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Stoli Group announces plans for new bourbon distillery complex at rock quarry

The rock quarry in Bardstown will be the site for the new distillery home for Stoli Group’s Kentucky Owl premium bourbon. The new distillery will begin construction next year. The quarry sites will eventually fill with water and serve as water supplies for the distillery.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 4 p.m. — The Stoli Group unveiled plans Wednesday for a new distillery that will serve as home to the Kentucky Owl premium bourbon brand at a Bardstown location that promises to be one of the state’s most unusual distillery locations — the 420 acre rock quarry owned by the Haydon brothers..

State and local officials joined Stoli Group representatives for the announcement of the new distillery that will be built at the limestone quarry near the intersection of Bloomfield Road and East John Rowan Boulevard.

The plan is to build the distillery operation on a strip of land that separates two open quarry pits, both of which will eventually fill with water and serve as the water source for the distillery.

The new distillery will produce the company’s flagship bourbon, Kentucky Owl, as well as other brands the company either acquires or creates, Dmitry Efimov, CEO of Stoli Group, said during a conference call with journalists Tuesday.

Locating the new distillery in the middle of a limestone quarry fits in Stoli’s long-range plans for the site.

Like other new distilleries, the company plans for the site to become a top-notch bourbon destination. The distillery complex initially will include a visitor’s center, he said.

Eventually, Efimov envisions the 420-acre site will include a convention center with an art gallery and concert venue. A train station that would be served by the R.J. Corman Railroad using existing tracks that cross the property is also in future plans.

Efimov said the train station would not only serve visitors to the distillery, but would also be a shopping destination with bourbon-related themes.

The quarry is still operating while it begins to wind down its operations at the site. Efimov said the company will buy the site in phases as the quarrying operations end. When the sales are completed, Stoli will own all of the former quarry holdings on both sides of East John Rowan Boulevard.

WHY BARDSTOWN? Efimov said the company considered other sites for their new distillery, but the Bardstown site stood out as the best choice — despite anticipated higher costs to develop the site.

Efimov said the company had been looking at Bardstown for a bout a year. After he saw the site, the decision didn’t take long. “It was close to perfect for us,” he explained.

Other factors in their decision include Bardstown’s reputation as the bourbon capital of the world.

The company considered a site in Tennesse, he said. “But when we were thinking of making the home of Kentucky Owl in another state, that didn’t sound exactly right.

“A home for Kentucky Owl in Kentucky — particularly in Bardstown — was intentional.”

ANNOUNCEMENT DETAILS. Check back for updates to this story, including photos from the announcement event at the quarry site. The Gazette plans to stream video via Facebook Live on its Facebook page.

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