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Issue 52 - Full steam ahead in Kentucky

Whisky Magazine Issue 52
November 2005


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Full steam ahead in Kentucky

The times they are a-changing in Kentucky as the bourbon producers enjoy a renewed interest in their products. Dominic Roskrow reports

The road is a nightmare. Little more than an uneven dirt track, its entrance sufficiently concealed that we drive by it twice.

We're just outside Bardstown in Kentucky, and we're meant to be getting a glimpse of bourbon's future. Right now, in the dust and glare of the late summer sun, it seems we're doing anything but.

When we reach the site of the distillery, it doesn't look promising. The ground is unkempt and overgrown, and littered with rusting pieces of farm machinery.

The warehouses, which in Kentucky tend to be huge carbuncles, grim and unwelcoming at the best of times, are in a state of disrepair. The paint is flaking off them, and all the windows are broken.

Finally we find signs of work in progress, paint and wooden floorboards placed by a warehouse door, so we park up and stroll across. And as soon as we enter the building our misgivings are thrown aside. Welcome to Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, a father and son operation with an eye on becoming the newest addition to the bourbon family.

Actually we don't get to meet Kulsveen senior. He's up a ladder in the middle of installing the wooden beams that will one day form the floor for the planned tourist trail.

Elsewhere it's a hive of activity as work goes on to build an operational distillery.

“We're hoping to be making whiskey here in about a year from now,” son Even Kulsveen tells us. “We've been bottling for other people on site for some years but this is a dream of dad's. We're hoping to produce high...

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