It was on National Bourbon Day June 14, 2019 that J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant stepped up to the podium in Bardstown and officially announced the resurrection of his Great-great-great Grandfather’s distillery the J.W. Dant Distillery in Gethsemane, Nelson County, Kentucky. At the time he asked the crowd to be patient as they worked to revive one of the most famous names in the distilling industry. The new distillery would be called Log Still Distillery in honor of the method J.W. Dant used to start his distillation process with a poplar log still back in the late 1800s.
Six hundred and six days later, Log Still Distillery is cutting the ribbon on the first of many grand opening celebrations at Dant Crossing, the one time home of the J.W. Dant Distillery. And what better way to welcome guests than welcome them to your ancestral home. And that’s exactly what happened at Log Still Distillery.
‘The Homestead’ Bed & Breakfast at Dant Crossing
We captured a moment in time: Watch the video to the end to see a flock of geese take flight over the freshly filled 12 acre lake.
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The first thing to officially open to the public is the historic family home. This beautiful Victorian style home built circa 1898 has served many purposes over the years including the family home to the Dant’s for many years. More recently it was used as a retreat for visitors from the Abbey of Gethsemani located just down the road from the distillery. The world may recognize the Abbey of Gethsemani because of one of its famous Trappist monks and best-selling author Thomas Merton who lived there from 1941 until his death in 1968. The Abbey still operates and welcomes guests to this day.
The nearly century and a quarter year old home has gone through a complete studs out renovation and has been transformed into a modern bed and breakfast. It’s now ready to serve distillery guests or anyone looking for a weekend getaway. The B&B sits on this 325 acre property right next to the now full 12 acre lake. When last we visited the distillery the lake had been drawn down for dredging. Once the dredging was complete the dam was blocked and lake quickly filled by the seven springs that enter the lake. Dant said once they blocked the dam it took less than three months to go from a big hole in the ground to a beautiful 12 acre lake.
Wally, Lynne and Charles Dant Cut the Ribbon at Dant Crossing
“Thank you guys for joining us for the first official opening for Dant Crossing,” said J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant. “That’s what we are calling the whole campus. I think most of you have seen what a number of us have been saying for a while about family here. It’s really important for us to have a place that really invites the whole family. This is a part of that, making sure that people have a place to stay out here.
“The nice thing that we were able to do, and I have to credit Lynne (Dant) for this is naming the rooms in here. We named them after all of the Dant women from the first generation through the fifth generation. We wanted to honor those women, those strong women, that really set the tone for our family and who we are. When you get a chance to see that just remember that it’s really about family here on campus. I want to thank everyone for coming out, for all your support in helping us do what we are doing out here. We couldn’t do it without all of you guys that have been involved with us for now almost two years.
“We’ve got a lot more work to do as you can see. We’ve got the distillery that’s actually starting to go up. Our tasting room will be open, we are hoping by the end of March…and then you’ll get to taste something from what we’ve got.
“I just want to thank you guys for all your support,” said Chief Operating Officer and Distiller Lynne Dant. “We are so excited as a family to be back in southern Nelson County giving back to this community that has done so much for our family for generations. It’s just Charles, Wally and I have to pinch ourselves every time we see this really happening. We really appreciate the support of the community and are really looking forward to having a lot of events where you guys can come and be with your friends and family. Enjoy some good Kentucky bourbon but most importantly be with those you care about. Thanks for being here today and the continued support and we are looking forward to returning that in multiples.”
The Rooms of The Homestead B&B
Each room was named after a historic family member that has influenced the Dant journey to this point.
- Ann Catherine – Named after the matriarch and wife of J.W. Dant.
- Mary Estelle – Named after the wife of the head distiller of Dant & Head Distillery.
- Barbara Ann – Pays tribute to Wally Dant’s mother.
- Catherine Nancy – Is the former postmaster and depot operator of Gethsemane and grandmother of Wally Dant.
- Martha Jane – Is Wally Dant’s great-great-grandmother.
What’s Next for Log Still Distillery?
Construction on the tasting room is well underway and nearing the finish line. It is expected to celebrate its own grand opening in late March or early April. The amphitheater 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 distillery that will soon be pumping out barrels of Kentucky bourbon and other spirits. Right now the distillery is just steel beams pointing into the air. That construction project is expected to be completed in January or February of 2022. Vendome Copper & Brass Works
J.W. Dant Investing $12 Million to Restart Historic Distillery in the Bourbon Capital of the World [VIDEO]
The J.W. Dant Legacy Rebirth is Well Underway as Log Still Distillery Officially Breaks Ground [Renderings]