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Old Taylor Distillery renamed Castle & Key

As restoration work progresses on Kentucky’s Old Taylor Distillery, the site has been renamed Castle & Key, with plans in place to release a new Bourbon of the same name this summer.

Old-Taylor-Distillery-renovation
Kentucky’s Old Taylor Distillery has been renamed Castle & Key

Established in the late 19th century in Woodford County by former Frankfort mayor Colonel Taylor, the distillery has been mothballed for more than 40 years.

In 2014, local Kentucky company Peristyle LLC announced plans to invest US$6.1m in renovating the distillery, which will be headed by Marianne Barnes – the first female master distiller of Bourbon in Kentucky since Prohibition.

Barnes, a former protégé of Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris, holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Louisville.

She has now revealed plans to start producing Old Taylor’s new flagship Castle & Key ‘bottled-in-bond’ Bourbon, which is also the new name of the site.

The Bourbon will be created using grains sourced from a local Kentucky farmer, who is also helping Barnes to recreate a strain similar to what would have been used during Colonel Taylor’s era.

“The core of Colonel Taylor’s vision with bottled-in-bond was building a relationship of trust with his consumer, providing a literal guarantee of Bourbon’s authenticity and, by extension, quality,” said Barnes.

“Our goal is to embrace and enhance that vision, creating products and sharing the story from the plow to the bottling line.”

A gin made using a “native botanical recipe” will also be launched under the Castle & Key brand name later this year, while the distillery plans to launch a rye whiskey in 2018.

Castle & Key has been brought back into production using a mix of existing, new and repurposed equipment and materials.

It will have capacity to create 12,000 barrels of Bourbon per year and features two maturation warehouses – one of which is the longest Bourbon rick house in the world measuring almost two American football fields in length.

As part of restoration plans, the site’s iconic castle and grounds will also be revived, to “take Bourbon tourism to the next level”. A number of outbuildings will be transformed into event spaces for tastings, cocktail parties, weddings and other private functions.

Castle & Key distillery will open to the public in the late summer of 2016.

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