I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the Kentucky Peerless Distillery located in the heart of Louisville just off Main Street. I have taken the tour once before, but that was prior to them selling their rye (now aged 3 years) and also, this time around, I had the opportunity for Corky Taylor, Peerless Founder, to lead the tour. All I can say is WOW! It was incredibly fascinating! Here are some notes from the tour:
- Peerless as originally founded in the late 1800's, but went under due to prohibition. It was Corky's great grandfather that started it, so Corky was able to petition the state to re-new the original Distillery License number of #50....to put that into context, Jim Beam's DSP # is in the 200s and if he had to apply for a new DSP #, Peerless would be in the 20,000s. Corky is very proud of this heritage!
- During the tour, Corky told many incredibly fascinating stories! A few include:
- Corky's Father was General Patton's right hand man in WWII, so Patton gave Corky's father Patton's famous ivory handle gun! Corky said it will NEVER leave the Taylor family.
- Corky's roommates in boarding school were the Allman Brothers and ......Al Gore! What a crew that four is! how random is that?!
- Peerless is incredibly high-tech and can be since it is such a small distillery. Corky said they have no plans on growing Peerless to be a massive distillery. Currently, they only have 23 employees and he never wants to grow it more than 25.
- They use a column still and all of their equipment was made by Vendome Copper...the best in the business.
- During the tour, you see the Peerless bottling line along with their rick-house. Included in the rick house is a signed barrel by the rapper Lil John and the race car driver Helio Castranoves. Both toured Peerles!
- After the tour, which takes about an hour, you taste the Peerless small batch, which is batched with six barrels, then three single barrel offerings. My favorite was the Apply Crisp! Very light and fruity, even for 106 proof!
Overall, I highly recommend the Peerless tour! If you can somehow get it where Corky leads the tour, then DO IT! He is incredibly fascinating!