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Willett Distillery Timeline aka (KBD) History

    • 195 posts
    May 15, 2020 2:49 PM PDT

    Willett Distillery aka Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD) Timeline & History:


    Year Event  Info
    1936 Willett Distillery Founded  
    1937 First Barrel Filled Mar 17
    1940s Old Bardstown Released  
    1960s Johnny Drum Released  
    1970s Changed to Gasohol Production with Gas Shortage Late 1970s
    1980s Closed Distillery   Early 1980s
    1984 Even Kulsveen and Martha Willet Purchased Company DSP-KY-78 July 1
    1990s Kentucky Vintage & Pure Kentucky - Released  
    2008 Willett Family Estate - Released  
    2008 Willett Pot Still - Released  
    2010 "Willet" Cursive Type Now whereas before it was Serif Font 2010-2011
    2012 First Distillate Produced Jan 21
    2012 First Barrels Stored in Wharehouse A Jan 27
    2014 Willett Exploratory Cask Finish - Released Oct 31
    2015 WFE Rye 2 Year - Released From Copper Pot Still
    2016 WFE Bourbon 4 Year - Released From Copper Pot Still
    2017 80th Anniversary Edition - Released Mar 17


    WFE 4 Year Bourbon (Produced in 2016):

    On January 18, 2012, Willett Distillery began the fermentation mash bill of 72% corn, 13% rye, and 15% barley.  This was the stocks used to produce the first WFE Bourbon 4 Year Release in 2016.  The initial distillation on January 21, 2012 was slated to run through the column still, but a balky pump led Drew Kulsveen to take the first fermentation to the pot still, where it was distilled one time, utilizing five trays in the column on the pot still. The resulting spirit of 110.3 proof — which was made of a narrow “center cut,” discarding the heads and the tails of the distillation — filled six barrels at 103 proof, on January 27, which would have been the 103rd birthday of Thompson Willett.



    The brands owned and marketed by Willett / KBD include:

    • Johnny Drum
    • Old Bardstown
    • Willett Distillery brand
    • Willett Family Estate
    • Willett Pot Still Reserve
    • Noah’s Mill 
    • Pure Kentucky XO
    • Kentucky Vintage
    • Rowan’s Creek
    • Corner Creek
    • Kentucky Pride

    Some of the additional contracted brands that Willett / KBD bottled for include:

    • Black Maple Hill
    • Classic Cask
    • Conecuh Ridge
    • Michter’s
    • Old Pogue

    Willett / KBD does not identify specifically where the whiskies were distilled, although speculation is that some were from Stitzel-Weller, Bernheim, but the majority of their whiskies came from the Heaven Hill Distillery, also located in Bardstown. Additionally, Willett / KBD also released their whiskies through various fictitious distilling company names such as the Old Bardstown Distilling Company & Noah’s Mill Distilling.

    This post was edited by admin at May 17, 2020 10:48 PM PDT