Bourbon Made from a Civil War Battlefield

Preserving history one bottle at a time

To raise money and awareness for endangered battlefields in his native Tennessee, author, bourbon aficionado, and devoted preservationist Robert Hicks has created a whiskey of truly historic proportions. On August 30, the first of his two 2015 releases of eight-year-aged Battlefield Bourbon will hit liquor stores across Tennessee.

The batch is small—micro, even—with just 1864 bottles available, a number that commemorates the year of the Battle of Franklin, from whose field the spring water used to distill the bourbon hails. But the limited availability didn’t deter thirsty supporters last year, when 1864 made its debut. “We had people driving to Tennessee from all over,” Hicks says. “They made sourcing this bourbon an event.” Come October, supplies will be restocked with 1863 bottles similarly honoring the Battle of Shiloh. Eventually, Hicks hopes to expand his reach, tapping springs at other battlefields throughout the South and broadening distribution channels. Until then, he’s banking that the lure of history will be strong enough to bring bourbon lovers directly to him. Cheers to that.