Ex-Maker’s Mark bourbon makers to craft ‘world class whiskey’ at new Kentucky distillery

Ex-Maker’s Mark bourbon makers to craft ‘world class whiskey’ at new Kentucky distillery

Originally published in the Lexington Herald Leader

Two high-profile Maker’s Mark bourbon makers who recently left to go out on their own received approval on Oct. 27 for economic incentives for a new distillery. Denny Potter, former Maker’s Mark master distiller, and Jane Bowie, former head of innovation and blending, announced in late August that they were leaving but shared few details. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for up to $700,000 in tax incentives for “J&D Distilling” in Springfield, with Bowie and Potter listed as co-owners.

According to economic cabinet documents, the project will make “world class whiskey with uncompromising quality that maximizes flavor. The proposed project would include the purchase of land and construction of a new 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility.” The proposed distillery would be a nearly $30 million project, with average hourly wages, including employee benefits, of $37.50 and would create an estimated 25 jobs over the next decade.

Potter and Bowie said they are building a new distillery in Washington County and hope to be operational in two years. Bowie said they are finalizing a 150-acre site that currently is farmland and hope to break ground in the spring.

“It’s a big day for us because it’s been a lot of baby steps,” Bowie said. She and Potter are majority owners in the project and plan to start building a team soon. “We’re going to make what we know and love, bourbon primarily,” Bowie said. “The American whiskey landscape is fascinating right now. We hope to be inspired by the local farmers. We have a strong opinion on the kind of whiskeys we want to make and we are going to build a distillery to make those. We’re going to do what we do best.” She said they are still working on a name and other details. Washington County is just outside both Bardstown and Loretto, where Maker’s Mark is, located in the heart of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. No word yet from Maker’s Mark, which is one of the top-selling Kentucky bourbons in the world, on who will take over there. Potter and Bowie were responsible for guiding the premium Kentucky whisky through several innovations in the last few years before their departure Sept. 2.

Read more at: https://www.kentucky.com/lexgoeat/bourbon/article267932162.html#storylink=cpy