Jefferson's Bourbon Gets Physical In Kentucky

Jefferson’s Bourbon Gets Physical In Kentucky

Jefferson’s Bourbon, a popular American whiskey brand, was founded in 1997 by Trey Zoeller and his father Chet, a famed bourbon historian. Managed by New York-based Castle Brands, Jefferson’s has been a label mostly without a physical footprint in Kentucky where visitors can come to to learn more about it. That’s changing however, as Castle announced recently it is taking a stake in a small Kentucky distillery that’s part of a greater plan for an aggressive expansion in that state.

Castle said it has purchased approximately 20% of Copperhead Distillery Company, which owns and operates the Kentucky Artisan Distillery. This distillery, located in Crestwood, Kentucky, was founded in 2012. It is a member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and is known mostly for being a private label whiskey operation that’s the brainchild of Steve Thompson, former president of Brown Forman.

Kentucky Artisan Distillery

Kentucky Artisan Distillery will be the home of Jefferson’s in bourbon country. (image via Kentucky Department of Travel)

While a brand new Jefferson’s visitor’s center at Kentucky Artisan already includes a store showcasing the brand, the partial ownership acquisition by Castle takes this a lot further. Plans now call for purchasing land near the distillery “for the construction of a new warehouse and tasting facility…the warehouse will have the capacity to store up to 10,000 barrels, with room for expansion, and will facilitate the continued growth of Jefferson’s wood finishes and barrel-aged cocktails.”

Also of note to those who hope to see a Jefferson’s product made in house is word this investment will “provide distilling capabilities using special mash-bills made from locally grown grains.” The whiskey brand currently sources its bourbon and rye from other distilleries.

“We are excited to partner with Castle Brands to further develop the super-premium Jefferson’s portfolio,” said Thompson in a statement. “We look forward to working with Castle Brands for many years to come and welcoming friends to the new Jefferson’s visitor center.”

Jefferson’s product line currently includes its regular bourbon and rye whiskies, as well as its rarer Presidential Select, Ocean: Aged at Sea and Chef’s Collaboration bottlings. Its Kentucky bourbon country expansion comes at a time in which other players are rushing as well to take part in the rise of brown spirit tourism.


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