Ex-Maker's Mark distiller to guide new distillery in Nelson County

jpatton1@herald-leader.comJune 26, 2014 

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An artist's rendering shows the proposed Bardstown Bourbon Co. distillery in Nelson County. The $25 million, 45,000-square-foot distillery is expected to be open in 2016.


A new distillery coming to Bardstown will have an old bourbon hand running the still.

Bourbon Hall of Famer Steve Nally, formerly with Maker's Mark, will be the master distiller for the Bardstown Bourbon Co., which plans to build a $25 million, 45,000-square-foot distillery in the Nelson County Industrial Park to produce bourbon and other spirits using local ingredients, according to a news release.

Nally, who has more than 40 years of experience in the whiskey industry, and his wife, Donna, moved back to Kentucky after starting Wyoming Whiskey, which produced the first legal bourbon west of the Mississippi.

"This is another exciting day for one of Kentucky's signature industries," said Gov. Steve Beshear in a statement. "I look forward to seeing this distillery up and running and the positive impact it will have here in Nelson County and across the commonwealth.

The distillery, which will create 35 jobs with an average hourly wage of $25 including benefits, was given preliminary approval Thursday for as much as $1.3 million in tax incentives by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.

The distillery also plans to build rickhouses and a visitor center to encourage tourism.

Construction will begin this summer; the distillery is expected to be open in 2016. This will be the fifth distillery in Nelson County.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. president and CEO David Mandell said the products "will be a celebration of the Bardstown community," featuring local ingredients and culinary partnerships.

No details were immediately available on the kind of still or its size.

"Simply put, we will make great bourbon," Mandell said in the news release. "We will be innovative, and our campus and distillery will present the craft in a very approachable and educational fashion."

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association said: "The best small town in America just got better. The KDA and its 20 member companies welcome Bardstown Bourbon Company to Kentucky and our legendary distilling family."

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: janetpattonhl.

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