The Barton 1792 Distillery, the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown, KY, the “Bourbon Capital of the World” has announced the upcoming retirement of Master Distiller Ken Pierce. Pierce has been in the beverage business for more than 30 years.
Pierce’s early days in the distilled spirits industry started with Barton Brands of Georgia where he was Plant Chemist and later Quality Control Manager. After six years, the company transferred him to Bardstown, Ky. to its distillery now known as Barton 1792 Distillery. He started work in Bardstown as Senior Chemist; a short time later was named Chief Chemist, then Director of Distillation before being named Master Distiller.
Barton 1792 Distillery Operations
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At Barton 1792 Distillery, Pierce was involved in all aspects of bourbon production, from the evaluation of incoming grain to the selection of mature whiskey. He was instrumental in the development of 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (1792 is the year Kentucky became a state) and in the recent line extensions.
During Pierce’s time with Barton he was also able to lend his expertise to many industry-wide projects, including the George Washington Distillery project, as part of a group that used historically accurate equipment to distill rye whiskey at Mount Vernon Plantation in Virginia. The distillate was aged and sold at auctions to raise funds to rebuild the distillery.
Barton Brands is owned by the Sazerac Company, an American family-owned company based in New Orleans, La. The Distillery is located on 196 acres and includes 28 warehouses, 22 other buildings, the Morton Spring and the Tom Moore Spring.
Ken Pierce’s retirement from Barton 1792 will take place 13, 2016.