If I had to describe this past weekend in one word, that word would be WOW! Yes, in all caps. It was just that awesome! The hardest part about this trying to figure out where in the world to start. I guess the beginning would be a good place…
The trip started at about 3am EST from Taylors, SC — near the Greenville/Spartanburg metro area. My good friend Jay Prince and I were on the road for six hours before arriving at Lynchburg, TN. After the fastest six hour car ride that I have ever experienced, we finally arrived at the distillery at 8am CST. Because we arrived so early, we were fortunate enough to park at the visitor’s center. And there to greet us was the gentleman himself!
Upon arrival, we immediately sign up for a tour and get in on the second tour of the day. It was a good thing that we went ahead and did this, because after the tour ended around 9:30am, there was a very long line going out the visitors center!
Although the tour had to be somewhat rushed due to this being the busiest day of the year at the distillery, it was still an excellent tour. Bruce did a great job of leading us through the hallowed grounds of the distillery, the still house, and the barrel house. Unfortunately we did not get to sample the whiskey (with it being in a dry county), but we did get some tasty lemonade.
The population around the area really get into this event, and it is evident by the massive crowds seen dispersed throughout. You really can’t put into words the dedication, passion, and love that locals put into this event — it’s really something that has to be experienced in person. The layout is just amazing.
A word of advice: if you go, invest the money and purchase a commemorative whiskey barrel top. Make sure to bring a black Sharpie marker, and take it to have the teams sign. It makes for a great conversation piece, and it’s really cool to have teams sign it! As you can see, the one I purchased is already on display at the office.
Oh yeah, I also got branded an honorary Canadian by DivaQ. But I’ll tell more about that next time…
There really is so much more to tell, but I wanted to keep this brief. Next time I will be talking about some of the teams that I had the privilege of meeting in Lynchburg! If you’re interested in seeing some photos, you can check out the album on my Facebook page.