James E. Pepper Re-Releases Finest Kentucky Oak Rye - The Whiskey Wash

James E. Pepper Re-Releases Finest Kentucky Oak Rye

By Katelyn Best / October 1, 2019

The James E. Pepper distillery, revived several years ago after a 50-year dormancy, has announced the re-release of Old Pepper Finest Kentucky Oak rye whiskey.

Finest Kentucky Oak is a limited-edition straight rye whiskey; it starts with the distillery’s standard rye whiskey, an MGP product, which then undergoes a secondary maturation for an undisclosed length of time in new barrels made from Kentucky oak. The staves for these barrels were air-dried for 24 months—substantially longer than the standard six-month air-dry, according to a prepared statement from the distillery—and then given a light char.

This process imparts “a very unique and favorable taste profile, rich in barrel character and complexity,” according to the statement.

Old Pepper Finest Kentucky Oak

Old Pepper Finest Kentucky Oak (image via James E. Pepper Distilling)

“FKO,” as the distillery calls it, was first released last summer, and is “one of the most critically acclaimed offerings from the Pepper Distillery,” earning a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition, among other accolades.

“We are excited to get this popular product back out in the market,” said Amir Peay, distillery owner. “Each release of the Old Pepper Rye ‘FKO’ is made up of a few of our favorite barrels and is very limited. It is also one of our most in-demand and award-winning offerings, so we are really happy for fans to have the opportunity to enjoy it this fall.”

The re-released whiskey will be available to taste at the Lexington, Kentucky distillery’s bar, for purchase at the gift shop, and in “select markets” nationally.