The James Pepper Distillery has been in decay since 1958. That all changed in May 2016 when Amir Peay, owner of the James E. Pepper brand and distiller for the 1776 whiskey brand announced he would be bringing the brand and distillation back to the historic Pepper distillery in Lexington, Kentucky.
The James Pepper Distillery has announced the hire of new Master Distiller Aaron Schorsch. Prior to joining the Pepper distillery, Schorsch spent 10 years as a Distillery Production Operator at the Seagram’s Lawrenceburg whiskey distillery in Indiana, two years as a Brewery Production Supervisor at Samuel Adams brewery, and four years as a Distillery Production Supervisor at the Jim Beam distillery.
“We are thrilled to have Aaron come aboard and to be able to utilize his wealth of knowledge and experience in this exciting journey”, said Amir Peay, founder of the company. “I look forward to working together and we are already well on the way to making great whiskey in this iconic building once more. In the short time he has been with us he has already brought tremendous value in the design and execution of the final stages of the project.”
The project to renovate and rebuild the downtown Lexington distillery, originally built in 1879 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was announced in May of 2016 and is on track for production to commence by October of 2017.
The project will feature a 12” solid copper column still from Vendome Copper and Brass Works which is being designed in reference to the historic mechanical drawings from the old distillery and the old still made by Vendome in 1934. The distillery will have an initial annual production of over 42,000 proof gallons, with the ability for greater capacity in the future. It will also utilize the old limestone well at the distillery 200 feet below ground.
Once completed, the project will include a fully functioning distillery and a museum dedicated the company’s founder, Colonel James E. Pepper.