View Full Version : Distilleries in Kentucky - 1953

05-25-2004, 12:03
I am working on some papers from Ed Foote that he collected in his years as Master Distiller for both Seagram's and Stitzel-Weller/Bernheim. There is a list of distilleries in Kentucky given to Julian Van Winkle in 1953. It shows that there were 62 distilleries operating in some form or the other (some were silent that year and were counted for their storage of whiskey). The interesting thing about the list is that it gives the name of the distillery and who owned it. At the end of the list it has a chart of the owners of multiple distilleries.
Schenley - 15
Seagrams - 10
National - 7
Glenmore - 2
Brown-Forman - 3
Park and Tilford - 2
Fleischmann - 1

These are only the Kentucky distilleries owned by these companies. Even so 40 of the 62 distilleries in Kentucky were owned by large firms. The other 22 were independently owned.

Times have changed.

Mike Veach

05-25-2004, 12:21
Mike, can you list the 22 privately held ones?

05-25-2004, 13:41
I will have to copy the list and take it home so I can go through it and find the independents, but I will try to do so soon. Stitzel-Weller and Medley Bros. are the two the come to me quickly. The other twenty will take some work.
Mike Veach

05-26-2004, 14:04
This is similar to the collapse of Maryland Rye. The big boys came in and purchased the undercapitalized distilleries, then either shut them down or used their facilities for blends or straight whiskey. Seems that Kentucky Bourbon was popular enough to weather the storm.

05-27-2004, 06:31
This is very true. The U D Archive has some of the material from the old Melrose Distillery in Maryland. They ran it for a while but then closed it down in the late 60's or early 70's. My friend Chris Sigmon, who lives in Maryland is very interested in the Maryland distilling industry and finding the old distilleries. He took me to a couple of the sites while I was visiting last fall and it always the same story - National or Seagrams or Schenley came in, bought the distillery and then closed it down. This was a real loss because the Maryland rye I have tasted really did have a unique flavor that I rather liked.
Mike Veach