Woodford County’s Old Taylor Distillery Renaissance


OldTaylorDistilleryA company is planning to restore and reopen Woodford County’s Old Taylor Distillery.

Peristyle LLC has announced plans to renovate the 125-year-old facility and distill bourbon. The company plans to invest up to $6.1 million and create 10 full-time jobs.

Gov. Steve Beshear called the project “the renaissance of one of the state’s most historic and iconic distilleries.”

Restoration will occur over 18 months on the 83-acre complex.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The project was also approved for tax benefits up to $50,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
The company will spend the next 18 months restoring elements of the 83-acre complex, updating existing infrastructure with the goal of being operational in the fall of 2015. Peristyle will restore key buildings and areas in phases so the location can be opened for tourism and events.

“The Old Taylor Distillery is one of the most remarkable landmarks in central Kentucky,” said Will Arvin, an executive at Peristyle LLC. “We believe that in the context of growth in demand for Kentucky-produced spirits worldwide, its location in the heart of the most productive bourbon distilling region and the need for additional food and hospitality options in an area experiencing growing tourism, this one-of-a-kind property holds great promise to become a prime destination for tourists and Kentuckians alike.”

Built in 1887, the Old Taylor Distillery was once considered a showcase of bourbon making in Kentucky, where one of the world’s largest stills and one of the longest bourbon warehouses are still in place. Founder E.H. Taylor was known as the father of the modern bourbon industry for his key role in the passage of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, which ended the widespread adulteration of distilled spirits.

Old Taylor was the first distillery to reach 1 million U.S. government certified cases of straight bourbon. A drop in demand forced the distillery to close in 1972, and the property has since fallen into severe disrepair. The complex was highly regarded for its beauty, which includes an ornate, colonnaded spring house, sunken gardens, a fish pond and limestone buildings.

“Community leaders are ecstatic over the news…

“This investment shows Peristyle’s commitment to Woodford County and the commonwealth and is a tribute to our dedicated and skilled workforce,” said state Sen. Julian Carroll of Frankfort. “It means additional job opportunities and a boost to the economy, while contributing to Kentucky’s booming bourbon industry. I am pleased with the company’s commitment to restoring and reopening the historic Old Taylor Distillery and future restoration projects. Peristyle is a good corporate partner, and I wish them continued success.”

“Today’s announcement further solidifies the sizable role that Millville and Woodford County are playing in the bourbon industry,” said state Rep. James Kay of Versailles. “I want to thank Peristyle for making such a large investment and helping us return distilleries like Old Taylor to their glory days. I cannot wait to see what this company is able to do with this facility and what it will mean for our community once it’s operational. I also want to thank Gov. Beshear and his administration for their work in helping to make all of this possible.”

“We would like to welcome Peristyle LLC as our newest corporate citizen,” said Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle. “We’re thankful not just for its economic impact, but also for preserving an historic landmark that means so much to the people in our community.”

“It’s been a goal this past year to find a company with the passion to preserve this historic distillery and bring new jobs to our community,” said John Soper, chairman of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority. “We believe we found the right blueprint with Peristyle LLC at a time when Kentucky’s bourbon industry is at its height.”


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