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WOODFORD RESERVE: The Distillery and its Heritage | Partner Tip

In 1776, Elijah Pepper launched his family business, selling “Old ‘Pepper’ Whisky” to thirsty Americans, and buying a splendid estate in Kentucky where he could distill it.

Today, Woodford Reserve Bourbon is crafted in small batches right on the same historic site.


Louisville native Chris Morris is Woodford Reserve’s master distiller, carefully surveying the craft process. Morris has been around bourbon his whole life and now oversees an incredible gravity-fed, 500-foot, bourbon barrel run, in which white oak barrels containing bourbon gently roll to their destination. A steam-driven heater causes the temperature in the warehouses to fluctuate and produce several hot and cold cycles, maturing the bourbon.

Tour the grounds of the historic distillery in 2015 and you’ll see the gorgeous, iconic copper stills imported from Scotland and the craftsmen and women who manage the process—from its start as crystal clear, mineral-rich, iron-free, limestone-filtered water— to the silky, nuanced sip of Woodford Reserve you pour over ice and enjoy today.

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