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bourbonmed
01-17-2001, 08:23
John/Chuck/Mike

Who is this mystery man and what's in his current distilling portfolio? I know he makes Noah's Mill and the amazing Johnny Drum Private Stock at the old Willett's premises. But you don't hear much about him or his products -- even on this great forum. I'm not certain I'm even spelling his name correctly.

Kentucky Vintage, Kentucky Pride, Pure Kentucky XO -- are those also made by Kulsveen? The only literature I can find on Willett, courtesy of Jim Murray's "Complete Guide to Whiskey" says they were hoping to begin distilling again in 1997, "using a traditional Kentucky beer still in conjuction with a pot still."

Omar

cowdery
01-17-2001, 15:03
Well, you have the spelling of his name correct. Let's see what else I can tell you.

Even is from Norway. His wife is a Willett. He operates a small bottling line at the old Willett Distillery, which is on the hill above where Heaven Hill's distillery used to be, on the outskirts of Bardstown. He has been talking about reopening the distillery since the early 90s but it never seems to happen. I haven't spoken to him in years so I don't have any really recent information.

Even was one of the first to really work the export market and produce products especially for European and Asian markets. He "gave the people what they want," with a fair number of decanters and other fancy packaging. The main reason you don't hear much about him is because he doesn't have a lot of distribution in the U.S.

The question always comes up as to whether he still has any Willett whiskey. Every year there is a report produced showing who has whiskey in bonded warehouses in Kentucky. Willett was not on the 1997 list, the most recent one I have, which says to me that all of the Willett whiskey is exhausted and he is not doing any aging.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

brendaj
01-19-2001, 23:05
Hi Chuck,
I've wondered what was going on up on that hill. After they shut down, they used that distillery to produce some sort of pure grain alcohol to replace fuel products. Wish I could be more explicit, all I know is what the *boiler person* told me then.
I still see traffic coming and going as I pass but, never knew what was happening up there.
Please tell me what brands he's doing, and what...they're going overseas?
Bj

Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

MashBill
01-20-2001, 00:59
Brenda,
Chuck and others can probably provide you with more detailed information, but follows is a list of products that I believe Even bottles for distribution:

Jefferson's Reserve, Sam Houston, Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, Corner Creek, Pure Kentucky, Kentucky Vintage, and Kentucky Pride. There are probably others, both domestic and foreign, but these are the ones that I am aware of.

Bill
http://home.kc.rr.com/mashbill/

boone
01-20-2001, 10:50
Willett's bottles a lot of our (Heaven Hill) miniatures. The Evan Williams, Fighting Cock, and VSQ Coronet brandy.

boone

bourbonmed
01-20-2001, 11:04
Chuck,

If Bill is right about Even's sizeable bottling portfolio, maybe you should pen a profile of him for Malt Advocate. Jefferson's Reserve, Johnny Drum, Pure Kentucky XO and Noah's Mill have all received impressive reviews. That's a lot of good bourbon and virtually no recognition of the man. Is Even a bit of a recluse, I wonder? Does he attend the Bardstown festivals with regularity? Maybe he just needs a good marketing guy (like Ken) to get more exposure.

Omar
Eat well. Laugh often. Sip bourbon

brendaj
01-20-2001, 13:07
Thanks Bill,
So am I correct to assume he doesn't actually distill/produce anything but just bottles? I know Thompson Willett used to do Old Bardstown. Did the family sell the brand or does it no longer exist?
Bj

Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

boone
01-20-2001, 17:29
Hi Brenda

Old Bardstown still exsists. Heaven Hill owns it and still bottles it almost every week. Bottled in bond only.

boone

Creggor
01-20-2001, 20:04
Hello. I have heard about Noah's Mill in a couple of reviews. I have asked around about it here in Florida with no avail no one here seems to know anything about this Bourbon. I am going to be in KY next week and have a few extra dollars to spend on some items this is one on a list of several not readly available here. Any comments on this Bourbon good or bad are appreciated. Thanks in advance. Creggor

bourbonmed
01-20-2001, 23:05
Hi Brenda,

Please keep an eye on what's happening up on that hill. If the Willet stock is exhausted since '97 as Chuck suspects, and if all they are doing up there is strictly 'bottling', where's all that great whiskey coming from? Aliens?

Does the *boiler person* informant have pointy ears? Look out for unmarked "Corn Oil" trucks circling Bardstown in the cover of darkness -- just like in the X-Files movie. Maybe there's a sequel: "Bourbon Files: They Are Out There." Wanna play Agent Dana Scully for us?

Chuck, I still think there's a big untold story here. :)

Be well,
Omar

brendaj
01-20-2001, 23:37
Omar,
Ya know, I think I'll just take a drive up that hill and see just what is up there (if no one hears from me for awhile, please take up a collection for bond money....:o).
I can be Scully although I was really hoping to get to do the 'Bourbon drinking chick' (instead of the cigarette smoking man).
As soon as we thaw out around here I'll check it out and report back.
The truth is out there......
Bj


Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

bourbonmed
01-21-2001, 00:40
Agent Brenda Scully,

Proceed with extreme caution up the Hill. You'll likely need a Search Warrant from the Federal Bourbon Investigators (FBI). If questioned, tell 'em you are investigating Unidentified Fermenting Objects (UFOs).

Well Agent Brenda, I wish you Godspeed on your mission. Gotta go now and get a shot of Johnny Drum -- it's so darned good it's Out of this World.
15-Earth-Years-Old.

Omar

brendaj
01-21-2001, 12:44
Omar,
Oh, you are good...Unidentified Fermenting Objects...hooha, pretty easy to tell we were up too late, huh?
Honestly, I think I'll jus' put on a pair of really tight jeans and walk right up to the door...;o) They probably won't let me in but I bet I can @ least get 'em to talk to me....
So OK, I gotta know, tell me about the Johnny Drum. I plan to try and run some down first thing in the morning (it's Sunday, ya know). But, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
B. Scully
Federal Bourbon Investigators, XXX Files


Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

bourbonmed
01-21-2001, 20:39
Brenda,

Hope you found some Johnny Drum, the 15-YO Private Stock in Bardstown. I rank it as one of my top 5 whiskeys, along with Jefferson's Reserve, another 15-YO bottled by you-know-who up on 'The Hill' where your cig-smoking informant works. J-Drum comes in a rather low key bottle and it's ridiculously inexpensive, around $19. Every drop charcoal filtered, 101 proof but oh-so-mellow and tasty it's hard to believe the high alcohol, unless we are dealing with a Higher Distilling Intelligence here. There's also a 12 which I haven't tasted. You shouldn't have trouble finding either.

I don't know if it's rye, wheat or kryptonite in that sour mash. But I am in awe and I AM NOT ALONE. Jim Murray calls it "mouth-watering...has the nose of an old Irish pot-still whiskey with the hard, small grains flying in all directions". (Now Agent Brenda, I ask you -- who can fly in "all directions" if not "them"?) Norwegians? I don't think so, they are good at sea.

Exhibit B - "Experimental whiskey made under lab conditions has been quite good," says Murray of the folks on The Hill. What lab? What kind of experiments? Hmmm. See a pattern here?

Be vigilant of generic Corn Oil transport trucks. Remember the X-Files.

Omar

brendaj
01-29-2001, 21:17
OK Omar,
you wrote:
Proceed with extreme caution up the Hill. You'll likely need a Search Warrant from the Federal Bourbon Investigators (FBI). If questioned, tell 'em you are investigating Unidentified Fermenting Objects (UFOs).

I didn't have time to get a warrant so, I snuck (Kentucky word) in. Although I managed to move about without being arrested (a good thing), I still don't really know much more than when I started. I've been asking around (I have several friends that are distillery drivers) and no one seems to know much.
One thing I do know, I can't find Johnny Drum around here. Toddy's carries 3 of his labels but no Johnny Drum.
If anyone on the Forum that lives close to me can point me in the right direction, I would love to taste Johnny Drum. In the meantime, I'll open my files to you:

Scully's Secret Mission (http://mail.centralky.com/~brendaj/xxxfiles)

Later,
Bj

Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

bourbonmed
01-29-2001, 23:09
Wow Scully! The plot thickens! All this bourbon and not one human in sight. Hard to believe Sam Houston, Jefferson's Reserve, Noah's Mill, Johnny Drum and others are all bottled there. Those photos seem to indicate otherwise.

If you can't find Johnny Drum near you, you can get it from internetwines.com for about $20 (for the 15-YO). Jefferson's Reserve is also outstanding, but far more expensive. I haven't checked Sam Houston.

I'll ask the Bourbon Festival planners if they can somehow persuade Even to attend this year's event. Hopefully, we can all learn something about the man and his impressive products.

Omar

**DONOTDELETE**
01-30-2001, 17:04
John Allison who was V.P. in charge of production at U.D. has bought into a new bottling operation at the old Schenley distillery at Lawerenceburg, Ind. (Old Quaker was made there). He is bottling the U.D. bourbons and it could be possible that he is also bottling these products as well. Anybody from Cincinatti want to go over and ask?
Mike Veach

cowdery
01-30-2001, 19:55
BJ,

Your report is terrific. What fun! One thing I love about Kentucky is how nothing ever changes. everything looks pretty much as it did the last time I was there --- nine years ago.

The warehouse standing open is priceless too. Pure Kentucky.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

brendaj
01-31-2001, 12:11
Chuck,
Why thank you kind sir. I loved doing it. Actually, I've been gathering stuff for a couple of years for a major website. I want to show Kentucky the way it looks from the eyes of a local. I've been stumped as to what title to use. I believe you just named it. As soon as I post this, I'm gonna see if purekentucky.com is available.
Bj

Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

cowdery
01-31-2001, 17:33
"Pure Kentucky" has been used in the past as the theme for Kentucky Tourism advertising and for Wild Turkey bourbon advertising, just FYI. If the domain name is available, go for it!

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

**DONOTDELETE**
01-31-2001, 19:14
Not to mention (and in keeping with the topic - truly a rare event in this forum) "Pure Kentucky XO", one of my all-time favorite bourbons and a product of Even Kulsveen's Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, whose active bottling and warehousing has been so cleverly exposed by Brenda herself.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

MashBill
02-09-2001, 10:25
Here is more information about the elusive Even that I found on the State of Kentucky Website.

Company Name: PREMIUM BRANDS, LTD.
Company ID: 0175524
Status: Active
Profit/Non-Profit: Profit
Standing: Good
State: KY
Company Type: KCO
File Date: 3/4/1983
Incorporation Date: 3/4/1983
Last Annual Report: 6/8/2000

Agent Name: JOHN DAVID SEAY
Agent Address: 113 W. STEPHEN FOSTER AVE., BARDSTOWN, KY 40004
Principal Office Address: P. O. BOX 785, BARDSTOWN, KY 40004-0785

Initial Directors/Incorporators:
JOHN DAVID SEAY, INITIAL DIRECTOR
JOHN DAVID SEAY, INCORPORATOR

Current Officers:
Even G. Kulsveen, Sole Officer

Active Assumed Name Corporations:
KENTUCKY PRIDE DISTILLING CO. (Active)

Inactive Assumed Name Corporations:
SPEAKEASY PRODUCTS
VINTAGE BOURBON COMPANY
ROHANS KNOB DISTILLING COMPANY
REDMONT DISTILLING COMPANY
COUVIGNAC ET CIE
KENTUCKY PURE
KENTUCKY CUSTOM DISTILLERY
OLD KENTUCKY WHISKEY COMPANY
OLD KENTUCKY DISTILLERY OF BARDSTOWN
OLD BOURBONTOWN DISTILLERY
OLD BARDSTOWN DISTILLING COMPANY
PURE KENTUCKY
JOHNNY DRUM DISTILLING COMPANY
JOHN FITCH DISTILLERY
DERBY ROSE DISTILLERY
CROWN DERBY DISTILLING COMPANY
KENTUCKY VINTAGE DISTILLERY
MODERN TIMES DISTILLERY
DUKE BOURBON COMPANY
DOM PIERRE ET CIE
BOURBON STAR DISTILLERY
BLUE KNOB DISTILLERY
BLUEGRASS DISTILLERY
BARDSTOWN CLUB DISTILLING COMPANY
CAFETEROS DE KAFIJA

Bill
http://home.kc.rr.com/mashbill/

bourbonmed
02-09-2001, 11:03
Good intel, Bill. That's quite a portfolio. Not sure what 'inactive assumed names' means -- I recognize several names on that list as active, currently available products. But there's quite a few I've never heard of . Perhaps export-only stuff.

John, if you meet with Even Kulsveen next week, maybe he can shed some light on products we believe are part of his operation but aren't on the list, (i.e., Jefferson's Reserve, Sam Houston, Noah's, etc). BTW, are you going up the hill, like our brave agent Brenda?

Omar

brendaj
02-09-2001, 12:03
Omar,
Scully here. I'm hoping John & Linda talk Mr. Kulsveen into having dinner with us @ Dagwoods Thursday night. I haven't quite decided whether or not to mention the little web page with photos from the inside of his warehouse...;o)
Scully (who's hoping Mr. Kulsveen will flattered and not pissed....)

Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

cowdery
02-09-2001, 13:17
The following list of products from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Limited was compiled by a reliable but unofficial source:

Noah's Mill, 15 yr. old, 114 proof
Johnny Drum, 8yo/86, 12yo/86, 15yo/100 (BIB)
Old Bardstown, 80, 90, 100 (BIB)
Old Kentucky, 8yo/90
Old Pure Kentucky, 12yo/107
Bourbontown Club, 80
Old Distiller, 80
Corner Creek, 8yo/88
Rowan's Creek, 12yo/100
Kentucky Pride, 10yo/90

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

boone
02-10-2001, 18:28
Old Bardstown belongs to Heaven Hill. We do not bottle the 80 or 90 (or if we do I have not seen it for a long time) only the Bottled in Bond 100. It's ours DSP KY 31.

boone

**DONOTDELETE**
06-29-2002, 06:46
A bump for Doug.