The Legacy of Peerless
Perhaps, to fully understand the uniqueness of Peerless and their unconventional approach to crafting their first bourbon in a century, we need to revisit their roots. Founded in 1889, Peerless was originally known as the Worsham Distilling Company. In a time where corn was mostly turned into whiskey as a preservative measure, Peerless stood out for its focus on quality and taste from the start.
The Prohibition Era
With the advent of Prohibition in the 1920s, many American distilleries were forced to halt production. But the legacy of Peerless didn’t end there, as though the doors were shuttered, the name lived on.
Reviving the Past
After four generations, in 2015, the great-grandson of the founder decided to revive the brand. Rather than taking new-age shortcuts or seeking quick profit, he chose to uphold the Peerless legacy, dedicating the revived company to producing Bourbon and Rye the old-fashioned way—through a painstakingly slow, manual process.
The Rediscovery of Artisan Crafting
The modern world’s obsession with speed and efficiency created a bourbon industry where age statements were mostly abandoned, and production was highly automated. But Peerless took a different path. They chose quality over quantity, using methods like sweet mash instead of sour mash, and non-chill filtering to preserve the richness of flavors.
Most bourbons undergo a process called chill filtration, which is a fast and efficient way to remove unwanted elements like fatty acids and proteins, but at the cost of some flavors. By choosing not to chill filter, the company gave a nod to its past and chose taste over appearance. The result was a uniquely flavorful, high-quality bourbon.
The First Peerless Bourbon in a Century
After years of hard work, tireless dedication, and seemingly endless patience, in 2019, Peerless finally unveiled their first bourbon in a century. They chose aged casks, despite the cost and the time they require. Because of these decisions, their bourbon quickly gained a reputation in the market. Featuring rich notes of oak, biscuit sweetness, and a hint of fruits, it was hailed for its complex flavor profile and exceptional smoothness.
True to Their Roots
The revived Peerless remained true to its roots, focusing on quality above all else. This adherence to the company’s original ideals led to an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers and critics alike. It was noticed, appreciated, and lauded in an industry that was steering away from artisanal methods.
As we look towards the future of Peerless, it’s clear that this distillery has set itself apart through its commitment to legacy, quality, and craftsmanship. The path of most resistance might not have been the easiest, but for those involved in the Peerless revival, it was the only way to authentically bring back a brand that was born with a commitment to uncompromising quality. By doing so, they remind us that sometimes, the old ways really are the best ways.
The unique flavors of Peerless bourbon and its storied history create a drinking experience that is much more than just the bourbon in your glass—it’s a taste of the past, a tribute to artisanal heritage, and a toast to the future of an iconic distillery. We raise our glasses to the next hundred years of Peerless whiskey.