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Bourbon County Home to Whiskey Production for First Time Since Prohibition

Andrew Buchanan

Bourbon County will soon have its first locally-produced bourbon on the market since Prohibition.

The Gentleman Distillery is located in downtown Paris, and is aging its whiskey in much smaller barrels and for shorter amounts of time than most bourbon producers. Co-owner and head distiller Andrew Buchanan says their bourbon will stay in the barrels for four to five months—as opposed to years.

“We can really push through and get a product to market a whole lot quicker, which obviously helps smaller, startup distilleries get a product with some age, and color, and taste.

Because it’s aged less than two years in a barrel, The Gentleman Distillery can’t label its whiskey as “straight bourbon.” However, Buchanan says whiskey drinkers are becoming more willing to try shorter-aged spirits.

Bourbon County was home to 26 distilleries before Prohibition. None re-opened when the act  was repealed in 1933.

Buchanan says it feels good to bring Kentucky’s signature spirit back to an area that still has many of the old warehouses that once housed distilleries.

“Once we really started researching the history of bourbon in Bourbon County, those names that are on those warehouses are some of the same names that are part of the bourbon history here.”

Buchanan says the first bottles of The Gentleman Distillery’s bourbon will be available Sept. 18.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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