile Medical Museum Mobile, AL

Mobile Medical Museum

The Mobile Medical Museum at 1664 Springhill Avenue is housed in the Vincent-Doan-Walsh house. This house is the oldest privately owned home from the 1800’s that still stands in Mobile and has been the site of the museum since 2003. The Medical Museum was founded in 1962 by Dr. Samuel Eichold, II.

Daryn P. Glassbrook, PhD, Executive Director of the museum gave me a guided tour of this fascinating place. Tours are available by appointment. The museum welcomes approximately eleven hundred visitors each year which is significant for this specialized museum.

Orbit, Explorations of the Eye

The temporary exhibit, “Orbit, Explorations of the Eye”, covering the centuries of ophthalmological practices began our tour. Entering the main gallery area, I was introduced to Howard the Leach, he harkens back to the very early days of medicine when blood-letting was thought to be a cure for some illnesses.

 

 

Moving onto Mobile’s medical past, we discussed Dr. Josiah Knott’s role in determining the cause of the yellow fever outbreak. I also learned about the formation of the Medical College of Alabama, founded in 1859 that would become Knott’s legacy.

Main Gallery

Two large anatomical models, pre-dating the Civil War, one illustrating the Lymphatic system and one the Nervous system, dominate the main exhibit room. These models were most likely used for teaching at the Medical College.  These colorful displays were brought over from Europe and how they survived the Civil War occupation is a mystery.

 

 

J. Marion Sims, the father of gynecology, has an unequalled story in the history of medical practice. Sims is responsible for the invention of several pieces of gynecological equipment but does have a less than stellar reputation. It is said that while treating his female patients, many of whom where female slave in the 1840’s, he did not use anesthesia during their treatment. Many thanks to those women who endured so much to help those who have benefited from the treatments he pioneered.

William Rankin, an engineer and physicist was responsible for developing the first x-ray to be produced using cathode tubes in 1913. His first x-ray was that of his wife’s hand. He is considered the father of diagnostic radiology and was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Physics.

Skeletons

You would think you’d find skeletons in a medical museum. Here there are two both of which date back about 120 years. Both are of Asian heritage. They also have several human skulls that are used as teaching tools.

Iron Lung

In the rear gallery of the museum is an Iron Lung which was used between the 1930s and 1950s during the polio epidemic. Although helpful in the patient’s treatment, it could not have been a comfortable experience to have been contained in one of these

 

machines.

Iron Lung Treatment area

 

Heart Lung Machine

Alongside the Iron Lung is a Heart Lung machine that was used in the process of heart transplants. You can learn how both of these machines contribution to life saving procedures.

 

 

 

In the garden, the museum is awaiting on installation of three new sculptures. An herb garden is featured where traditional medicinal herbs are grown.

The Mobile Medical Museum is a small unique museum with countless stories to tell. I encourage everyone to seek this out the museum to learn the stories of Mobile’s rich medical past. This museum adds a distinctive flavor to Mobile’s own unique history.

https://www.mobilemedicalmuseum.org/

The Queen Mary and Churchill’s Finest Hours Exhibit Long Beach, CA

Queen Mary

I had the pleasure of attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the RMS Queen Mary’s arrival in Long Beach Harbor in December, 2017.  The ship was bought by the City of Long Beach, CA in 1967 and was opened to tourists in May, 1971.

50th anniversary of the arrival of the Queen Mary in Long Beach

It stands now as a museum, hotel and a wedding venue and a testament to history.

The anniversary coincided with the opening for Churchill’s Finest Hours Exhibit and on the heels of the release of the Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.

Jeanne Churchill and Laurence Geller open the Finest Hours exhibit
Their Finest Hours

This exhibit is similar to the Churchill war rooms in London, which provides a look inside the government rooms that were used in London during World War II.  Jeanne Churchill, the great-grand daughter of Churchill cut the ribbon to open the exhibit.

https://queenmary.com/tours/tours-exhibits/churchill/

 

International Churchill Society held its annual meeting on the day of the opening.  Churchill made six  voyages on the Queen Mary and he always occupied the stateroom M-119, now known as the Churchill Suite.

One of Winston’s favortie spot’s on board the Queen Mary

https://winstonchurchill.org/

The Queen Mary sailed from 1936-1967 for the Cunard Line until she passed the flagship status in 1946 to RMS Queen Elizabeth. The Cunard line dominated transatlantic service until the 1950’s when airplanes could make the transatlantic flight.

The ship played an important role in World War II for Britain. She was taken out of passenger service in 1940 to become a troop ship and was called the Grey Ghost due to her new paint job and her speed at crossing the Atlantic.  Hitler had bounty on the ship due to her speed, clocked at 23 ½ knots. She was the fastest ship at sea until 1952 when beaten by USS United States.  Some 800,000 troops sailed on her during WW2 of course it was not in the luxury accommodation her previous guests knew.  In 1947, she was restored to luxury passenger service.

In the late 1940’s and 50’s, the Queen Mary was the height of luxury travel for the movers and shakers of Hollywood and politics.  She had a crew of 500 and 347 passenger cabins.  Both Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth attended the children’s nursery.  There were three smoking lounges, two pools and an exercise room. Onboard entertainment was also first class as many entertainers performed while onboard. Liberace performed for the passengers and the performances were broadcast throughout the ship for all to enjoy.

The Promenade
The Observation Bar

The City of Long Beach paid three and half million in 1967 for the ship and some seventy million was spent to convert ship to a museum and then hotel by Long Beach. A large majority of the money was spent on the removal of engines and boilers.  Today, the ship serves as a museum, hotel with 346 hotel rooms with nine suites and a wedding venue.  The Great Lady attracts some 1.5 million visitors annually to honor this significant floating piece of history.

Exceptional onboard tours are available daily and you will have an enjoyable day aboard the Great Lady. We were given an excellent historical tour of the ship by tour guide, Kelly.

Kelly, our tour guide explaining the wood used on the Queen Mary

She was well versed and provided us with an in depth overview of the ship.

Downtown Long Beach

There are also several restaurants available in all price ranges or you can enjoy a stay at the hotel for a true taste of history.

50th Annivesary ice sculpture

 

 

 

 

That evening we attended the invitation only Queen Mary 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Churchill Society Party and opening of the Churchill exhibit on the fantail of the ship.

Laurence S. Geller CBE, is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Churchill Society with Jeanne Churchill

The City of Long Beach purchased The Queen Mary ocean liner in 1967 and it came to its berth in Long Beach Harbor on December 9, 1967. The liner’s final voyage crossed the world to reach its new home. A flotilla of commercial and private boats welcomed the Great Lady to her new home.

Commodore Everette Hoarde toasts the Queen

If you are in Southern California take time to visit this iconic piece of history.  It will be a treat you will never forget.

 

http://www.queenmary.com/

FDR’s Little White House

FDR Museum

Ensconced in the tall pines of Southwest Georgia in Warm Springs, Georgia is Franklin Roosevelt’s Little White house. The President purchased the land in 1926 after having been afflicted with polio in August, 1921. This occurred just after his first run for national office as vice president. He believed the mineral hot springs could help heal polio and wheree he would ultimately  create  the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.

Little White House

The Little White House  is small and intimate comprised of only six rooms. Today, it is truly a place that has captured a moment in time. Little, if anything, has changed at the house since his death in April, 1945.  The space is simple and functional and does not have any of the opulence of Hyde Park. See my companion post regarding Hyde Park: https://roadrunnerjourneys.com/2018/07/09/fdrs-presidential-library-hyde-park-new-york/.  Roosevelt could be himself there while serving as President.  He developed some facets of his New Deal here, specifically the Rural Electrification Administration which helped bring electricity to rural areas.  Both domestic and international guests were hosted during his time there.

View from the Little White House porch

Cocktails were served on the patio overlooking the pine forest on the back of the house. There are two smaller houses just in front of the Little White House where his cook and housekeeperlived or could be used as guest quarters.

Your tour of the complex begins with a twelve minute film about Roosevelt’s time spent in Georgia.  Ultimately, he would reside at the Little White House forty-one times during his years as president.  The museum holds numerous artifacts regarding FDR’s time spent in Georgia. The swimsuit he wore while swimming in the hot springs pools, his precious dog, Fala’s collars and the many decorated canes that FDR received as gifts.

The orginal site of the Little White House museum

The museum was originally opened in 1948 at the home of his neighbor, Georgia Wilkins.  The Wilkins home is now used for conferences at the museum.  The path to the original museum is lined with flags and native rocks  from each state.

The State walk

 

 

 

 

During FDR’s time at the Little White House, he used two hand control cars to drive throughout the roads of Georgia.  It was during these interactions with the public that he determined that the rural areas of the country needed electricity and he made it part of his new deal.  FDR’s interaction with other polio victims, he helped found the March of Dimes to raise money for polio patients.

One of FDR’s hand driven cars

 

 

 

 

 

 

FDR was in Warm Springs for rest and meetings with two international representatives in April, 1945. He was also having his portrait painted by Elizabeth Shoumatoff.

Madame Shoumatoff

 

While sitting for the portrait he suffered a massive stroke on April 12, 1945 and died shortly thereafter.  While the  portrait remains unfinished, Shoumatoff did create paint another portrait from her sketches done on that April day.

The completed portrait hangs beside the unfinished one at the Little White House.

The completed last potrait

The President was taken back to New York via train. He was buried at Springwood in Hyde Park. The people of Warm Springs had lost a true friend.

THe timeline of FDR’s death

 

 

 

 

Nearby Pine Mountain State Park pays tribute to  FDR with a statue overlooking the mountain. This monument to the President is located where FDR would go to picnic and mull the issues of the world. He visited there the day before he died.

Pine Mountain Statue of FDR

Comprisive ninty minute guided tours are available on Saturdays at 9:30am. The guided tour is highly recommended for an in depth look at the complex.

Little White House Welcome Center

The site is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and welcomes in access of one hundred thousand visitors each year.

 

https://gastateparks.org/LittleWhiteHouse/

 

Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Lynchburg TN

Jack Daniel

Located in the hills of Southern Tennessee is the United States’ oldest whiskey distillery. Jack Daniel’s was founded in 1866 by Jack Daniel (Jasper Newton Daniel).  Jack became enamored with the trade of whiskey making at an early age. He learned the “Lincoln County Process” from a local preacher, Dan Call and a slave, Nathan “Nearest” Green. Whiskey making soon became Jack’s passion. After the Civil War, Call sold Jack the whiskey business and Jack hired “Nearest” as the head distiller.

Jack’s secret of this signature Lincoln County whiskey is Cave Spring Hollow.

Cave Srping Hollow

The limestone filtered iron free spring water which maintains a constant 56 degrees provides the natural beginning for Old No. 7, Jack’s original recipe. Jack knew he had something special and purchased Cave Spring Hollow and surrounding land for $2,148.00, a small fortune in the 1800’s.

While the spring water may be the natural beginning of the whiskey, the Rickyard is where the magic begins in the creation of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

Rickyard pallets

Here maple wood pallets are incinerated to create the charcoal used in the whiskey fermentation process.

 

 

Rick Burning

 

RIckyard Charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

The charcoal filtered whiskey, “Old No. 7”, (the signature Black Label) in its unique square bottle made its world debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.  There it earned its first gold medal as the world’s best whiskey.

Jacsk Daniels Whiskey

An inconsequential event in 1906 would dictate the rest of Jack’s life when he kicks his office safe in frustration and breaks his toe.

Jack’s safe

Jack would succumb to his injury in 1911 from complications from his broken toe and having no wife or children, he leaves the distillery to his nephews, Lem and Jess Motlow.  The distillery was shuttered from 1919 to 1933, when prohibition was the law of the land and again during World War II, due a lack of supplies to make the whiskey due to the war effort.

 

In 1941, a statute of the 5’2” Jack was commissioned and now stands outside his original office in front of Cave Spring Hollow.

Jack Daniel

Crooner, Frank Sinatra was introduced to Jack Daniel’s whiskey in 1947 and that relationship has continued to the present day with Jack Daniel’s Sinatra label.

The Jack Daniel’s brand was acquired by Brown-Forman Corporation in 1956 and by the 1980’s had become a global brand. In 1988, a smoother blend of the Black Label was introduced, Gentleman Jack.

The barrel houses, eighty-nine of them, contain twenty thousand barrels each. That’s a lot of whiskey!

Barrel House

The barrel houses are not temperature controlled, whether it’s hot or cold, it serves to enhance the flavor of each barrel.  Walking though the buildings where the signature whiskey has been made for over 150 years, you get a real sense of the simplicity of the process and how little the location has changed over the years.

In the fermentation house, the whiskey mash is placed on a layer of the Rickyard made charcoal for three to five days.  Upon entering the fermentation area you immediately recognize the perfume of the whiskey. This is where you will truly get a snoot full.

Fermenter No. 4

The aroma envelopes you when the vat is opened. This area is also where the tasters begin sampling the whisky to determine just how long the barrels will be aged.  On average the barrels are aged between five and seven years depending on which of the Jack Daniel’s labels are being produced.

The signature whiskey is aged in hand-crafted barrels that hold about fifty gallons and provides the whiskey with its amber color and some flavoring. The distillery does not reuse its barrels, it’s one and done. Barrels can be purchased through the distillery or other various retail outlets.

Pretty use of a hand crafted barrel

 

Here is a short video about the Jack Daniel Cooperage located in Trinity, Alabama.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45oBxq-lkYI

 

 

 

After the walking tour of the distillery, we were treated to a tasting of five Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, Black Label, Gentleman Jack, Rye, Honey and Fire.  The tasting room’s oak tasting table is surrounded by old oak hand crafted barrels. While there you immerse yourself in the fine flavors of this premium whiskey.

Bourbon Tasting

Interested in how fine signature whiskies are created, then this is the destination for you! I would recommend that you pre-book your selected tour online.

 

It will save you time and you can spend some time enjoying the exhibits in the visitor’s center.

Welcome Center

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Daniels’ can be busy but there is ample parking available and a parking shuttle.

Parking Shuttle

Do not pass up the opportunity to pick up a bottle of two of your favorite label in the gift shop. Moore County may be dry but there is always a brisk liquor business being done at Jack Daniel’s.

Purchases

In case you have a sweet tooth, perhaps you’d enjoy some Jack Daniels’ fudge.

https://www.wineandglue.com/jack-daniels-whiskey-fudge/

Here’s a link to the distrillery so you can begin planning your trip!

https://www.jackdaniels.com/en-us/visit-us