The Woodford Reserve Distillery, formerly known as the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery and later the Labrot & Graham Distillery, is approximately eight miles from the town of Versailles in north-central Kentucky, off U.S. Route 60 between Interstate 64 and Versailles.
Distilling began on the site of the current day distillery in 1812,. Although the site has not been continuously operational as a distillery since, the structure stands as one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Originally established by Elijah Pepper, the distillery was passed on to his son and known as the Oscar Pepper Distillery when Dr. James Crow worked there in the mid-19th century. During this time Dr. Crow undertook a series of activities that improved and codified the understanding and quality of key bourbon-making processes such as sour-mash fermentation, pot still distillation and barrel maturation. After Oscar Pepper died in 1867 the distillery was passed to his son James E. Pepper. The Pepper family sold the property to Leopold Labrot and James Graham in 1878, who owned and operated it (except during Prohibition) until it was sold to the Brown-Forman Corporation in 1941. Brown-Forman operated it until the late 1960's, then sold the property and its accompanying acreage to a local farmer. Brown-Forman re-purchased the property in 1993, refurbished it, and brought it back into operation. The Woodford Reserve brand was introduced to the market in 1996.
The distillery produces some of the finest bourbon and whiskey in the world, including: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey, and Woodford Reserve Straight Malt Whiskey. It also distills some limited edition releases, including Woodford Reserve Master's Collection, Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Batch Proof, a Kentucky-only Distillery Series, and a special commemorative bottle it releases annually in conjunction with its official sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby.
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