Kentucky Bourbon stocks return to 1970s levels

23rd July, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Stocks of Bourbon currently maturing in Kentucky have returned to their highest level since 1977 as producers forecast increasing demand for the whiskey.


Bourbon barrels resting in Kentucky are worth US$1.9bn, almost double what they were worth seven years ago

More than five million barrels of Bourbon worth US$1.9 billion, are now resting in the state, up 150% in the last 15 years.

With demand for American whiskey and Bourbon at its highest level since the 1970s, distillers are investing heavily in ramping up production, with 1.2m barrels filled in 2013.

According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), the Bourbon industry is “pushing production and inventories past milestones not seen in generations”.

Eric Gregory, president of the KDA, said: “Distillers are making landmark investments, creating new jobs, driving record numbers of tourists to the state and pouring hundreds of millions into local economies.

“It’s an incredible success story for our beloved Commonwealth and a clear forecast that the Bourbon revolution has no signs of slowing down.”

But some distillers are still seeing a shortage of Bourbon and American whiskey ready to drink now, with some predicting limitations on stock supplies to last several years.

Barrel taxes

KDA figures show distillers paid US$15.2m in ad valorem barrel taxes last year to the state and local communities, although a new law enacted earlier this year now offers distillers a corporate income tax credit against the duty.

While sales of Bourbon both in the US and overseas is growing, so is whiskey tourism in the state. The KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour logged more than 630,000 visitors in the year, a new record for the tours.

Figures released by the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development earlier this year show that spirits from the state accounted for 21% of US exports in 2013, with shipments exported to more countries (88) than any other state.

Meanwhile, the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) noted that whiskey sold within the US reached 52.7m cases in 2013, up 6.2% year-on-year.

One Response to “Kentucky Bourbon stocks return to 1970s levels”

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