Full Throttle Sloonshine Distillery says nearby train makes process unique

TRIMBLE, Tenn. — “We are a true grain-to-glass operation,” said Paul Higgs, master distiller at the Full Throttle Sloonshine Distillery.

The Full Throttle Sloonshine Distillery opened four years ago in Trimble. They make several kinds of alcohol, including Tennessee whiskey.

“We take local corn, barley and rye and water and release the starches from the grain and turn it into simple sugars, put it into a fermenter,” Higgs said. “The yeast grows, runs out of oxygen. The yeast starts fermenting. We are making at that stage bourbon we’re then going to turn into Tennessee whiskey.”

The grain starts out in large vats and is cooked for several days. Then, it goes through two distillers before being put into barrels.

“It has to go into brand-new white American full-charred barrels,” Higgs said.

While in the barrels, the liquid starts to take some of its flavor and color from the wood as well as mix with oxygen.

What makes their fermenting process unique is having a train that runs right behind the building the barrels are in.

“Both of those processes speed up if you can move or stir your spirit and get it interacting with the wood more,” Higgs said. “This floor will actually shake. The pressure wave from the train will shake this slab, will shake this entire building.”

The whiskey can be in the barrels anywhere from two years to more than 10 before it’s bottled and sold.

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