Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Greenbrier

  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8

    Greenbrier

    Hey guys, Im new to this site, but i have been reading posts for the past year or so. Only now have I decided to register. Anyhow, I love history, especially history pertaining to whiskey. Now, i know that this is a bourbon site, but i wanted to try and find out some information about Tennessee whiskey. Well, to be honest Im not sure the whiskey i am interested in would have even been considered Tennessee whiskey because it did not go through the Lincoln County process. I know that you guys have some info about Greenbrier in KY, does anyone have much knowledge about Greenbrier, TN and the whiskey that was produced there? I have a bit of info/history about it, but my thirst for knowledge has yet to be quenched. Any bit of info would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,603

    Re: Greenbrier

    "Tennessee Whiskey" is like "small batch." It's a term coined and then defined by a producer. Neither term has any legal meaning, except that "Tennessee Whiskey" has been recognized as a "distinctive product" of the USA by treaty with the EU, Canada and Mexico, and the regs require any statement of geographical origin to be true. Therefore, as far as the law is concerned, if you want to call a product "Tennessee Whiskey" it has to be (1) made in Tennessee and, (2) whiskey. That's it.

    That said, I can't help you with Greenbrier, TN. I know there were once many more distilleries in Tennessee than the two that remain, but I don't know much more than that.

  3. #3
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Napoleon, MI
    Posts
    7,449

    Re: Greenbrier

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    "
    That said, I can't help you with Greenbrier, TN. I know there were once many more distilleries in Tennessee than the two that remain, but I don't know much more than that.
    The distilleries of Kentucky have been documented and we all know some or a lot of their history. This quote about distilleries in Tennessee has got my interest up.
    Is there any place on the 'net to look up TN distilleries?
    Were they all wiped out when prohibition came in. I do know TN became "dry" before national prohibition.
    Were TN distilleries very small and more local back then? Similar to beer breweries, when every small town had at least one.

  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Napoleon, MI
    Posts
    7,449

    Re: Greenbrier

    To answer my own question, I just did a Google search and came up with this article, a good historical read. TN distilleries contributed a lot (via taxes) in the development of TN, and when proabition came most people in that business went into banking.

    Here's the link.

    http://spider.georgetowncollege.edu/...s12/gaston.htm

    Greenbrier was mentioned as having the largest distillery in that county.

  5. #5
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8

    Talking Re: Greenbrier

    I appreciate the help, unfortunately, i did already know about that article, and it is quite good. To be honest, it was my great great grandfather who started the distillery in Greenbrier, and the history is quite fascinating, but like I said, I am trying to get as much info as possible. One aspect of the product that i do not quite understand is the "No."s on whiskey bottles. For example, Chas. Nelson's Greenbrier Whiskey was old No. 5, Jack is old No. 7, but what does that mean? I have heard that it is the sequence of registration with the federal government, but Mr. Lunn, the master distiller of Dickel, told me it was almost meaningless. Also, i thought it was pretty cool to see my cousin's bottle of Chas. Nelson Rye from 1899.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: Greenbrier

    If you go to the state archive in Nashville, you will find a little information on Charles Nelson "Greenbeir" whiskey. The have a Sanbourb Insurance map of the distillery showing its charcoal mellowing vats, so yes, it did use the Lincoln County process. There are also a few articles on the distillery as well. I spent several days in the archive there and failed to find a lot on Tennessee distilling.

    The United Distillers Archive also has a trademark file on the brand, but that archive is closed to the public.

    Mike Veach

  7. #7
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8

    Re: Greenbrier

    Mike, your information is great, thank you. Do you know how i could access the state archive to find these articles? Is it possible to do online, or do i need to go to the actual office? Also, do you know of any way i could access the United Distillers Archives pertaining to my ancestor?
    Thanks again,
    Charlie Nelson

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: Greenbrier

    Charles,
    I don't think that you will find this information on line. I had to spend a couple of days there to find the information. The archive is downtown near the capital building. I stayed in the Motel 6 downtown and walked the 2 blocks or so to the archive everyday. If you go ask for Darla or Tom. They are the ones who helped me and both are vaery knowledgable and eager to help. You should be able to find the Sanbourn maps fairly easy - within an hour's time to find, study and copy.

    The United Distillers Archive is closed to the public. I can usually get in and even take someone with me, but the problem is getting to the files. When I worked there, I had a fork lift and a cage to access the 30 foot tall shelving. Now they have to arrange for someone to come in and use a lift if I want something on shelves above 8' in height (about 60% of the collection).

    Mike Veach

  9. #9
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8

    Re: Greenbrier

    Mike, you are a good man. I truly appreciate every bit of help offered in my quest to learn more about the man after whom I am named. I will definitely be going downtown to do some research.

  10. #10
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8

    Re: Greenbrier

    After doing some research and discovering old documents from within the family, I have found a few things that are interesting to note.

    - Charles Nelson owned a warehouse on Main Street in Louisville until at least 1910--- I have a receipt for a case of Greenbrier Whiskey bought from Charles, by a man from North Carolina....the case cost $12.75

    - Letters between Charles Nelson and his son William speak about travels from Nashville to Louisville, and just south of the city, then on to Cincinnati...a pretty regular trip

    Now, Charles Nelson was a millionaire by 1885, he owned a distillery in Greenbrier, TN and a warehouse in Louisville, KY, he travelled from Nashville to Cincinnati fairly often (Greenbrier, KY and Bardstown being between the two cities). AND the two bottles, Greenbrier, TN and Greenbrier, KY, have some very similar attributes. This being said, I can't help but think that Charles Nelson had at least a small role in the happenings at the Greenbrier, KY distillery.

    Charlie

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Greenbrier Distillery
    By **DONOTDELETE** in forum History
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-01-2006, 23:31

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top