Master Distiller Ken Pierce to Retire from 1792 Distillery

BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (May 4, 2016) – After more than 30 years in the beverage industry, Master Distiller Ken Pierce is retiring from Barton 1792 Distillery.

Pierce’s early days in the distilled spirits industry started with Barton Brands of Georgia (now defunct) where he was Plant Chemist and later Quality Control Manager. After six years, the company transferred him to Bardstown, Ky. to its distillery now known as Barton 1792 Distillery. Pierce started his work in Bardstown as Senior Chemist; a short time later was named Chief Chemist, then Director of Distillation before being named Master Distiller.

Ken Pierce

During Pierce’s time with the company, he had the opportunity to train under three previous Master Distillers. He was also able to lend his expertise to many industry-wide projects, including the George Washington Distillery project, as part of a group that used historically accurate equipment to distill rye whiskey at Mount Vernon Plantation in Virginia. The distillate was aged and sold at auctions to raise funds to rebuild the distillery.

At Barton 1792 Distillery, Pierce was involved in all aspects of bourbon production, from the evaluation of incoming grain to the selection of mature whiskey. He was instrumental in the development of 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and in the recent line extensions.

Pierce’s retirement is effective May 13, 2016.

About Barton 1792 Distillery

Barton 1792 Distillery is part of Barton Brands. Barton Brands has facilities in Bardstown, Ky., Carson, Calif., and Baltimore, Md. Barton Brands is owned by the Sazerac Company, an American family-owned company based in New Orleans, La. Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and continues today as the oldest fully-operating Distillery in the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” The Distillery is located on 196 acres and includes 28 warehouses, 22 other buildings, the Morton Spring and the Tom Moore Spring. Distilling, aging and bottling fine Bourbon whiskey are hallmarks of the historic Barton 1792 Distillery. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is produced at Barton 1792 Distillery. This whiskey is named for the year Kentucky became a state and is the recent gold medal winner at the 2015 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. To learn more visit