Whiskey Wars opening in Nashville

Whiskey distillers in Tennessee want to change a law that would revise the formula used to make Tennessee Whiskey.

Ole Smoky plans to release a charred moonshine flavor this weekend. (Source: Kyle Grainger)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Whiskey distillers in Tennessee want to change a law that would revise the formula used to make Tennessee Whiskey.

The debate comes down to state law and how whiskey is made. Distillers say the fight over the phrase "Tennessee Whiskey" comes down to the barrel: New verses old.

Current state law says to call whiskey a "Tennessee Whiskey," you must use a new barrel.

"There's a big shortage in new oak barrels. I think many distillers would love to use a used barrel to make Tennessee whiskey," says Justin King, Master Distiller at Ole Smoky in Gatlinburg.

At Ole Smoky, King had to get used barrels for the company's newest corn moonshine whiskey flavor. That's why it's called moonshine and not whiskey. King says he thinks changing the rules would be a good thing.

"You know we're proud to be from Tennessee and love to distill whiskey here, and would love to call what we do 'Tennessee Whiskey.' We're making a charred moonshine, we've got all the aging process going on here," says King.

Business owners say the rules limit the abilities to grow their businesses. Distillers say customers won't notice too much of a difference in taste with a twice used barrel.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 250857751 - local8now.com/a?a=250857751