Boone County Distilling Joins Kentucky Bourbon Race - The Whiskey Wash

Boone County Distilling Joins Kentucky Bourbon Race

By Nino Marchetti / December 2, 2015

It has been one heck of a year for the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), there is no doubt. The trade group for the bourbon industry now has more whiskey aging barrels then people in the state, a couple of new craft distilleries as part of one of its tours and new/expanded distilleries sprouting up like weeds. One of those fitting this latter category is Boone County Distilling, which is now the 28th member of the distillery guild.

Boone County BourbonBoone County, according to the KDA, is set in the Kentucky county of the same name and the first legal distillation in that part of the state in more than a century. Here’s the nuts and bolts of information on the distillery from the trade group:

The distillery’s tag line, “Made by Ghosts,” harkens to the early pioneers who crafted spirits in Boone County more than 100 years ago.

In the 1800s, Boone County was home to Petersburg Distillery, one of the largest of its time, which used its convenient location on the banks of the Ohio River to transport whiskey throughout the country.

In fact, Boone County Distilling’s first product – Eighteen 33 – is named for the year that Petersburg transformed from a steam mill into a distillery. It eventually produced as much as four million gallons a year in the mid-1800s before closing in 1910.

The new distillery is 5,000 square feet set on 2.5 acres. It includes a 500-gallon pot still, four fermenters and a small bottling line with a capacity of 250 barrels a year. Barrels will be stored in a 3,000-square-foot steel building behind the distillery.

In addition to its small batch Bourbon, other products will include a gin or moonshine, possibly in the spring.

“We are excited to become members of the KDA and are proud to remember the rich Bourbon heritage that once dominated the northern hills of Kentucky,” said Boone County co-founder Jack Wells in a statement. “As a brand, our challenge has been to imagine something that’s always been, making it new again. Our vision is to help tell the stories of the great men who built a Bourbon empire in Northern Kentucky.”

The “Eighteen 33” bourbon referenced above is described as [PDF] a “ten-year-old straight bourbon whiskey” that distilled and aged less than two miles from the site of the original distillery, meaning it is a sourced spirt from MGP, at least according to a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

So, you might wonder, how is it that an Indiana whiskey is just a short distance from the “original distillery”? Turns out Eighteen 33 was conceived to be in honor of the original Petersburg Distillery in Boone County, which was just across the Ohio River apparently from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where MGP is located. The 1833 is a reference to when the older distillery was founded by one William Snyder.

Boone County, to its credit, is said to also be making and aging its own bourbon at its facility, which is just now opening to the public.