Brough Brothers, Kentucky’s First Black-Owned Distillery, Has Opened Its Doors

By Robert Ham / January 8, 2021

History was made late last year as Brough Brothers Distillery, the first and so far only Black-owned whiskey distillery in the state of Kentucky, produced its first bottles.

The creation of Louisville natives and brothers Victor, Bryson, and Christian Yarbrough, the distillery was established in the city’s West End, a historically Black neighborhood that was also home to the first library in the U.S. available to Black citizens and where boxer Muhammad Ali grew up. The Yarbroughs are hoping to help revitalize this area by providing jobs to local and supporting other nearby businesses.

Brough Brothers

The founders of Brough Brothers (image via Brough Brothers)

“Brough Brothers has an opportunity to not only provide employment opportunities for our local community, but also design an experience for locals and tourists in the heart of one of Kentucky’s cultural hubs,” Brough Brothers CEO Victor Yarbrough said, in a prepared statement. “At a time in history when there is much attention on Louisville, we are excited to represent positive change and hope for and on behalf of our city.”

The distillery was approved by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2018 and approved by Kentucky’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in September 2020. Brough Brothers also received a commendation from the Kentucky State Senate, recognizing it as the state’s first-ever Black-owned whiskey distillery.

Their first release, Brough Brothers Bourbon Whiskey, is now available at select retailers in Kentucky, with distribution growing into Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, and Colorado. The distillery will expand its reach into 20 more states soon, and in the spring of this year, will open up a shop at their West End location (by appointment only). Official tasting notes for this 41% ABV release, which as a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malted barley, are below.

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Tasting Notes

Taste: A medium body flavor featuring fruity notes of green apple and pear. It also has subtle hints of ginger and nutmeg. Featuring a golden honey color.

Nose: Attractive floral aromas of in bloom red roses with fragrant apples, and nutmeg.