Monday, December 17, 2012
Where Are Kentucky's Distilleries?
View Kentucky Distilleries in a larger map
This map shows the location of every distillery in Kentucky, both craft and major producers. Red pins are micro-distilleries, blue pins are major distilleries, green pins are inactive distilleries. Click on the pin to see the name of the distillery and whether or not it is open to the public. Where available in Google Maps (and most are) the exact address is included, along with other listing information.
Many more inactive distilleries could be shown and a few may still be added. 'Inactive' means the distillery part of the operation is inactive; and not just inactive but demolished in most cases. The ones included are mostly all still owned by major producers and in use for other aspects of distilled spirits production, such as maturation or bottling. Another anomaly; the Four Roses maturation and bottling facility at Lotus, AKA Cox's Creek, is listed as a distillery even though no distillation is done there. That seemed preferable to 'inactive,' since there was never a distillery on that site.
It also seems unfair to green pin Heaven Hill in Bardstown, since it's their primary maturation site, bottling house, and corporate headquarters, but this is a distillery map and the distillery that was once there is gone, destroyed by fire in 1996.
There are at least a half-dozen other sites in Kentucky, mostly around Bardstown, that were once distilleries but now only the warehouses remain. The sites are owned and used by the major distillers. The warehouses visible from the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg (you can see them on the map's satellite view) are actually owned by Wild Turkey. They were built as part of the Old Joe Distillery. Wild Turkey has another large cluster of warehouses in Nicholasville (Jessamine County), just across the road from the Camp Nelson Civil War Cemetery. That one is on the map, as a green pin.
Danville Road (US Rt 27) crosses the Kentucky River just south of there. The river at that point has created rocky bluffs on both sides. It's quite a view.
In the area around the Brown-Forman (blue pin) and Stitzel-Weller (green pin) sites, there were once a dozen or so other distilleries, including a massive Seagram's plant. Some have been demolished while some (including Seagram's) are more or less intact, but none are being used by distilled spirits producers except maybe Yellowstone, which was being used to distill blending spirits from citrus fruit.
As big as Kentucky's whiskey-making business is today, it was once so much bigger. The purpose of this map was mostly to show where the craft distilleries are in relationship to the major distilleries. A historic map of defunct distilleries would be a different project.