Skip to main content

Peerless Distillery: Louisville’s Latest Whiskey Revival

peerless distillery louisvilles latest whiskey revival barrells
Image used with permission by copyright holder
There’s still plenty of time left in 2013, but at The Manual, we are always looking ahead to the next great thing to keep on your radar. Whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, car, or clothing line, it is our job to keep you informed. That’s why you need to know about the Peerless Distilling Company, which is undergoing a revival in the spring of 2014.

Kentucky is one of the South’s most historic states; and the Peerless Distilling Company was once a big part of the Bluegrass State’s great culture. Originally opened in Henderson, Kentucky during the late 1800’s, under the ownership of local businessmen Henry Kraver, Peerless Distilling operated until Mr. Kraver’s death in 1938. During Prohibition, the distillery survived by obtaining a federal license to provide whiskey for “medicinal purposes” and continued serving the state’s faithful patrons.

Since 1938, the distillery has been closed. However, as part of the Whiskey Row renaissance currently sweeping Louisville’s Ohio River shore, Mr. Kraver’s great-grandson, Corky Taylor, will be re-opening the distillery along with his own son, Carson Taylor. The new Peerless Distilling Company will feature a continuous copper still, which is handmade by Kentucky firm Vendome Copper and Brass. The business will also incorporate it’s own bottling line and be open to the public. In addition, the day-to-day operations will be overseen by both Carsons—keeping firmly in line with Peerless’ historical family values.

After they re-open, Peerless Distillery will bottle and sell its own brand of moonshine, while simultaneously developing a 4-year old bourbon. Ultimately, the goal is to add a premium, small-batch bourbon to the product line called “Henry Kraver,” in honor of Peerless’ founding father.

So, while you should certainly enjoy all the great things to come in 2013, it’s never too early to start gearing up for 2014; especially when there is brand new batch of booze to try.

Matt Domino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Domino is a writer living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in Slice and The Montreal Review, while his non-fiction…
Wild Turkey Releases Two New Limited Edition Whiskeys

Wild Turkey is one of those Kentucky whiskey brands that doesn't really need to expand its core lineup. After all, what it's known for is quality and affordability, two things that sometimes can be hard to find together. In other words, master distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell can confidently rest on their laurels. But over the past few years expansion is exactly what the distillery has been doing, with the ultra premium Master's Keep series and additions to the Russell's Reserve brand. Now you can look for two more whiskeys with flags flying under the Wild Turkey banner, one from the aforementioned Master's Keep series, the other a new barrel-proof rye whiskey that is part of the Rare Breed lineup.

Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond is the fifth release under this banner of pricey, limited-release whiskeys. It's a 17-year-old bourbon, and the second Wild Turkey release to carry the BIB designation (the first was the 15-year-old American Spirit released over a decade ago, according to the brand). “With our own Master’s Keep Bottled In Bond, we took the historic process and protocol of aging for four years to the next level and allowed the liquid to rest for 17 years,” said Eddie Russell in a prepared statement. “We aged and perfected this rare, 17-year-old bourbon in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. This expression is a nod to the past, both our own heritage and the heritage of American whiskey-making as a craft.” Per the BIB rules, the whiskey is bottled at 100 proof, at least four years old, and is the product of one distilling season from one distillery. It's rich and delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel and strong notes of tannin, cherry, chocolate, and prune on the palate. This bourbon was bottled just in time -- it might have gone south after another year or two in the barrel. But as it is, it's a winner. It's not cheap at $175 for a bottle, but for those willing to spend some cash on a high-quality, older-than-usual bourbon, it's certainly worth it.

Read more
Big Whiskey News: Brown-Forman Early Times is Sold to Sazerac
Whiskey in a glass

Early Times whiskey is celebrating its 160th year -- not a bad run for any brand -- but it was announced this week that Brown-Forman is selling the brand to Sazerac. Brown-Forman, which has owned Early Times since 1923, is unloading the whiskey brand along with Canadian brands Canadian Mist and Collingwood -- so it's possible that this deal is more about those than it is about Early Times. More people drink Early Times than you might think, as the brand claims that it is "the seventh-largest unflavored whiskey in the United States available in markets around the world."

“Early Times and Canadian Mist have been valued brands in our portfolio for many years, and they each have played significant roles in our company’s history,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, in a prepared statement. “We are thankful to all the people who have distilled, bottled, shipped, marketed, and distributed these brands with care over the years.” Sazerac CEO and president also expressed his delight in acquiring what he called "iconic brands."

Read more
A Comparison of 3 New Batches of Barrel Strength Whiskey
Whiskey in a glass

Whiskey fans love to dissect their favorite releases, deciphering what flavors and aromas they can pick up on the nose and palate as they somberly consider just what makes the whiskey so good (or bad). And one especially fun way to do this is when whiskey is released in batches, from year to year or sometimes several times throughout the year. This way, you can really compare and contrast the difference between the casks selected to see how the differences in proof, age, and other factors affect your perception. And this is particularly when it comes to barrel proof whiskey, which truly captures the character of the liquid. Here are three recent barrel-proof whiskeys, each compared to its previous incarnation to see which comes out on top.
Templeton Rye

The difference between the 2019 and 2020 editions of Templeton's Barrel Proof Rye makes itself known with the first sip. The 2019 version of this 95% rye-sourced from MGP is slightly higher in proof -- 115.8 compared to 2020's 113.1. But the real difference is revealed on the palate. 2019 starts with a cherry blast, followed by big spice notes, with some cocoa to chase it down. 2020, on the other hand, is all about caramel and vanilla, with the baking spice flavors and even some menthol taking a supporting role. Overall, I found the 2020 to be the superior batch, with a slightly sweeter and softer palate and a silkier, more satisfying mouthfeel.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Read more