RD1 Spirits Distillery - January 10, 2024 RD1 Spirits Groundbreaking in Lexington, Kentucky

RD1 Spirits in Lexington, Kentucky was founded in 2020 but its roots go back to 1865 and the Ashland Distillery. Between 1865 and 1919 the Ashland Distillery went by several names and had several owners. Throughout that time one part of this distillery’s history never changed, it was always Lexington, Kentucky’s 7th District Registered Distillery No. 1 which is the nomenclature that led to its rebirth as RD1 Spirits.

For the past four years the distillery owners have been looking for a permanent home for their distillery and they have now landed at The Commons, a 40-acre entertainment district that promises to unite life, work, play, and now bourbon. RD1 Spirits Distillery will be the anchor tenant in the new Commons project.

RD1 Spirits Breaks Ground on $5 Million Distillery and Visitor Experience

RD1 Spirits new $5 million distillery and brand destination will honor Lexington’s bourbon history while showcasing modern-day innovation with wood finishing. With 10,215 square feet, located over two stories, RD1’s new brand destination will more than double the size of RD1’s existing tasting room & gift shop located less than a mile away.

“RD1 is expanding the boundaries of Lexington’s Distillery District and strengthening the appeal of what the great city of Lexington has to offer,” said RD1 Spirits Shareholder, Advisor, and University of Kentucky Football Coach Mark Stoops.

“As one of the newest brands added to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, RD1 Distillery at The Commons will help boost hometown pride and contribute to the vibrant, winning atmosphere of our community.”

RD1 Spirits CEO Mike Tetterton talks about why it was important to build their new distillery in Lexington, Kentucky.

RD1 Spirits Co-founder and National Brand Ambassador Barry Brinegar shares what visitors will experience at the new distillery.


A Research & Development Distillery

RD1 Distillery will include an 800-gallon pot still that is the hub of the operation. In addition, the location will also house a 175-gallon pot still, a 750-gallon fermenter, and a 1,000-gallon mash cooker. The distillery is expected to produce one barrel per week for the sole purpose of research and development. RD1 will continue to produce its Kentucky Straight Bourbon at Western Kentucky Distilling Co. in Beaver Dam, Kentucky, under 8th-generation Master Distiller Jacob Call. Some of RD1 Spirits investors are also investors in Western Kentucky Distilling. Bourbon industry veteran Don Hardwick – also a shareholder in RD1 – is leading the distillery design of RD1 Distillery.

“We want RD1 Distillery at The Commons to serve as a cornerstone of education, exploration, and entertainment in Lexington,” said RD1 Spirits Chief Executive Officer and Lexington Entrepreneur Mike Tetterton.

“As a brand founded by Lexington entrepreneurs, we are motivated by the bourbon giants of our past and look to honor them with bourbon growth right here in our hometown.”

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RD1 Distillery Visitor Experience

RD1 Distillery will offer customized experiences for guests to explore RD1’s portfolio of Kentucky Straight Bourbon and wood-finished, bourbon expressions.

The two-story facility will feature outdoor seating areas on both levels, overlooking a historic water tower, a visible marker for the entertainment district that will feature RD1 artwork. The brand destination will include an interactive, history-meets-innovation experience of Lexington’s bourbon milestones; a fermentation-to-distillation tour; four private tasting rooms; a glass-enclosed R&D lab for wood finishing of Kentucky Straight Bourbon and barrel thieving; a VIP speakeasy tasting room; a craft cocktail bar; a gift shop; and space for private events.

RD1 Spirits Distillery - Groundbreaking at The Commons for New Distillery and Brand Home, January 10, 2023
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Watch the entire RD1 Spirits Distillery groundbreaking ceremony here.

“RD1 looks to allow guests to experience bourbon in a way that’s most comfortable to them,” said Tetterton. “For most of us, that starts with exploring your palate. From there, we like to ask ‘what else can bourbon do?’ And we fill that curiosity by experimenting with different woods that delicately dance with the bourbon and really draw some exceptional flavor profiles.

“We’re not only fascinated by bourbon’s rich history but also in writing that next chapter. It’s an honor and responsibility that we take seriously to help grow Fayette County and contribute to Kentucky as a whole.”

Architectural and design services for the project are provided by Lord Aeck Sargent out of Lexington. Engineering services are provided by VITOK Engineers out of Louisville.

RD1 Distillery at The Commons is expected to open in August 2024.

RD1 Spirits portfolio includes RD1’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished with French Oak, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Brazilian Amburana Wood, and Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Double Finished in Oak and Maple Barrels.

The brand has experienced tremendous growth in 2023, including expanded distribution to 16 states with an expectation of 25 states by the end of 2024.

Learn more about RD1 Spirits.
View all Lexington Distilleries.
Learn more about Western Kentucky Distilling Co.
View all Kentucky Distilleries.
View all U.S. Distilleries.

1894 Map of Ashland Distillery
Kentucky, 7th District
Registered Distillery No. 1

Ashland Distillery, Lexington, Kentucky 7th District, 1894 Sanborn Map
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Ashland Distillery, Lexington, Kentucky 7th District, 1894 Sanborn Map (Click to enlarge).


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