The folks at Log Still Distillery tend to zig while others zag. It was back in the middle of 2019 when J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant III announced his plans to restart a distillery on historic ground in Gethsemane, Nelson County, Kentucky. This one-time active distillery employed a lot of people in this small town about a dozen miles south of Bardstown. That all changed in 1961 when former owner Schenley Industries shut down distillery operations and moved North to Louisville. That move took with it families (including Wally’s grandfather), hopes and dreams. Half a century later those families, hopes and dreams are returning home.
Ever since the initial announcement Log Still Distillery has been moving earth, restoring old buildings, erecting new ones, and celebrating incremental grand openings for the past couple of years.
In February 2021 they cut the ribbon on ‘The Homestead‘ B&B, in May they cut the ribbon on the new visitor center, cocktail bar and tasting room featuring a 50-gallon copper pot still and that summer they opened ‘The Amp’ an open air 2,000 person entertainment venue.
The Arrival of the 24” x 33’ Copper Column Still
While other startup distilleries would have been solely focused on getting their distillery up and running from day one that’s where Log Still zigs (or would it be zags?). Obviously, distilling operations is what a distillery is all about but in the case of this distillery and entertainment complex it’s just one of the many things that makes this place a family friendly destination. That said, the big day finally arrived.
Log Still Distillery received their shiny new 24” wide by 33’ tall copper column still made by Vendome Copper & Brass Works. The column arrived in the morning by flatbed truck wrapped in shrink wrap. Once onsite a crew from Buzick Construction gently lifted the future heartbeat of the distillery off the truck with a pair of Skytrak forklifts. It was pretty obvious the two forklift operators have worked together for a while. They maneuvered that column across uneven dirt and around the corner like pros. Then one forklift backed into the distillery building to line up the column to be hoisted by the waiting Link-Belt 110 ton crane. The forklift and crane operator then lifted the column still into the air as easy as you would open the lid on a Yeti cooler. After aligning and squaring up the column, holes were drilled, bolts were dropped in place with a permanent epoxy and soon the column still was secured to its forever home.
Chief Operating Officer and Distiller Lynne Dant said that once the distillery is operational, they plan on making about 5,000 barrels of Kentucky bourbon in 2022. They expect to make about 15,000 barrels per year with room for growth if they were to add additional shifts.
Dant added that the still has not been named yet. Though we don’t know what the name will be we know it will be interesting. The folks at Dant Crossing have a family name and connection to every room in the Homestead B&B.
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What’s Opening Next at Log Still Distillery?
The Legacy at Dant Crossing.
Off in the distance from the distillery sits The Mansion, a completely renovated from the stud’s out, mid-1800s historic home. This is the same home that Log Still’s VP of Operations Charles Dant grew up in as a child. The fully renovated home is now available for overnight B&B stays with four bedrooms and a complete kitchen.
Across the driveway from The Mansion sits The Legacy. The 21,000 square foot Legacy promises to be the area’s premier event venue. The building which looks like a distillery rickhouse features two large sections. On one side the Chapel can hold up to 350 guests, the space can also be broken out for smaller groups, and on the other side a banquet hall that can also hold 350 guests. The covered breezeway between the two halls can be used for receptions or cocktail hour.
General Manager of the Legacy Anthony Summers gave us a sneak peak of the new facility and it’s fabulous. Summers said they already have weddings booked.
The Legacy will celebrate its own grand opening in late April 2022.
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What Comes Next for this Destination?
Still to come at the distillery is the distillery itself, rick houses, a full-service 200 seat restaurant and a train depot that will one day welcome guests by rail car. Will we see Thomas the Tank Engine pull into the family friendly station? Time will tell.
Log Still Distillery Celebrates its 1st Ribbon Cutting with Opening of ‘The Homestead’ B&B at Dant Crossing
The J.W. Dant Legacy Rebirth is Well Underway as Log Still Distillery Officially Breaks Ground [Renderings]
J.W. Dant Investing $12 Million to Restart Historic Distillery in the Bourbon Capital of the World