By Goose Lindsay
2020 hasn’t lived up to expectations for Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a delayed opening and the cancellation or postponement of five concerts.
But the former prison turned distillery and tourist attraction received a boost Friday with the release of Brushy Mountain Double Barrel Whiskey.
“I’m super excited; we rolled our Double Barrel Whiskey out,” Brushy Mountain Group co-owner Pete Waddington said. “It’s a 6-year aged whiskey out of Kentucky and then we put it in Caribbean rum barrels and brandy barrels. This is our first run and we did enough for about 1,000 bottles.”
Brushy Mountain has operated its distillery since 2018, but used an outside source for its aged whiskey.
“Obviously, we wanted to start the whiskey as soon as we could,” Waddington said. “This is a short cut so we don’t have to age it for six years. We’ve got a supplier in Kentucky that’s good to us.”
Double Barrel Whiskey joins End of the Line Moonshine, Frozen Head Vodka and Struggle Bus Bloody Mary Mix in Brushy’s growing line of products.
Waddington added the importance of Brushy’s line of alcohol as being able to sell its product in stores has helped offset lost revenue from a delayed opening and concerts.
“The distillery is an important part of our business,” he said. “We’re getting good traction with our product. We’re excited to bring this out.
“This first run of whiskey will probably just stay here. We’ve got another 2,600 gallons laid down right now and when that comes out, about four months from now, that’s when we will really take it to the market out in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Atlanta.”
Waddington expects to add to its whiskey line in the future. He says peach brandy could be the next product to hit Brushy’s shelves.