Bourbon By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / October 2, 2017 The fact that bourbon continues to be on the march in Kentucky is well understood in this day and age. Just take a look at the fact, for example, that more than 6.8 million barrels of aging bourbon sit around in warehouses, which is the highest inventory in 44 years. Adding to that total now is craft outlet Neeley Family Distillery out of the northern part of that state. Neeley Family Distillery, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group, joins them as a craft-level member aging less than 1,000 barrels a year. It is the 35th member of the KDA and the 25th craft member. There are now four distilleries in the Northern Kentucky area. Neeley Family Distillery bourbon at rest (image via Neeley Family Distillery) Neeley is owned and operated by Royce Neeley, 25. It was recently built, along with a visitor’s center, on a lot adjacent to the famed Kentucky Speedway to capitalize on race fans throughout the year. It showcases within 11 generations of Neeley distilling with family photographs, news articles and artifacts, including a 100-year-old family still from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The distillery began making moonshine in July and filled its first barrels of bourbon in August. “The KDA has been preserving Kentucky’s signature spirit for more than a century, and there is no doubt that without them, Bourbon would not be the $8.5 billion giant that it is today,” said Neeley in a prepared statement. “We’re honored to stand side-by-side with the association and its members in preserving and continuing Kentucky’s great Bourbon tradition.” Counting Neeley there are now 39 companies operating 52 distilleries in Kentucky.