Last July, Master Distiller John Lunn and Distiller Allisa Henley started cranking up their pot stills and distilled their first Tennessee whiskey for Sazerac in Newport, TN. Now one year later, Lunn and Henley and the rest of Sazerac are looking to move the Tennessee-whiskey operations to Murfreesboro, TN.
The company starts has plans for a new distillery, including bottling, barrel warehouses and a visitor center on the 55 acres it recently purchased.
The initial plan is to build two barrel warehouses. Each which will hold approximately 20,000 barrels. A visitor center which overlooks the property’s five-acre lake (pictured atop) is also in the plans — all to be operational in 2020.
Meanwhile, Lunn and Henley continue to distill Tennessee whiskey on their three pot stills in Newport. After the new distillery in Murfreesboro goes online, all stills and barrels will move there. With the oldest whiskey being only a year old, the barrels still have many years to rest before being bottled and sold, giving Lunn and Henley time to determine a brand name for the Tennessee whiskey, the age of the whiskey and a name for the new distillery.
“We’re looking forward to having a new home for our distillery in Murfreesboro and we’re excited about being so close to Middle Tennessee State University and partnering with their students in the fermentation program,” says Lunn.
Although the main focus for Lunn and Henley will be Tennessee whiskey, they have the freedom to conduct distilling experiments. “Sazerac is known for experimentation, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with experimental spirits in Tennessee,” says Henley.
Sazerac’s new Tennessee distillery will employee 20-25 full time workers, the company says. The new site will offer complimentary tours and tastings once the visitor center is open. Tourism projections for visitors within five-to-ten years of opening is 50,000. Employment opportunities will be posted online at sazerac.com in late 2019 or early 2020.