By Richard Thomas
Sazerac has moved into Tennessee, purchasing the distillery in Newport where Popcorn Sutton Moonshine is made for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition is for the distillery only, and does not include Popcorn Sutton or any associated brands. It is not known at this time if Popcorn Sutton will continue to be made at the distillery under contract, will be contracted elsewhere, or will build a new facility for itself. However, all current employees at the distillery will be retained, including Master Distiller John Lunn and Master Blender Allisa Henley.
Sazerac’s intention is to refit the distillery’s existing equipment to accommodate the Lincoln County Process (LCP), or making bourbon with the added step of filtering it through sugar maple charcoal. The LCP is the signature of Tennessee Whiskey, as defined under state law. Both Lunn and Henley are former distillers at George Dickel, long established as the second name in modern Tennessee Whiskey, after Jack Daniel’s.
The distillery should be operating as a Tennessee Whiskey-making facility early next year.