Wednesday, April 18, 2012

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Chattanooga Whiskey

If you've read my blog for a while (or at least since I moved back to Chattanooga last year) you know that I am a fan of most everything Chattanooga.  If you follow me on twitter, then you know I have been known to enjoy an adult beverage or two.  And if you know me 'in real life', you know that I do not discriminate between bourbon and whiskey as my drink of choice on gamedays.

So I was pretty excited when Chattanooga Whiskey Company announced that they were planning on launching a 'pre-prohibition' style whiskey as an homage to the days when Chattanooga was apparently known for it's 40+ distilleries, and a time when was still legal to distill liquor in Hamilton County.  They wanted to emphasize the history of Chattanooga & its whiskey, and their first release, the 1816 bottle, is a reference to the year that John Ross landed on the banks of the Tennessee River.

The guys at Chattanooga Whiskey did lots of 'research' to create their 1816 Reserve, and although they can't distill it here (yet, as they like to say) the blend was personally selected, and it is proofed & bottled in Chattanooga.*

Side note: I would have loved to have been a part of the whiskey research.  I'm sure there was a lot of tasting involved to make sure they got it juuuust right.

Friday night was the official Launch Party for Chattanooga Whiskey at Lindsay Street Hall, and being the whiskey lover that I am, I picked up 4 tickets as soon as they went on sale.  The party was a sellout, even after they raised the capacity to 450 people.  There was great cross section of Chattanooga whiskey lovers, all anxious to try a Chattanooga inspired blend.  I'm not much of a mixer and mingler, but the party was done well, and lets face it, I was there for the whiskey not the people.

As soon as you walked in, you were given your first taste of Chattanooga Whiskey served neat.  I was pleasantly surprised.  My biggest fear is that they would have done a fantastic job promoting Chattanooga Whiskey, only to have it, for lack of a better word, suck.

Chattanooga Whiskey has a slightly sweet flavor and a bite to balance it out.  I'm not going to make comparisons to other whiskeys, but it had a nice, strong taste that was entirely drinkable neat or on the rocks.  There were also bars setup within the party, and I a saw lots of women with whiskey mixed drinks enjoying themselves.  So I worried for nothing.  Chattanooga Whiskey is good enough that it will find a permanent home in my liquor cabinet...probably sooner than later.

Chattanooga Whiskey went on sale to the public Monday through local distributor Athens Distributing.  A friend of mine from Jax Liquor (Downtown on Market, near the Aquarium) posted this picture yesterday. .  They have both the 1816 Reserve and Cask (113 proof) bottles, selling for $24.99 & $39.99 respectively.  I really like the price point (the Reserve is a steal) and wish Chattanooga Whiskey company best of luck bringing whiskey back to Chattanooga!

Chattanooga Whiskey Company                      Jax Liquors
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Special thanks to Chattanooga Whiskey Company & Jax Liquors for letting me use their amazing me, no one wanted to see my iPhone pictures

*Edit 4/11/13 - This was may understanding at the time this article was originally published.  I'm not 100% sure that it has been proofed & bottled in Chattanooga to this point.  Hopefully this will be a mute point soon.

** Edit 4/29/13 - Due to an excessive amount of spam, comments have been turned off on this post.  Feel free to send me a tweet if you'd like to leave a comment.
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