Must Try Local Distilleries for Whiskey Lovers in Nashville, TN (And Other Spirits, Too)
There is no denying that Nashville is a whiskey town! There’s something about a stiff pour of the brown stuff paired with some great live music that makes the good times flow. When it comes to drinking in Nashville, quality always trumps quantity. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best local distilleries for whiskey lovers and other spirits in Nashville, TN. It doesn’t hurt if the place that’s serving up the libations also offers some finger-licking good food. As we learned after encountering some fully booked days, the pro tip here is to try to book a spot ahead of time for your tour and tasting! Here’s our list of some of the best spots for catching some whiskey vibes in Nashville, plus a few other spots concocting gin, moonshine, and other spirits.
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
1414 Clinton Street, Nashville, TN
While this distillery opened its doors as a gathering place for the first time in 2014, the Nelson whiskey-making legacy began in 1870. We’re obsessed with the rustic-meets-modern warehouse area that puts all of the machinery on full display. When it’s time for tasting, the whiskey flight will take good care of you if you’re looking to try a little bit of everything. You can’t go wrong with Louisa’s Liquer that offered pep and sweetness from strong coffee, caramel, and pecan flavors.
Ole Smokey Distillery/Yee-Haw Brewing Co.
423 6th Avenue, Nashville, TN
Let’s call this the top pick for hungry whiskey drinkers. Ole Smokey ensures you’ll never see the bottom of a glass on an empty stomach by offering a menu of hot chicken strips, pork belly tacos, and duck tacos. What you’ll soon discover during a visit is that this is the best place in Nashville to get some real mountain-made moonshine. What’s really fun about this spot is that it merges a traditional distillery, sports bar, and live music joint all in one for the ultimate night out! There’s even a refreshing outdoor patio.
222 Fesslers Lane, Nashville, TN
It was easy to feel intimidated by Nashville Barrel at first. After all, this establishment is synonymous with elite whisky in Nashville. Nashville Barrel is actually famous for its option for private barrel picks that allow you and your crew to pick your own barrel. If you’re not an expert, the barkeep will be more than happy to make suggestions. Guests can do a whiskey tour, sit in the taproom, or enjoy both.
Cosair Distillery & Taproom
1200 Clinton Street, Nashville, TN
Cosair Distillery is the best distillery if you want to tuck into a pizza while washing down local beers and cocktails. Cosair does seasonally inspired spirits and cocktails exceptionally well so if whiskey served neat is not your thing, they can concoct you something a little sweeter. Overall, the laid-back vibe here makes it the perfect place for someone who wants to wear blue jeans for a night out instead of getting dressed up. Be sure to check out the pre-prohibition pot still that is used at the distillery!
Big Machine Brewing and Distillery
122 3rd Avenue, Nashville, TN
This place is popping! The experience at Big Machine Brewing and Distillery was unexpectedly lively from the moment we entered. Found at the edge of the bar district, Big Machine combines knowledge and fun with help from a tour option, great food, and live music. The best thing about coming here is that cocktail lovers will be just as satisfied as whiskey purists. The drink menu features mules, mojitos, and a fruity drink that’s referred to as an “adult Capri sun” by the staff.
900 44th Avenue, Nashville, TN
The experience at Pennington Distilling is a true education in the entire distilling process. Your expert guide will bring you through the active manufacturing site to see how all the magic they concoct gets into the bottles for your tasting pleasure. If you don’t have time for a tour, you can still dip in for a few drinks in the tasting room.
Standard Proof Whiskey
219 Rep. John Lewis Way, Nashville, TN
Standard Proof Whiskey is a chill Nashville spot with fruity, hydrating cocktails made with the finest ingredients. The highlight has to be their flight of infused bourbons. If you book a class, you will be given a chance to get behind the bar to make your own cocktail! The knowledgeableness of the bartenders really stands out at Standard Proof Whiskey.
Smith Creek Distillery
Opry Mills Drive #3, Nashville, TN
It’s hard to argue that there’s a better moonshine source in Nashville than Smith Creek. Offering 13 unique moonshine flavors in salted caramel, apple pie, butter cake, orange cream, strawberry shortcake, coffee, chocolate silk, sweet tea, and more, this distillery reminds us why Nashville is such an amazing city. Enjoy a laid-back tour of the distillery before visiting the shop to stock up on your own sweet flavors.