Revolutionary aristocrat brought back to life.
Between the two wars, there was a man with a vision in Versailles. The two wars were the American Revolution and the War of 1812, this Versailles was in Kentucky, and the visionary in question was Elijah Pepper. He was a Bourbon distiller who passed his family business to his son and grandson. The latter one was James E. Pepper, a colonel, a Bourbon aristocrat, and the creator of the Old Fashioned cocktail. His distillery was a powerhouse until 1958, when the entire industry fell on its knees.
But the Old 1776 Whiskey, a favorite of Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant, could not lay in oblivion forever, because good things tend to come back. Amir Peay, an entrepreneur from Georgetown decided to re-found the historic James E. Pepper Distillery and revive the brand. He spent years researching and analyzing the recipes and preserved bottles, and in 2008, the legend was back.
The 1776 Straight Bourbon is made from corn, malted barley and rye, mixed carefully in the ratios written down in a letter by Pepper himself. After they distill the Bourbon, they put it in virgin American oak casks and age it for at least three years. When one opens this precious bottle, hints of vanilla and caramel come through, accompanied by the notes of oak and spices. Peay used traditional methods championed by Pepper while restoring this Bourbon, which brought him a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013. And rightfully so.