View Full Version : Old Farmers Distillery

10-17-2004, 05:38
I am looking for info on "old Farmers Distillery". They made
a great 12 year 100 proof bourben that they bottled in 1964.
I am trying to find out more about this distillery if anybody has info. Are they still around (under another name?)where were they located in kentucky? They bottled private label bourben.

10-17-2004, 06:10
I don't know if this will help you or not, but I got one hit (http://tinyurl.com/4rx2h) on Google which lists their incorporation as being in Delaware.

10-17-2004, 06:58
On the bottle it says: Old Farmers Distillery
Reg. Dist. No 20, Dist. of Kentucky

Straight Bourbon Whisky - 100 proof - Distilled in Kentucky

10-17-2004, 13:58
Maybe Chuck or one of the historians can shed more light for you. Would a Kentucky distillery incorporate in another state (maybe for tax purposes!?)

10-17-2004, 14:40

Yes many large national corporations incorporate in Delaware since the annual franchise and other taxes are less. There are other benefits also.

That is why many corporate attorneys are found in Wilmington, De

10-20-2004, 07:55
DSP 20 was Cummins Collins Distillery which is a few miles from BettyeJo's house and the remaining buildings are being used for a cooperage. There is also 2 references to DSP30 in Sam Cecils book, DSP30 General Distillers of Kentucky , that was connected to The Mellwood Distillery. DSP30 in Bourbon County, The Millersburg distillery and WM Davis &Co. It is listed as a failed venture in 1882.

BettyeJo made a nice post about the Atherton distillery some time ago. A search should turn it up.

He clearly states that General Distillers of Ky did bottle for Old Farmers. Seagrams was involved at some point. I would think that that is now a dead label or collecting dust in the cat and dog bin.

10-20-2004, 11:45
I don't know the Cummins Collins name, but the Atherton Distillery became Seagram's probably during WWII and they operated it until it was largely destroyed by fire in 1972. It never reopened as a distillery.

10-20-2004, 12:02
It appears that the Atherton site was home to 5 or 6 distilleries or owners over the years. Cummins -Collins rebuilt there after prohibition and sold to Seagrams in 1946. He also says they alternately ran Atherton and H McKenna at Fairfield.

10-21-2004, 04:20
Thanks everybody for the info. Was that standard practice for a distillery to make bourbon and have someone else bottle it.I have to say I have drank a lot of different kinds of bourbons over the years, the boubon in this bottle is just outstanding.It sat in a cool dark area for 40 years and i am amazed.Really smooth, brown sugery/vanilla impact. I have ord'd cecil's book hopin to learn a little more.

10-21-2004, 05:07
Interesting, this is very close to how I recall the taste of Benchmark Bourbon in the 1970's, i.e., not long after its launch by Seagram. Probably every generation or so bourbons will (broadly speaking) resemble each other, and then they will change together through an evolutionary process that is hardly noticeable and too subtle to analyse with precision. Thus, when I did my mini-tasting recently of WT 101, Elmer Lee, Woodford Reserve and ORVW Lot B 12 years old, I was struck by how similar they were again in a general way. Probably this results from:

(i) the few makers extant of charred barrels;

(ii) the uniformity of much of the dry yeast, corn and malting barley available and of current designs of continuous stills;

(iii) converging production methods such as the slow but steady abandonment of cypress vessels in favour of stainless steel; and

(iv) probably numerous other, interracting, factors which together create the "zeitgeist" of bourbon today. In other words, people (or the current makers rather) expect straight whiskey to taste a certain way but this is also affected by slow changes over which they have no real control; inevitably, the collective result differs from the taste profile of yesteryear. Also, increasing consolidation in the industry tends to result in a greater uniformity of palate, in my opinion. Not that the current products don't differ but I am speaking "broad brush" again.


10-21-2004, 12:24
If the distillery was Cummins-Collins owned by seagrams, why or where does the old farmers distillery come into play?

10-21-2004, 12:41
Many--maybe most--whiskey companies use something called "DBA" names, which stands for "doing business as." DBA names are legal entities registered with the state as proxies for the real corporation. At one time, the distilleries would actually hang out a sign with the dba name on it when they were running the production for that proxy. In other words, "Old Farmers Distillery" is a dba.

10-21-2004, 14:04
Is there a way to find out who was the master distiller there from 51 thru 64? what about the actual recipe they used then, is another of thier distilleries making similiar bourbon.

10-21-2004, 15:43
About all I can suggest is that since Seagram's definitely had a house "style," you should look for something from another Seagram's distillery. Although Seagram's as a company is now gone, the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg is still very much committed to that Seagram's style, so try either standard Four Roses, Four Roses Single Barrel or Bulleit. Based on your description, I think the Four Roses Single Barrel might be nearest to what you remember.

10-21-2004, 22:43
This is venturing off just at tad but still within the subject...

On one of my lines (C-LINE) we run lots of different product, bourbon, vodka, rum, tequila, etc. etc. etc...At the case packer, there is a sign with our DSP#. This sign, is only on C-line because on a regular basis we will run wine on that line... The minute we "change" that line to run Wine...We flip the sign over...It has our BWC# on the other side http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-22-2004, 02:24
Thanks so much Bettye Jo for all of your help. If i can find a bourbon even so close to this one bottled in 1964 right next store to you, i'd probably buy a case of it. I as well look very forward to visiting your great rich in history area.(hopefully this february).

10-22-2004, 02:34
I am also wondering how I would get a bourbon barrel just after a great bourbon has been released from it. I would be using it for culinary purposes. I have a passion for smoked foods(RIBS....) as well and have developed a great dry rub trhat I put on the meat before it gets smoked. It has a great many spices in it and I would like to try adding a flavor I could only get from one of those barrels. It's worth a try anyways. Thanks again and look forward to trying some of that EWSB 95, if I can get my hands on it....

10-22-2004, 02:40
Also wondering about the status of Cummins-Collins, Atherton or ever what it was last, now that Seagrams is out of the picture. Does this great tradition and history go away or is it available to the next person wanting to keep a great tradition alive? Where does that DSP# go?........

10-22-2004, 05:42
The Old Atherton Distillery is now a cooperage. They had a fire there recently, but I am not sure how badly it was damaged.


10-22-2004, 06:04
Barrels are a dime a dozen around here http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Most all of the distilleries sell their used cooperage.

The cheapest place to find them is at Keene's beverage Depot. They are located in Bardstown--(8 Bloomfield Pike), up hill from the Civil War Museum. The Civil War Museum is where they host the Sampler every year.

Last year a barrel cost $8. Now they are about $12...The price varies, and depends on the market and the availability.

A long time ago, HH used to have a big saw, in the back of the building. One of the jobs at HH was to cut the barrels into halves. They shipped them out to be sold as flower pots http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif They ceased this practice over a decade ago.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-24-2004, 09:13
I am also wondering how I would get a bourbon barrel just after a great bourbon has been released from it. I would be using it for culinary purposes. I have a passion for smoked foods(RIBS....) as well and have developed a great dry rub trhat I put on the meat before it gets smoked.

Hey Jim,
Just saw your post. I have a passion for smoked food myself. Have a look at the bbq page on my site (http://www.bourbonrecipes.com/grill/grill.html) . Please overlook the missing stuff, it's still under construction (geez, how long have I been saying that now... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif).

The fresh barrels are pretty hard to find these days, but I have a buddy at the Barton warehouse. On occassion, they have broken barrels, and they're happy to give me the pieces.
I'll try to help you find some barrel pieces if you post the recipe for that rub... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

10-24-2004, 16:49
Great Lakes Brewing News, current issue, has an ad at page 23 from Niagara Tradition Homebrew, a beer- and wine-making supplies outlet. NTH is offering a, "fall special: 50 gallon Kentucky Whiskey Barrels Select Grade, Used Once, $75 each". NTH is located on Sheridan Drive, Buffalo, NY, 1-800-283-4418, 716-877-8767.


10-30-2004, 18:20
Is there such records to who was the master distiller at the seagram's/atherton distillery from 1950 thru 1962? Is that info recorded anywhere? possibly cecil's book, which I have ord'd and have not gotten yet.....

10-30-2004, 18:32
It is not in Cecil's book. What you need to find are the annual compilations done for tax purposes of whiskey in bonded warehouses. Liberty Bank in Louisville, which no longer exists, of course, did them for many years. You might try contacting the Kentucky Distillers Association. I know these things are done every year, but I've never found a source that has all of them in one place. I have a few, odds and ends from various years, but don't think I have the years you are interested in. Anyway, it shows every company that has whiskey aging in warehouses and identifies the master distiller. I tried to see if the state government had them but struck out there. If the Getz were a real museum (don't get me started), that's the sort of thing they would have.

10-30-2004, 20:39
I know a man that worked there until the fire...After the fire, he got a job at Barton's...He lives within walking distance from the old Athertonville Distillery---now a cooperage.

I will see if Mr. Sims is home tomorrow. Maybe, he will have the answer to your question http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-31-2004, 10:53
Well...I just got off the phone with Mr. Sims http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...

This man is a wealth of information http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif He worked for Seagrams for 31 1/2 years and loves to talk distillery. I went to school with his daughter Kathleen.

He said the distillery was down from 1954-58...didn't operate. Geezzzzzzz...I was asking so many questions and writing so fast I didn't get the chance to ask why didn't they operate the still those two years. They fired up operations and hired him and several others (my daddy being one of them (beer runner) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif my Uncle Marvin (maintenance) being another http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif) on Feb. 2, 1958.

Ya know...I asked his wife...I talked with both of them at length...The first call he was out calvin'...and she didn't know when he would get back in from the fields...Mrs Sims said that several distillers were there thru his employment...at a guess she said the name Waldorf...then she said...Jewel Khan? She said they moved them in and out of there quite often and could not pinpoint a direct time with the names...She said they have a stencil that reads...Cummins and Collins. They mentioned the Old Farmer...Geezzzzzzzz..it was like musical chairs...

And then the plot thickens...I just love this stuff...I gotta asking about the fire and was he there...Good Grief...was he there is a understatement...he was on the top floor when the explosion happened...

Just a amazing story from this man. The first person I thought about was Chuck Cowdery...I asked Mr. Sims would he be interested if Chuck Cowdery wanted to do a interview with him...He was stunned...

Sooo...my lips are sealed. This is a great story in this distilling dynasty of days gone by. I have pmed Chuck and hope he jumps in on this and "tells" the rest of the story like it should be told http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-31-2004, 12:44
You're doing just fine with it, Bettye Jo.

You better explain to people what a beer runner does. It sounds like your Daddy's job was just to run up to town to get beer for everybody.

10-31-2004, 13:28
Well, Chuck, if the truth be told...I betcha he made a "run" or two in his day for them http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...

In short...mash, when it's finished cooking is "beer". The beer runner is the one who takes it from the mash tubs, separates slop, then to the still...That's the simple explanation of his job http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I have heard many, many operators in the distillery say that it's the best beer ever http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

At Heaven Hill, there is a "extra incentive" (money) for a beer runner...A very important but not so good job.

When my grandfather (Alvah G. Hall) died, he owned stock in Cummins and Collins...Mr. Cummins was from New Haven. He sold stock in the distillery (to the area farmers)...I will havta check in with some of my family to see how much stock he owned. If I remember correct...I think they cashed it in on Seagrams or they "tried" to cash them in on Seagrams? Papa Hall died in 1981.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-31-2004, 17:13
I hope chuck takes that opportunity to do the interview.
I think the history (and stories) that are with that gentleman and his wife would be a great asset to the bourbon community. Could even be a book there chuck....

I'll buy a copy if so....... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

10-31-2004, 17:24
That brings up another question.... This bottle was dated on the tax stamp fall 1952 / spring 1964.... Was there bourbon sitting in a warehouse during the shutdown period?

11-01-2004, 19:17
Many thanks to Jim ( nysquire) for prodding us along on the Old Farmers question, it appears a significant bit of Seagrams history is about to be uncovered and saved.

As far as storage, Seagrams had a central warehousing facility that is owned by 4 Roses now. It was fed by several distilleries.

In the old days it was common for a distillery to distill half a year or less, but the storage went on, and depending on the rate of bottling it matched, more or less the output of the distillery.

11-01-2004, 19:54
Thanks, Bobby. My question about Lotus always has been "why?" but at one time Seagrams owned 14 distilleries in Kentucky. That was during the war and much of that was intended for uses other than drinking, but even after the war they probably had half a dozen, at least. Having a centralized aging and bottling facility would have made a lot of sense. I guess I never thought of this because they also had a large aging and bottling facility in Louisville, along with a distillery there, but maybe that facility was entirely self-contained while Lotus served the various country distilleries they operated.

04-17-2005, 07:39
Been working on a project...a long term project http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Now that this semester is nearly done I have a little breathing room http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I have been collecting "more" of my family of Beam's history of distilling. I have lots of information but I really don't know where alot of this stuff came from. I wanted a better 'timeline". I decided to contact my cousin's. I asked them (when they had time) to write down their daddy's work history.

Uncle Everett's work history is amazing. His daughter's records match mine and there were places he worked at that I have never heard of...

Now I have a "time line" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I noted a brief insert into his history...It was Cummins-Collins Distillery Athertonville, KY...Master Distiller...1942-44 http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

One more piece to "fill in" the puzzle...

Bettye Jo

04-17-2005, 17:29
Bettye Jo,

This is slightly off-topic but, do you know anything about an "Old Cummins" distillery located in Bardstown? That bottle of "Black Gold" bourbon I picked up lists that as the distillery of origin. From what I know the bourbon was produced in the early eighties. It may be a "distillery" in label only.

04-17-2005, 17:47
The Old Seagrams that burned in the 70's and where they make barrels (now) "was" Cummins and Collins in Athertonville (about 2 miles south of my house) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...

Bettye Jo

04-28-2005, 20:55
Keep me posted Bettye Jo, The more info the better... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
I still have 1 bottle that came from that distillery.
I'd still like to know who was the Master Distiller there at the time my Bourbon was made..It says on the tax stamp spring 1951/ fall 1964....It's a 12yo 100proof and dam good bourbon i must say...I look forward to visiting that Old distillery when we come down ..... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

04-28-2005, 21:01
Did anyone ever get the chance to interview Mr Simms?

04-28-2005, 22:41
Yep, we sure did...Here is a picture of Chuck and Mr. Sims at his home in Athertonville just a short distance from the old distillery http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bettye Jo

04-29-2005, 20:08
Excellent!!! When do we get to read all about it?