MILLVILLE, Ky. — Castle & Key Distillery announces the official opening of its newly restored, 130-year-old castle distillery in Millville, Kentucky. After much anticipation and more than four years of restoration of the 113-acre property, the historic site will begin hosting curated experiences for bourbon tourists beginning September 19, 2018. Guests may book an experience today at castleandkey.com.
Built in 1887 by legendary distiller Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. this groundbreaking distillery was a destination with a European-inspired castle, peristyle springhouse and sunken gardens. The property, now home to Castle & Key, has long been celebrated as the birthplace of bourbon tourism, but was abandoned more than 40 years ago. In 2014, Castle & Key Founding Partners Will Arvin and Wes Murry, two industry outsiders, purchased and began restoring the property with a vision of creating an immersive distillery experience. The founders later hired Master Distiller Marianne Eaves, Kentucky’s first female to hold the title of Master Distiller of bourbon since Prohibition, to create thoughtfully made spirits with locally-sourced ingredients.
“For the last four years we’ve worked incredibly hard to create a destination where discerning tastemakers can experience history in motion,” said Will Arvin, Founding Partner. “Many people thought this day would never come, but we’re proud that we had the courage to keep pursuing this dream.”
“The opportunity to revive this historic property to its original glory and build a company from the ground-up was too enticing to turn down,” said Wes Murry, Founding Partner. “We can’t wait to show our guests this property and all we’re doing to create spirits with conviction over pocketbook.”
A New Destination in Spirits Tourism
Beginning September 19, Castle & Key will offer distillery guests a curated look at the property’s iconic structures and its restoration, an in-depth look at Castle & Key’s principled distilling approach and a unique tasting of cocktails made with Castle & Key’s Restoration Release Gin and Vodka. Experiences are curated based on each guest’s unique interests in Castle & Key’s story. Guests will experience:
- Each step of the distilling process within Col. Taylor’s historic Castle
- The property’s Sunken Gardens, which were originally designed by Col. Taylor based on those at Windsor Castle and restored in 2014 by famed landscape designer Jon Carloftis
- A quarter of a mile long Botanical Trail featuring ingredients used in Castle & Key’s Restoration Release Gin
- A train depot once used to move product and Col. Taylor’s guests, which is being transformed into a tasting room and, eventually, a café
- The longest aging warehouse of its design in the world, measuring 534 feet from end to end with the capacity for 35,000 barrels
Locally Sourced. Made from Scratch. Distilled to the Highest Quality.
Castle & Key’s principled approach to distilling its spirits goes back to the roots of the bourbon industry and honors the historic site where they are made. Working with locally sourced ingredients, all Castle & Key product is made from scratch and on premise without ever using bulk GNS. All spirits have a base bourbon or rye recipe – including the distillery’s custom gin and vodka.
“As Castle & Key’s Master Distiller, I’ve had the chance to resurrect the heart of these hallowed grounds and to truly create a unique and thoughtful brand that will honor history in a modern and relevant way,” said Castle & Key Master Distiller Marianne Eaves. “Being here from the start allowed me to work with our contractors to ensure that we built a distillery that suited the products we had envisioned. This includes our vision to create a uniquely local gin and vodka, using the same locally grown grains, while also including locally grown botanicals, many of which are grown onsite.”
Castle & Key’s conviction to use local farmers and ingredients allows more control over the quality of each bottle, from the grain or garden to the glass.
The main line of Castle & Key Rye, Gin and Vodka will be released in 2019. Castle & Key Bourbon is currently aging until ready. All of Castle & Key’s spirits must meet the distillery’s high standards before they will be released. They will not be released to the market prematurely.
Restoration Release Gin & Vodka
Castle & Key’s Restoration Release Gin and Restoration Release Vodka are currently available for purchase at Castle & Key and select locations throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. The limited-edition spirits are made with a base of Castle & Key’s bourbon or rye recipes. More details about the Restoration Release spirits include:
- Seven Kentucky-native botanicals and juniper, Restoration Release Gin is bottled at 106 proof, rather than the typical 80 proof, in order to bring out specific flavors and allow bartenders to play around with dilution.
- Using the unique whiskey base recipes, Restoration Release Vodka has an interesting texture and flavor essence which provides a base that contributes character and a more interesting profile to build on for cocktail creation.