Marianne Barnes, along with partners Will Arvin and Wesley Murry, announced today that the former Old Taylor Distillery will now become known as Castle & Key. Aptly named after the limestone castle built by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor in 1887, this site once produced some of the world’s finest bourbons. Barnes, Kentucky bourbon’s first female Master Distiller since Prohibition, explains the resurrection, “The core of Colonel Taylor’s vision with bottled-in-bond was building a relationship of trust with his consumer, providing a literal guarantee of bourbon’s authenticity and, by extension, quality. Our goal is to embrace and enhance that vision, creating products and sharing the story from the plow to the bottling line.”
Castle & Key plans to continue the heritage of the distillery with a flagship bottled-in-bond bourbon. “It’s so encouraging to see how much people want to know about the bourbon they drink, who made it, where and how it’s made,” says Barnes. “Castle & Key is a destination that encourages people to be our guest, taste, see and enjoy a step back into bourbon history.”
The distillery sat abandoned for more than 40 years and the Castle & Key team has a long road of rehabilitation and restoration in front of them. Among the distillery’s most unique features are the longest bourbon rick house in the world (measuring almost two football fields in
length), the original 1887 formal sunken garden with koi pond, a quarter-mile
botanical garden path, and a key hole-shaped pool under the restored 19th century springhouse.
Long before we see Castle & Key’s bourbon, Barnes will release a gin made from the garden’s botanicals. “I will have my hands on every part of the process to make sure I am creating the highest quality products.” Barnes adds that she wants to be known “as an innovator that respects tradition and uses traditional styles as inspiration.” Production is planned to begin this summer with public tours available. Follow the progress of the distillery at CastleandKey.com.