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Luxco planning $27 million distillery in Bardstown

Luxco, which is considering building a distillery in Nelson County, last year relaunched the Yellowstone Bourbon brand produced in partnership with Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon.
Luxco, which is considering building a distillery in Nelson County, last year relaunched the Yellowstone Bourbon brand produced in partnership with Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon. Photo provided

Luxco, St. Louis-based marketer of Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks bourbons, is considering building a $27.3 million distillery in Nelson County, according to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.

The KEDFA board voted to give preliminary approval for $1.3 million in tax incentives for the project, which will employ an estimated 34 people with an average hourly wage, including benefits, of $25.

A tourism experience apparently is planned also. According to the KEDFA report, Luxco “is considering a scenic setting for the distillery which will enhance its attractiveness as a destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.”

This would be Luxco’s first stand-alone wholly owned distillery, according to the state. The company plans to spend $2.2 million for an unidentified parcel of land, $20 million for the buildings and $5.1 million for equipment, the KEDFA report said.

Luxco’s products have long been distilled under contract with another Kentucky distiller; at one time, Heaven Hill distilled for them, according to industry expert Chuck Cowdery.

Last year, Luxco bought a 50 percent interested in Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, and that distillery has begun producing bourbon for the Yellowstone brand.

Run by the Lux family, the company’s portfolio of brands also includes Juarez Tequila & Triple Sec, Pearl Vodka, Everclear Grain Alcohol, Arrow Cordials, El Mayor Tequila, Lord Calvert Canadian Whisky, St. Brendan’s Irish Cream and others.

In other bourbon-related business, KEDFA agreed to a reduced tax rate for two projects in Nelson County, which plans to issue almost $300 million in industrial revenue bonds to finance. The bonds, which will be issued on Dec. 31, will be for the construction of up to six new barrel warehouses for Jim Beam bourbons and for the distillery and rickhouses for Bardstown Bourbon Co.

The county will issue $245 million in 30-year bonds for Jim Beam and $54.6 million in bonds for the Bardstown Bourbon Co. Both projects already have received approval for other tax incentives.

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