John Emerald Distillery in Opelika, Alabama has released the first legal whiskey distilled in Alabama since Prohibition. In 1915 Lem Motlow, the father of Jack Daniels, was forced to leave Alabama when the state instituted prohibition 5 years before the federal government. Fast forward to 2015 and John Emerald Distilling Company (JED) releases John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey. It only took 100 years for Alabama to see the resurgence of a quality home grown whiskey.
Today, father and son team, John and Jimmy Sharp, have brought the tradition of fine Whiskey back to Alabama. John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey is Alabama's whiskey. Unlike other brands, John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey is distilled in Alabama for Alabama. The whiskey is styled as an American Single Malt Whiskey. This new style is somewhere between a Bourbon and a Scotch. Like its Alabama home, John's Alabama Single Malt is a true southern spirit that sports a character all of its own. A sip reveals a smooth sweet beginning that transports your taste buds to the vanilla provided by the oak barrel followed by the subtle smoke of southern Peach and Pecan wood that gently binds all the favors together. Then Alabama wine barrel staves provides a complexity for the perfect finishing touch.
John Emerald's Opelika, Alabama distillery features an 8,000 square foot facility with a Tasting Room where you can taste their spirits in a craft cocktail or neat in a tasting flight. The production facility sports a 350 gallon hybrid pot still along with all the equipment needed to make the magic happen.
Walking into the tasting room one might experience the sweet smell of malted barley mashing in the 465 gallon mash tun or the aroma of a whiskey distillation flowing into a receiving vessel. "Each process has a distinctive aroma, it makes for a nice working environment," says John Sharp one of JED's owner/distillers. Along with whiskey JED makes Gin, three types of Rum, Vodka and a very unique Muscadine Brandy.
John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey is available in select ABC stores in Alabama, Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah, GA. If you local liquor store doesn't have the whiskey, ask them to get it in for you. You'll be happy you did.
JED's tasting room is open Wednesday through Saturday from 4PM until midnight and tours are available Thursday through Saturday from 5PM until 10PM.
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