Almost all Tennessee whiskeys are produced using the Lincoln County Process, named after the county in which it was developed. This process involves filtering the whiskey through charcoal before it is aged.
While this may seem a relatively simple step, it’s an important one that gives Tennessee whiskey its distinctive flavor.
How Does The Lincoln County Process Work?
Lincoln County Process involves making whiskey that includes charcoal filtering the spirit before it goes into the barrel for aging.
The Lincoln County Process gets its name from the county in Tennessee where it was first used, at the Jack Daniel’s distillery.
When charcoal filtering whiskey, Lincoln County Process uses maple wood charcoal. The whiskey is slowly drip-fed through a bed of this charcoal, which removes impurities and gives the spirit a smooth flavor.
After the whiskey has been charcoal filtered, it is aged in oak barrels. The time the whiskey spends in barrels varies, depending on the style of whiskey being made.
Lincoln County Process is just one method of making whiskey. Other methods include using different woods for the charcoal filter or not filtering the whiskey at all before aging.
However, Lincoln County Process is the most common method used in Tennessee whiskey production.
What Is The Lincoln County Process?
The Lincoln County Process is a method of making whiskey named for the county in Tennessee where it originated.
The method was developed in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and is sometimes also known as the Tennessee method.
The process involves filtering the whiskey through charcoal made from wood that has been charred. This charcoal filtration helps to remove impurities and gives the whiskey a smooth flavor.
The Lincoln County Process was initially developed as a way to produce a more palatable whiskey, and it is still used today by many distillers. The process is said to help mellow the flavor of the whiskey and remove any harshness.
Whiskeys made using this process are typically mellower and have a more delicate flavor than those made using other methods.
To be classified as a Lincoln County Process whiskey, the spirit must be produced in Tennessee and aged in uncharmed oak barrels.
The barrels must also be made from wood cut in Lincoln County.
As a result, collectors and connoisseurs often prized Lincoln County Process whiskeys for their unique flavor and history.
Unsurprisingly, many people believe that whiskeys made using the Lincoln County Process are some of the finest available.
Does All Tennessee Whiskey Go Through The Lincoln County Process?
While all Tennessee whiskey must be distilled and aged in the state of Tennessee, not all of it goes through the Lincoln County Process.
To be classified as Tennessee whiskey, a distiller can either filter their whiskey through sugar maple charcoal or forego this step entirely.
Some distillers believe that filtering the whiskey diminishes its flavor, so they forego this step.
As a result, not all Tennessee whiskeys are subject to the Lincoln County Process, but those are often considered higher quality.
Only a handful of distilleries still use the Lincoln County Process, so Lincoln County whiskey has become somewhat of a rarity.
While not all Tennessee whiskey goes through the Lincoln County Process, those that do tend to be of higher quality and are more highly sought-after by collectors.
Nevertheless, the process remains an integral part of Tennessee’s whiskey-making tradition.
Benefits of the Lincoln County Process
Lincoln County Process is a method of making Tennessee whiskey that involves filtering the alcohol through sugar maple charcoal.
The process was first used in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and is still used by many of the significant Tennessee whiskey producers today.
The Lincoln County Process helps to give Tennessee whiskey its unique flavor profile, which is often described as smooth and mellow.
In addition to the flavor benefits, the Lincoln County Process also has several other advantages.
The benefits of the Lincoln County Process are twofold. First, the process removes impurities and unwanted flavors from the whiskey.
It helps remove impurities from the alcohol and allows the whiskey to age more slowly and develop a richer flavor. This results in a final product that is smoother and more pleasant to drink.
Second, the process also lends flavor notes to the whiskey that would not be present without it. These flavor notes include vanilla, caramel, and oak.
As a result, many whiskey enthusiasts consider the Lincoln County Process an essential part of making Tennessee whiskey.
Drawbacks of the Lincoln County Process
There are a few drawbacks to the Lincoln County Process. First, it is a time-consuming process that requires a significant amount of manpower and resources.
Furthermore, because only hardwood charcoal can be used for this process, it can be expensive to source the necessary materials.
Moreover, because the process removes impurities and some flavorful compounds from the whiskey, it can result in a final product lacking some depth of flavor.
In addition, the Lincoln County Process can only be used with certain types of grain, so it is not suitable for all whiskeys.
As a result, many distillers have turned to other methods of making whiskey, such as the sour mash process.
While some distillers still use the Lincoln County Process, it is no longer the most popular method.
Who Invented Lincoln County Process?
Jack Daniel’s distillery first used the Lincoln County Process in 1866 and is still used today to produce some of the world’s most iconic whiskeys.
While the origins of the Lincoln County Process are unknown, it is clear that this unique production method has helped to make Tennessee whiskey a world-renowned spirit.
The Lincoln County process was named after the county in Tennessee where it was first used.
Today, Lincoln County whiskey is prized for its smooth taste and unique flavor profile. Some of the most popular brands of Lincoln County whiskey include Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel.
While the Lincoln County process is now used worldwide, it will always be associated with the state of Tennessee.
Why Charcoal From Sugar Maple Trees is Used
Whiskey produced in Lincoln County must be filtered through sugar maple charcoal before it can be bottled and sold.
This unique process was first developed in the early 1800s and is still used today because of its ability to produce a smooth, high-quality product.
One of the reasons that sugar maple charcoal is so effective at filtering whiskey is that it is highly porous. This means that it can absorb impurities from the liquid, leaving behind a clear, purified product. This allows for a more effective filtration process.
In addition, sugar maple charcoal has a long history of being used for this purpose. It is thought to have originated in the Appalachian Mountains, and it was commonly used by frontier distillers to produce moonshine.
Today, Lincoln County Process work whiskeys are some of the most popular on the market, and sugar maple charcoal plays a vital role in their production.
There are several different brands of whiskey that use Lincoln County Process, and each one has its own distinctive flavor.
If you’re looking for a smooth, delicious whiskey, then look for one that has been charcoal-filtered using the Lincoln County Process.
Which Tennessee Whiskey Does Not Use The Lincoln County Process?
The Lincoln County Process was first used by Jack Daniel’s in the late 1800s, and it is now used by most Tennessee whiskey producers. However, there are a few exceptions.
Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey is one of the few brands that does not use the Lincoln County Process.
However, some whiskey aficionados argue that the Lincoln County Process can strip away some of the whiskey’s natural flavor.
As a result, Benjamin Prichard’s has chosen to forego this step in their production process. Instead, they rely on other methods, such as long aging in oak barrels, to produce a smooth and flavorful spirit.
While their whiskey may not be technically considered “Tennessee whiskey,” it is still recognizably a product of the state.
As such, Benjamin Prichard’s can continue producing its unique style of whiskey without having to conform to the Lincoln County Process.
The Lincoln County Process is a method of charcoal filtration used in the production of Tennessee whiskey.
The process involves filtering the whiskey through hardwood charcoal before it is aged. This step is used to remove impurities and unwanted flavors from the whiskey.
The Lincoln County Process was first developed in 18th century Tennessee and is still used today by many distilleries.
The process gets its name from the county in which it was first used, Lincoln County, Tennessee.