Old Tennessee Distilling Company Offers High-Quality Products and Service
A lively, delicious, and unforgettable experience at Old Tennessee Distilling Company begins with an exit.
By Emily Mook
Suituated merely 50 yards from I-40 off Exit 407, the dynamic distillery awaits your visit. Given its remarkable range of topnotch products, high-energy “whiskey runner” atmosphere, and friendly staff, you owe it to yourself to take the exit, step inside, and stay a while.
Old Tennessee Distilling Company was started in 2013 and officially opened in 2015 by cofounders Kent Merritt and Sid Blalock.
A significant amount of growth occurred in those first two years. “We grew quite a bit,” Merritt recalls. “We started out making moonshine, vodka, and gin in 2014. In 2015 we purchased a steam-jacketed still that allowed us to expand our product line to include bourbon and whiskey.”
Today, the distillery continues to thrive and innovate while proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better—its dedication to creating small, high-quality batches sets it apart.
“Our process starts with growing and grinding our own heritage corn right here in Sevierville,” notes Merritt. “In 2021 we released a five-year-old bourbon that we produced from seed to bottle. We grew the corn, fermented the mash, and distilled it right here within a 10-mile radius. It is as local as it can get. We made it in our 400-gallon still, which yields about 35 gallons per batch. It’s a very small-batch, handcrafted, locally-sourced product.”
That bourbon, Sid’s Select™ Premium Tennessee Butcher’s® Bourbon, is the realization of a dream that started over seven years ago.
“Our Sid’s Select™ bourbon is named in honor of our founder, Sid Blalock,” Merritt says. “He and I started this project together, and he was very proud of it. The bourbon is 94 proof and made with 71% corn and 22% rye. It has caramel and vanilla notes, and the finish is very clean and smooth.”
The distillery also offers an impressive 17 flavors of moonshine.
“Our goal is to produce moonshine flavors that are very bold,” Merritt notes. “People are welcome to stop by for a free sample. The most popular flavor is our blackberry. We also have a 140.7 proof traditional clear moonshine that was inspired by our location at the point where I-40 meets Exit 407!”
If cocktails are more to your taste, the distillery offers several specialty cocktails every day. Be sure to try the Blackberry Lemonade Smash, which combines their blackberry moonshine and lemonade.
No matter what your beverage preferences are, you are sure to have a fun and memorable experience at Old Tennessee Distilling Company.
“Interacting with customers is definitely the most rewarding thing about my job,” says Merritt. “I want every single customer to have a positive experience: to come in and feel welcome, try our products and watch us make them, and remember us. People come here to have a good time, and our goal is to deliver that.”
Come on by Old Tennessee Distilling Company to relax, take a moment, take a sip, and get a taste of Tennessee.