What started as a dream by Tom Bulleit back in the 1980s—to make bourbon from a recipe that’s been in his family for over a century—is now a reality, as Bulleit Distilling recently opened its own distillery.
Located in Shelbyville, Kentucky, the new facility sits on a 300-acre campus and includes four barrel houses (each having a max capacity of 55,000 barrels), a 52-foot Vendome copper and brass still, and the first industrial solar array in Shelby County, which is projected to collect all of the energy needed to run every piece of on-site mobile equipment. At max capacity, the distillery will eventually be able to produce 1.8 million proof gallons of the good stuff. Though this seems like a good goal to shoot for, the distillery was also designed to be modular, meaning they can grow and expand if the need arises.
The distillery has wider-ranging effects than just the ability to make more whiskey, though. Economically, Bulleit has contributed over $130 million to Kentucky’s economy between the initial $115 million investment for the site made by Diageo, the company that owns Bulleit, and another $18 million that was used to open the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller in nearby Louisville.
Currently, Bulleit’s core lineup consists of three whiskies—Bulleit Bourbon (based on the Bulleit family recipe), Bulleit Rye, which was introduced in 2011, and Bulleit Bourbon 10-Year-Old, which was added to the family in 2013. Bulleit also recently released a barrel strength expression, which we reviewed here. While not every expression is currently being made at the new facility, the distillery team is hard at work producing Bulleit Bourbon.
While you can’t visit the distillery (yet, hopefully), you can still learn about Bulleit at the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience, which is part of the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Media Courtesy of Brian Bohannon/AP Images for Bulleit Distilling Co.