Tennessee is synonymous with whiskey, well, really and kind of drinking. In fact, one of our state songs has an entire verse about moonshine. Wanting to embrace my adopted home, I thought touring a local distillery would be a great addition to the list. My friend Loren (from the ballet and the corn maze) joined me for a girls night out at Corsair.
All the folks on Rocky Top get their corn from a jar. This is the most Tennessee thing you’ll ever see me do.
During the tour we learned about the history of Corsair, the building, and the spirit making process. To be honest, I don’t remember much of it, so this post will be short. Not because of the drinking that followed the tour, but because it was just a ton of information. Loren and I talked about doing a second tour just to take it all in (and because we had so much fun the first time).
This machine does something, but I really don’t know what. Too sciencey for me (plus I was distracted by the distillery cat). If I recall correctly, grain is carried via a hopper, goes through a wash, and then is processed and separated. The liquid goes on to the still, and the remaining grain is taken by farmers to local farms to be added to feed. I assume there are some really drunk pigs somewhere in Middle Tennessee.
The centerpiece of the tour was a 100+ year old copper still. It is one-of-a-kind and survived Prohibition by hiding out in Canada for a few years. Unfortunately, it has no identifying plaques or markers so they don’t know the manufacturer or the exact year of creation.
After the spirits go through the distillation process, the liquor is put into barrels and aged. The barrel is slowly rotated so the spirits absorb the full flavor. This room smelled amazing. Well, actually it smelled exactly like what you’d think a distillery would smell like.
Following the tour we had a tasting of some of Corsair’s products. The tasting included their gin, spiced rum, moonshine, quinoa whiskey, and triple smoked whiskey. Loren and I aren’t big girls, so tasting straight liquor got a little overwhelming by the 5th sample. In fact, our lips went numb rather quickly. Usually I dilute whatever liquor I’m drinking in a large glass of coke (sorry connoisseurs) so I liked being able to taste the unique flavors of each drink. While I normally dislike gin (I think it tastes like rubbing alcohol), I really liked Corsair’s gin. It had a very piney flavor. Also, I could really taste the difference between the quinoa whiskey and the triple smoked whiskey .
After the tasting we stuck around for cocktails and a healthy mix of business and girl talk. I had a Swizzle Me Timbers which had spiced rum, lime, nutmeg, angostura (bitters), simple syrup, and absinthe. Loren had one called Messin’ with Sasquatch. Both were delicious.