Just like the brothers in the 80s movie Twins where, “Only their mother can tell them apart,” such is the case at Bardstown Bourbon Company where a second still just landed. Still No. 1 arrived in April 2016 and this week after opening up the roof, its twin was ever so gently dropped inside the 55′ tall building. Both still No. 1 and No. 2 are 50′ tall x 36″ stainless steel column stills manufactured by Vendome Copper & Brass Works. The only real difference is the first still is made up of large rectangular glass manways from the bottom to the top of the still. Sticking to the company’s goal of full transparency, you can still see through the manways in the lower section of the new still but not all the way up.
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The new still was delivered in one piece and hoisted above the still tower by crane, then carefully lowered into the center of the building. The new still installation marks the second expansion for Bardstown Bourbon Company since it began operations in September 2016.
The still will be connected to Bardstown Bourbon Company’s new, 7,500 square foot fermenter building, which houses an additional sixteen 12,500-gallon fermenters, a second laboratory and a future home of an expanded barrel dumping facility. They anticipate the latest expansion will be completed by July.
Watch the video here to see the 50′ column still aerial delivery.
The Bardstown Bourbon Company’s business model is made up of three things.
- Bardstown Bourbon Company Brand – The making and selling of their own bourbon brands. None of their own brands have been announced yet and likely will not be until we get nearer the four year Kentucky Straight Bourbon mark.
- Collaborative Distilling Program – Making bourbon for other partners. This is what’s driving the need for expansion.
- The Visitor Experience – They expect to open up their visitor experience this summer. They’ll have a full bar, vintage spirits and eventually a full-service restaurant.
“The Bardstown Bourbon Company’s growth is a direct result of the significant demand for our Collaborative Distilling Program,” said David Mandell, President & CEO. “In a short period of time, we’ve become one of the most technically advanced and flexible whiskey distilleries in the world.”
Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Collaborative Distilling Program is a unique model in the American whiskey market. This first-of-a-kind service provides craft distillers, non-distilling brand owners, and existing brand owners the ability to use the expertise and facilities at Bardstown Bourbon to make their own custom Kentucky whiskey, bourbon, and rye products.
Once completed the latest expansion will allow the distillery to produce nearly 7 million proof gallons annually. They say they’ll be turning nearly 70 fermenters a week and produce more than 24 different mashbills in 2018. To continue to meet production and technical demands, they are expanding its whiskey distilling team, creating a dedicated quality control and lab technician team, and further upgrading its distilling technology.
The distilling team is led by Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller, Steve Nally – a 40-year veteran of the spirits industry and the former Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark. Nally said, “It is remarkable what is happening at The Bardstown Bourbon Company. In all my years in the bourbon industry, I’ve never witnessed the level of knowledge sharing and collaboration between companies taking place in one facility.”
Nally is supported by a veteran team of industry experts including John Hargrove, Executive Director of Distillery Operations, formerly Master Distiller and Distillery Manager, at Sazerac and Barton Brands 1792. With more than 40 production employees, the team has an average of more than 15 years of whiskey making experience, working with world-class distilleries, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Barton Brands,Diageo, and Michter’s.
“We are pushing the boundaries each and every day,” said John Hargrove, Executive Director of Distilling Operations. “By respecting tradition while embracing and advancing innovation, we are able to attract some of the best brands from across the country and the world.”
Construction for the distillery expansion is led by Buzick Construction of Bardstown, Kentucky, which built the distillery, expanded it to its current three million proof gallon capacity, and constructed the three 22.5k barrel warehouses on the property. At the current production rate the company plans to build more than two-and-a-half 22.5k barrel warehouses per year. Construction on its fourth barrel warehouse is expected to start in the summer of 2018.
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