We’re thrilled to announce that our new distillery on Main Street in downtown Louisville will be opening to the public in mid-November. And we’ll have a new website up soon so you can book your tours online. But three weeks ago, our distillery reached one of its most important mile-stones yet: we distilled and barreled our first bourbon. As you might expect, we have some pretty strong feelings about the whole process. So we talked to Kevin Curtis and Wes and Kyle Henderson last week about their thoughts regarding the long journey. Naturally, with a massive distillery full of new equipment, things didn’t immediately go as planned.

Kyle Henderson, Production Manager:
“It’s funny, we’ll probably never be able to replicate our very first batch. The equipment wasn’t set up correctly, so we’re not exactly sure what the grain ratios were, but it was excellent. We’ve filled 25 or 26 barrels, and it’s very good. It’s also about damn time—it’s been a long process. It’s been six years since we filled the first port barrel and it’s taken nearly as long as it takes to age our bourbon as it has to distill our own. Today is our fifth distillation and we’re still learning the equipment, but everything’s moving forward correctly now.”

Kevin Curtis, Distillery Operations Manager:
Upon first tasting, Kevin remarked that the spirit was good, but it tasted too clean. “When I say clean, I mean ethanol—it was too high proof and too sterile. So we’ve been working on bringing the proof down and bringing out more grain characteristics in the flavor. We’re currently on our fifth batch and I think we’ve hit our sweet spot, which is 138 proof.”

“It was just exciting to actually create something on equipment that I helped design and install and start up. I truly felt the pride of ownership and the satisfaction of working with something that I made. This is the first distillery that I can really call my own.”

Wes Henderson, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder:
“Our first distillation was a very exciting time for us as we were still calibrating equipment. We’re not certain about the exact composition of the mash bill. While I liked the flavor of the first distillation, we were still in the middle of learning about the equipment, and we still needed to dial in a little more clearly to meet our taste profile.”

“This is a pretty common occurrence when you launch a new distillery, especially one of this size with the technology we have in place. With each successive fermentation and distillation, we’re getting closer to where we want to be.”

“It was a very emotional time for me, and it made me really look back on the time I spent with my father, from my childhood until the time we broke ground on this distillery together. I remember visiting him at work when I was a kid, and now, as we’re beginning to distill our own whiskey here, the unforgettable aroma of the spirit connects the dots of my life. I guess you could say that I should look at this as the culmination of my life goals, but I see it at this as the beginning of a new chapter.”

Find out when you can experience the new distillery and book a tour of your own.   >> Learn More