We recently reported that the Kentucky Owl Park Distillery, located on 420 acres in Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the World, has a plan to get its new $150 million distillery and destination project built. We now know those efforts will be led by David Mandell as the new President of Kentucky Owl Real Estate Company. You may recognize Mandell’s name as he is the Chairman of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Co-Founder and former President & CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company.
“David Mandell is a transformational leader in the whiskey industry, and we could not be prouder to have him join the exceptional team we are building at Stoli® Group,” said Damian McKinney, Global CEO of Stoli® Group, owner of the Kentucky Owl Bourbon brand. “Mandell is an innovator, trailblazer and entrepreneur with the track-record and skill set to bring Kentucky Owl Park to life.”
Mandell has been involved in the bourbon industry since co-founding Bardstown Bourbon Company in 2014. Fortunately for Mandell he arrived in Kentucky at a time when several Prohibition era laws were fading into history. Kentucky distilleries can now purchase vintage spirits from private individuals, serve larger spirits samples, offer cocktails, sell multiple bottles from the distillery, and can ship spirits direct-to-consumers (DTC) to several (not all) other states. He and his team used those changes to reimagine the distillery experience and lead the charge on the Napa-fication of distilleries in the state.
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Not only did he help to create the user experience, he also lead the development and operation of what is now one of the largest and most sophisticated whiskey distilleries in the United States, producing custom rye, whiskey and bourbon for prominent brands including Kentucky Owl® Wiseman™ Bourbon.
What is the Napa-fication of Kentucky?
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Watch Stoli Group CEO Share His Vision for ‘Kentucky Owl Park’. Bonus: Drone Footage of the 420 Acre Site
“I could not be more excited to join the Stoli® Group and help build what is sure to be one of the most exciting new projects in the whiskey industry,” said Mandell. “Kentucky Owl Park will be unlike any distillery on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and will draw visitors from around the nation and the globe.”
Stoli Group purchased Kentucky Owl in 2017. Originally founded by C.M. Dedman in 1879, the Kentucky Owl® Bardstown distillery went dark during the Prohibition era and remained dormant until a descendent revived the brand in 2014. Since then, the company’s small batch releases have sold out quickly and received rave reviews.
Stoli Group was established in 2013 and is responsible for the production, management, and distribution of SPI’s global spirits portfolio. Mainly known for the Stolichnaya® Vodka brand, Stoli Group has expanded its portfolio in recent years to appeal to premium on-premise and more sophisticated global consumers. Signature brands are: Stoli Vodka, Elit™ Vodka, Bayou® Rum, Kentucky Owl, Villa One™, Gator Bite™ Rum Liquers, Cenote™ Tequila, and Se Busca™ Mezcal.