Bourbon Whiskey is a distinctly American product that has been produced in this country since the eighteenth century. Bourbon can be made in any U.S. state but the vast majority of it hails from Kentucky, and can claim to be world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon. As defined by federal standards, Bourbon Whiskey must be stored in charred new oak barrels at not more than 125 proof and it must contain not less than 51% corn. There is no set minimum time for Bourbon Whiskey to age in a barrel, with the exception of Straight Bourbon Whiskey which must age in a barrel for at least two years.
BOURBON IN OWENSBORO
Daviess County—where our distillery resides—has a rich bourbon tradition. In fact, a distillery operated in the county as early as 1805. Owensboro has been a hub for bourbon production because of its location along a rail line and waterway, its tremendous limestone water source, its extensive oak forests, and because local farmers have always produced a great deal of corn. The location of the Green River Distillery has been producing Bourbon Whiskey since 1885.
BOURBONS MADE IN THE DISTILLERY
The site of the Green River Distillery has housed distilleries for nearly 130 years. The original Green River Distillery, built in 1885, was the first in Owensboro and a major producer of Kentucky Bourbon for over 30 years. In 1918 the entire distillery burned to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1936 after prohibition, and most of the buildings on our grounds today date back to the late 1930s. In 1940 it was purchased by the Medley family and continued to produce significant quantities of Bourbon as the Charles Medley Distillers Kentucky until 1993.
Here is a random sampling of just some of the bourbon brands that have been made on the site of our distillery. Some of these brands have moved on to different distilleries over time and some are no longer in production:
- Green River
- Ezra Brooks
- Mellow Corn
- Medley Brothers
- Kentucky Beau
- Old Medley
- Five Brothers