Damaged O.Z. Tyler Whiskey Warehouse Will Be Demolished

The O.Z. Tyler distillery in Kentucky, as we first highlighted last week, unfortunately saw the partial collapse of one of its whiskey aging warehouses nearly a year after a similar event occurred at the Barton distillery. An update put out by the O.Z. Tyler team this past Friday indicated the entire warehouse will now have to brought down.

According to Jacob Call, master distiller and director of operations at O.Z. Tyler, the deconstruction process calls for the planned and controlled collapse of all portions of the warehouse.  “We are very pleased with the progress moving into the weekend and realize it will take some time to remove all the barrels from the site, but our first concern, and priority, is safety,” said Call in a prepared statement. “We have a great team in place that is closely monitoring every step of the process.”

“We want to thank everyone in the bourbon community and our Owensboro neighbors who have reached out with advice and words of support,” added O.Z. Tyler CEO Simon Burch. “It has been a hectic week and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward. Because the cooperation of all our neighbors has been paramount in making this process run so smoothly, I decided to go door to door to personally thank as many as I could.”

Barrels and debris from the partially collapsed O.Z. Tyler warehouse (image via O.Z. Tyler)

O.Z. Tyler noted it has been holding daily meetings with state and local officials, including representatives of the EPA. An environmental containment and response procedure has been developed exclusively for the distillery and is being used on site. It includes an earthen berm surrounding the structure, temporary concrete barricades and chain link fencing, along with erosion control devices to secure the site.  An Ultra High Reach demolition excavator is being used to surgically pluck barrels from the warehouse, literally one at a time as you can see from the amazing video below.

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Damaged barrels will be assessed, repaired or disposed of and the bourbon will be re-barreled and moved to storage.


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...