Bourbon Industry

Bourbon production in Kentucky tops 1 million barrels in 2012

Barrels at Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Barrels at Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

For the first time since 1973, Kentucky's bourbon distillers produced more than 1 million barrels in 2012, the Kentucky Distillers' Association announced Monday.

In 2012, 1,007,703 barrels were filled, topping the 1973 total of 1,004,877, the association said.

"This is an incredible milestone that's been 40 years in the making," said Eric Gregory, president of the distillers group, which promotes and lobbies on behalf of the bourbon industry.

"The bourbon revolution is real and perfectly poised for a spirited future," he said. "Our legendary distilleries are posting landmark production levels, investing millions in new facilities and experiencing double-digit growth in sales."

Since 1999, bourbon production is up more than 120 percent, with no end in sight, according to the distillers association.

There are 4.9 million barrels in warehouse inventory in the state, and producers could be working on a million more this year, Gregory said.

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