The Prichard’s Distillery was founded in 1997 by the Great-great-great grandson of Benjamin Pritchard, a Davidson County whiskey maker from way back in 1822. The distillery is built into a completely refurbished local school house in the tiny town of Kelso, Tennessee that was built in 1939. The Master Distiller and distillery’s founder is Phil Prichard who began his spirit adventure at the age of 57.
Prichard’s Distillery’s sales are comprised of about 65% bourbon and whiskey products and 35% rum products. Their best seller is a brand called “Sweet Lucy” named after any Southern Hunter’s flask contents. It is a whiskey liqueur with apricot and orange flavoring but has a vague Bourbon character as its base. Sweet Lucy currently makes up 54% of the plant’s total sales. Here is a direct quote from Prichard’s web site, “Sweet Lucy’s legacy has been flowing up and down the Mississippi flyway and along its tributaries for years and years, warming the bodies and souls of outdoors men for generations. Born in a duck blind and a frequent companion on duck hunts, variations of Sweet Lucy were generally homemade elixirs of peaches, oranges and apricots with lots of sugar and whiskey. Great pride would often be displayed by its maker as their flasks made its rounds for a sip among friends. Our Sweet Lucy Liqueur is no different. It has become our most popular product, due in small part to the fact, that for every bottle we sell a portion of the proceeds goes to the non-profit organization, “A Soldier’s Child.”
Although rums were the first spirit to come off Phil and Connie Pritchard’s canning still, this article on Whiskey University will concentrate on their bourbons and whiskies. Prichard’s makes a total of six bourbons or whiskies and three whiskey liqueur including; Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon, Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey, Prichard’s Lincoln County Lightning, Prichard’s Double Chocolate Whiskey, Prichard’s Single Malt Whiskey, Prichard’s Rye Whiskey, Prichard’s Sweet Lucy, Prichard’s Sweet Lucifer and Prichard’s Sweet Lucy Cream.
Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon is created using a unique, labor intensive process. Bourbon sourced from their friends at Heaven Hill is generally barreled at a relatively high proof of 124 and then aged for five to seven years. In the next step Prichard’s takes that 124 proof down to 95 proof and re-barrels it in new charred oak barrels for another two years to reinforce the barrel notes that bourbon is so famous for. The final bottle proof of the Double Barreled Bourbon is approximately 90 proof. This is currently the second most popular whiskey product and one of only three whiskey brands that is always available on store shelves.
Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey is currently on a short hiatus until late 2020 or early 2021 until their barrels have time to mature. According to their web site “Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey is distilled in the style of the traditional Tennessee Whiskey made by our fifth generation grandfather, Benjamin Prichard. His Tennessee Whiskey was made with white corn instead of the traditional yellow corn used in most Bourbons and Tennessee Whiskeys in the early 1800s. This subtle difference enriches our whiskeys with a touch of sweetness that we have become well known for. Our Tennessee Whiskey is a one-of-a-kind spirit, in that we are the only “Tennessee Whiskey” that is exempt from the law passed in 2013 that requires the charcoal mellowing process in or to be called a “Tennessee Whiskey”. We take great pride in this fantastic spirit and hope you will enjoy a Tennessee Whiskey worthy of it’s name.”
When the Prichard’s distillery opened in 1997 it was only the third legal distillery opened in the State of Tennessee since 1933 and the repeal of Prohibition behind only Jack Daniel’s in 1938 and George Dickel in 1958. Since that time, two more state laws have passed in 2009 and 2013 and thirty other “Craft Distilleries” have emerged all over the state.
In May 2014 Prichard's distillery opened a second distillery in Nashville, Tennessee on the grounds of the Fontanel Mansion which was owned by country music super star singer Barbara Mandrell. The mansion served as her family’s residence during the 80’s, 90’s and up to 2004. It is now a tourist attraction that has the distillery, a winery, an amphitheater with live concerts, a hotel, restaurant, shops and tours. The Mandrell mansion is second largest log home in the world.
Click On first Slide to see all of Prichard's North American Tennessee Whiskies
All photos of Prichard's are provided by Prichard's Distillery