Spring is officially in the air and it’s a time for renewal, rebirth and growth. And a rebirth is exactly what’s happening at the long ago shuttered J.W. Dant Distillery in Gethsemane, Kentucky a few miles south of Bardsown. This historic distillery went dark in 1961 and was left to decay until Dant’s Great-great-great grandson J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant announced on June 14, 2019 that he had purchased the property including a total of 315 acres to build a new distillery on his ancestral grounds.
Since that time Wally Dant has been calling on family members to get the band back together to launch the dream of returning distilling to Gethsemane. On February 9, 2021 three Dant family members cut the ribbon on ‘The Homestead B&B’ a completely renovated Victorian style home at Dant Crossing. Now the next phase is about to open which will include a 4,000 square foot tasting room and operating still.
Dant Family Reacquires DSP-KY-47
Dant cannot use the Joseph Washington Dant or J.W. Dant family name for his distillery or bourbon because the brand is now owned and produced by another Kentucky distillery. But that doesn’t mean he can’t grab as much history as possible and one of those things is the old Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) number. After quite a bit of maneuvering with state and federal representatives they were able to get the rights to use DSP-KY-47.
“We will once again be using DSP-KY-47 which was the old distillery number here for many generations,” said Log Still Distillery Founder, President and Distillery J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant, III. “We are so very fortunate that we had support from our local US congressman and US senators working on our behalf with the TTB to re-issue the number, we are forever grateful for them.”
The new distillery will go by the name Log Still Distillery. The name pays homage to the fact that Dant could not afford copper when he first started distilling back in the late 1800s. Instead, he used a hollowed out log to distill until he could afford a copper still.
Log Still Distillery Tasting Room Sneak Peek
While visiting the distillery for ‘The Homestead’ grand opening we had an opportunity to get a sneak peek inside the 4,000 square foot tasting room. This part of the project is scheduled to open in early May, shortly after the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.
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The Log Still Distillery Tasting Room will have a fully functioning 50 gallon hybrid copper pot still manufactured by Vendome Copper & Brass Works. This flexible hybrid still will allow Log Still to experiment with their own bourbon, rye, gin and vodka recipes. This unique still will also allow visitors to the tasting room to participate in their own bourbon making process.
“When we open the tasting room our spirits will be released then,” said Dant. “As many (new) distillers do, we do source our bourbon and gin products. Some of it, particularly the gins, have our own recipes because we can do those really quickly and not have to age them.
“For our Monk’s Road Series, we are calling our first series the Lost Distillery Series. It pays homage to this area which pre-prohibition had about 11 distilleries here that are all now closed. We are calling each one of those limited series releases one of those distilleries. Our first one will be called Cold Springs which was located across the street. That will be a six year old bourbon that we sourced here locally and we are pretty proud of what that tastes like and we’ll be proud to put it in people’s hands. Literally when we open this Tasting Room that will be available for purchase.
“Throughout the next four years we’ll have our products that will be released during that time but we aren’t going to release anything that’s less than four years old (with the Log Still Distillery brand). We want to be up front and honest about that. The Dant family’s been known for a high rye bourbon and you can expect to see it come out of our plant in particular and it will be at least four years old before we release it.”
Log Still Distillery Goes South of the Border for TN Whiskey
Prepare to gasp as you hear this news. This Kentucky bourbon distillery is going south of the border to source some whiskey. Yes, it’s true, this Kentucky distillery will be sourcing some Tennessee Whiskey. Is this even legal?
“We have two Tennessee Whiskies coming out,” explained Dant. “One is an eight year old Tennessee Whiskey that we are pretty happy about. It’s called Rattle and Snap. It represents us being able to have some fun and bring people into the bourbon and whiskey tasting world that maybe haven’t been there before. You’ll see some introductory spirits that might be flavored that would be a gateway to turn you into a real bourbon and real whiskey drinker over the course of time. And then we’ll have an eight year old and a four year old Rattle and Snap Tennessee Whiskey. Those will be available when we open our Tasting Room.”
What’s Next for Log Still Distillery?
The Homestead B&B is now open for guests and the Tasting Room will open in May. The amphitheater and performance stage overlooking the tasting room is expected to be complete by July and the full service restaurant will open in the fall. And then of course there is the full size production distillery that will soon be pumping out barrels of Kentucky bourbon and other spirits. That construction project is expected to be completed in early 2022.
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