The O.Z. Tyler Distillery at 10 Distillery Road in northwestern Owensboro won’t be listed on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s Craft Tour until fall.
But it’s already drawing hundreds of bourbon fans from across the country and around the world for its daily tours.
“We had nearly 100 visitors on the week after Christmas,” said Jacob Call, the distillery’s operations manager. “We’ve had visitors from California to New York and from Japan, Sweden, Costa Rica and Brazil.”
And the tours, which aren’t heavily promoted, didn’t start until September.
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The distillery wants to eventually be on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which attracts nearly 1 million visitors a year.
But it’s starting with the smaller Craft Tour.
There are currently 13 distilleries on the tour, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s website.
O.Z. Tyler began distilling bourbon in Owensboro on Aug. 26, the first time bourbon has been made in Daviess County since 1992.
Since then, Call said, the distillery has added rye and light whiskey — a light-colored corn whiskey that must be at least 160 proof — to its inventory.
The first Owensboro-produced bourbon in 25 years will go on the market in September, which is National Bourbon Heritage Month, Call said.
The O.Z. Tyler bourbon on the market now was produced in South Carolina.
Tours of the distillery are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday for $10. They include a taste of O.Z. Tyler bourbon at the end. The gift shop is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. It features hats, shirts and glassware with the company’s logo.
Saturday tours will be added soon, with three tours available between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Call said.
Although O.Z. Tyler is new, it’s on property where the Green River Distillery was built in 1885. It burned in 1918 and was rebuilt in 1936 as Medley Distilling Co., which was in operation until 1993.
After that, the site became Charles Medley Distillers Kentucky.
O.Z. Tyler’s parent company, South Carolina-based Terressentia, bought the 26-acre site in 2014 and invested $25 million to get it ready for bourbon production.