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Distillers say stiff law dictating what's Tennessee whiskey is stifling town's boozy revival

TRIMBLE, Tenn. – Booze, bikes and rock ‘n’ roll.

That’s the plan for economic development in the northwestern Tennessee town of Trimble that’s home to about 600 people.

Michael Ballard, the owner of the Full Throttle distillery, says the only thing standing in the way is what he calls the state’s stuffy law restricting how spirits must be made so they can be marketed as “Tennessee Whiskey.” Hard rocker Jesse James Dupree has put plans for another Trimble distillery on hold because of the law.

Ballard’s barrel house is being built next to the railroad tracks where freight trains thunder by five times a day. He says the resulting “locomotive agitation” of his aging whiskey will be much more of a selling point than the charcoal mellowing required under the state law.