Willett Distillery
Distillery
Founded in 1935
The Willett family has a long a enviable history of working in and around the Bourbon industry. A. Lambert Willett’s father helped found the distillery that would eventually produce that Barton Brands line of Whiskies before failing health forced him to sell and retire.

Lambert worked for 25 years in other distilleries gaining ownership rights, buying a farm, and saving his cash. His son Thompson came along, served a few years under his father at the Whiskey plant, and then the two men launched The Willet Distillery in 1935.

The entire operation is still a family affair, located on the family farm outside of Bardstown, Kentucky. The business has vacillated between two operating names: Willet Distillery and Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. This continues to confuse people to this day.

But for now the company has settled on using the historic Willet name (and let’s hope it stays that way). They have three different stills — a traditional column still, a pot still, and a rare “doubler” or “thumper” still used for secondary distillation.

There are eight aging rick-houses on the site that hold a total of between 40,000 and 50,000 barrels at a time. From their signature Willet line, to Michter’s Bourbon, Kentucky Pride, Johnny Drum, Old Bardstown, and about a dozen other brands.

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Flavour Spiral™

About The Flavour Spiral

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oak
caramel
vanilla
black cherry
mint
dried fruit
rye
coffee bean
sweet
What does Willett Distillery taste like?

The Flavour Spiral™ shows the most common flavours that you'll taste in Willett Distillery American Whiskey. It's based on all Willett Distillery drinks in our large database and gives you a chance to taste Willett Distillery before actually tasting it.

We invented Flavour Spiral™ here at Flaviar to get all your senses involved in tasting drinks and, frankly, because we think that classic tasting notes are boring.

Distillery Details

  • Country
    United States
  • Established
    1935
  • Owner
    Independent
  • Visitor Center
    Yes
  • Status
    Active
  • Address
    612 Shelby St # 1, Frankfort, KY 40601
  • Phone
    (502) 348-0899
  • Website
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Between 1980 and 2012 it is rumored that the stills were out of commission, but plenty of their Whiskey was available. They rebuilt the still rooms and restarted production in 2012. Where did all the Whiskey distillate come from during those missing years? Some say there was a co-production agreement with the nearby Heaven Hill facility, but this is not been verified.
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