Friday, May 12, 2023

Green River, the Whiskey Without Regrets, Launches Flagship Bourbons


A maturation warehouse at Green River Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Green River is just a name. But, oh, what a name.

As for the river itself, there is a Green River in just about every U.S. state, and elsewhere, but the one in Kentucky is the Green River John Prine sings about in his song, “Paradise.” Three-hundred-eighty-four miles long, all of it in Kentucky, the Green flows through Muhlenberg County and is still an important waterway for coal and aluminum producers in Western Kentucky.

The Green enters the Ohio between Owensboro and Henderson. In 1885, John W. McCulloch bought a small distillery on the Green called Green River. A few years later, he took the name and built a new distillery in Owensboro, along a rail line. His original slogan, “The Whiskey Without a Headache,” was banned by government regulators. He changed it to, “The Whiskey Without Regrets.” It was a huge success.

After Prohibition, the Green River Distillery became Medley Brothers. No one picked up the brand. Medley stopped distilling in 1992. Revived in 2016, it was rechristened Green River in 2020 with the McCulloch family’s involvement. About this time last year, Green River was acquired by Bardstown Bourbon Company. Both are now owned by Chicago's Pritzker Group.

We review all that history, and Green River’s recently-released flagship bourbons, in the new issue of The Bourbon Country Reader.

Other headlines in this issue: “Wyoming Whiskey Releases 10-Year Anniversary Edition Bourbon,” “Jeptha Creed, Kentucky Farmer-Distillers for the 21st Century,” “MGP/Luxco Acquires Penelope Bourbon Brand for $105M,” and we remember the late distiller, John Lunn.

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Launched in 1994, The Bourbon Country Reader is the oldest publication devoted entirely to American whiskey. It is a charming mix of news, history, analysis, and product reviews. Do you worry that advertising spending influences coverage in other publications? No chance of that here since The Bourbon Country Reader is 100 percent reader-supported. It accepts no advertising.

To experience The Bourbon Country Reader for yourself, you need to subscribe. Honoring history, The Bourbon Country Reader still comes to you exclusively on paper, in an envelope, via the USPS. Doing our part to keep the USPS solvent, we use only First Class Mail.

Nevertheless, a subscription to The Bourbon Country Reader is a mere $25 per year for addresses in the USA, $32 USD for everyone else. The Bourbon Country Reader is published six times a year, more-or-less (this one is a little late), but your subscription always includes six issues no matter how long it takes. For those of you keeping track, this new one is Volume 21, Number 5. 

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