Food & Drink

Manning and friends launch new whiskey

Shots of their new whiskey line up at the first tee at Sweetens Cove. {Photo Provided}

It’s no secret that in Lynchburg many local college football fan’s blood bleeds bright orange. When you combine former UT quarterback Peyton Manning and an expertly blended 13-year old Tennessee Whiskey together with one of the state’s best kept golf secrets … well, it’s a tempting combination.

On May 26, pre-sale on Manning’s Sweetens Cove Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey will open to Tennessee residents only. It’s a limited run of just 14,000 bottles.

Down a gravel road in the Sequatchie Valley

It all started right down the road in South Pittsburg just 69 miles from Moore County at a place called Sweetens Cove. It’s a real find and ones that’s developed a cult following in the Volunteer State and beyond.

The quirky little Golf Week Top 100 nine hole course enjoys an interesting ritual. Before golfers tee up for the first time at the first hole, they go into the tiny little clubhouse, named The Shed, and throw back a shot of whiskey.

It’s a tradition dating back to the beginning and one that’s led to an impressive collection of bourbons and whiskeys as golfers pay-it-forward by taking their shot and leaving the bottle behind for the next person.

One day while playing a round with tennis great Andy Roddick, the two decided to bottle that particular lightening and a new bourbon offering was born. Now with help from Tom Nolan, Rob Collins, Mark Rivers, Skip Bronson and Drew Holcomb the first bottle goes on sale today.

Friends (from left to right) Tom Nolan, Andy Roddick, Rob Collins, Mark Rivers, Peyton Manning as well as Skip Bronson and Drew Holcomb created a bourbon to honor their favorite golf course. {Photo Provided}

Blended by Master Distiller Marianne Eaves

The group knew they wanted their new distilled spirit to be something special, so they enlisted the help of Marianne Eaves — one of the top whiskey makers in the country. Eaves, the first female bourbon master distiller in Kentucky since prohibition, wasn’t an easy get.

She’d fielded lots of calls about blending a celebrity whiskey before and wasn’t tempted. But something about the Sweetens Cove story hooked her. When she discovered 100 barrels of 13 year-old Tennessee-made whiskey aging in a Kentucky rickhouse, she brought it home and got to work.

Marianne Eaves
Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since Prohibition, Marianne Eaves, blended the new bourbon. {Photo Provided}

“I only want to work with brands who insist on continually raising the bar, for themselves and the industry as a whole,” she says. “Sweetens is definitely in the latter category.”

The result is five distinct, hand-blended batches each with an overarching theme of caramel and warm oak notes but as diverse as the place that inspired them. One tastes like citrus. Another leans toward white pepper. While yet another heads in the direction of burnt marshmallow.

Eaves also says that there are four barrels in particular she felt we’re far superior and worthy of a future single barrel release later in 2020.

Manning and Roderick say they are decidedly hands off when it comes to the whiskey making trusting Eaves instincts and years of experience.

Bottles went on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26 and one will be auctioned off for COVID-19 relief. To learn more, visit the Sweetens Cove Spirits website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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