Kentucky, Tennessee Whiskey Unite for 'Kennessee' Bourbon
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Kentucky and Tennessee Unite for New ‘Kennessee’ Bourbon From Peyton Manning’s Whiskey Brand

Kentucky and Tennessee are hubs of American whiskey, and the two styles are rivals of sorts. Sweetens Cove Spirits Company is combining the two in a new bourbon called “Kennessee.”

Sweetens Cove was founded by Hall of Fame football player Peyton Manning, tennis player Andy Roddick and Mark Rivers. Rivers is a real estate developer and friend of Roddick.

This isn’t an April Fool’s joke — as far as we know.

Sweetens Cove Master Distiller Marianne Eaves understands Kentucky vs. Tennessee very well, having worked and lived in both states. The process behind Kennessee whiskey is “the curating and blending of Kentucky and Tennessee bourbons and the finishing of this blend with toasted sugar maple wood,” according to The Whiskey Wash. Eaves created a base blend and finished it in a stainless steel tank with wood spirals made from sugar maple wood.

“The use of toasted sugar maple to me is like a Kentuckian’s take on Tennessee’s Lincoln county process, adding flavors (mostly sweet and nutty) through the intentional deep toast instead of the way charcoal removes flavors and ‘mellows’ the whiskey,” Eaves told The Whiskey Wash. “We make it bolder.”

Sweetens Cove Kennessee is bottled at 55.35% ABV. It launched April 1 to Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Its suggested retail price is $60 per 750-milliliter bottle. Sweetens Cove plans to expand Kennessee to more states across the U.S. this year.

“Each state has its own legacy and lore, characters and culture, with a common state line,” Rivers said. “Kennessee is a delicious harmony of the two, crafted by Master Distiller Marianne Eaves, one of the world’s most highly regarded talents in bourbon and the spirits industry as a whole.”

Sweetens Cove Kennessee Whiskey Tasting Notes

Aroma: Warm toasted oak, graham cracker, rich mulled spice and orange peel, hint of dried pome fruit
Palate: Sweet warm caramel, vanilla and baking spices, hint of citrus, gentle chewy oak, easy creamy mid palate
Finish: Long, lingering warmth, sweet soft woodsy finish

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.