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Woodford Reserve Pepper House Restoration Highlights Bourbon History

Woodford Reserve Pepper House Restoration Highlights Bourbon History
Discover the historic restoration of Woodford Reserve Pepper House and its significance in Kentucky bourbon history, honoring the legacy of distiller Chris Morris.

Kentucky Derby Edition: Get an Exclusive Preview Today!”>Woodford Reserve Pepper House Revitalization

Cynthia Mersten Jul 2nd, 2024, 3:18 pm

Woodford Reserve announced that it has restored The Pepper House in Kentucky. (Photo: Woodford Reserve)

The Historic Significance of The Pepper House

On Friday, Kentucky bourbon brand Woodford Reserve announced the revitalization of a historic home, The Pepper House. Nestled on a hill overlooking Woodford Reserve’s distillery, this house supports Woodford’s personal selection and barrel program. The Woodford Reserve Pepper House holds a significant place in the bourbon world, tracing its origins back to 1812.

A Tribute to Chris Morris

The house’s library will be named after Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Emeritus Chris Morris. His efforts transformed Woodford Reserve from a startup into a global brand.

“On behalf of Brown-Forman and our 154-year legacy, we sincerely thank Chris for his exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication to the artistry of Kentucky bourbon,” said Brown-Forman President and CEO Lawson Whiting. “Over his five decades with Brown-Forman, he has consistently demonstrated that there is simply ‘nothing better in the market.’”

The Bourbon Legacy

The Pepper House dates back to 1812 and originally belonged to Elijah Pepper, a notable Kentucky distiller and ancestor of the successful bourbon distiller James E. Pepper. Elizabeth McCall, Woodford Reserve Master Distiller, shared her thoughts on the restoration:

“This home, with its rich heritage and deep-rooted connections to the birth of bourbon in the Commonwealth, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Pepper family in shaping the industry as we know it today,” McCall said. “I believe it’s a fitting tribute to reuse this house in modern ways. If these walls could talk, I can imagine the stories they could tell about early distilling life in Kentucky.”

Innovative Uses for The Pepper House

Part of the home is a log cabin, and Woodford Reserve intends to convert this portion into a tasting house for selecting personal batches. This adds a modern twist to the historic site, bringing the past and present together in a celebration of Kentucky bourbon.

Family Collaboration in Bourbon Making

In June, Elizabeth McCall and her father released a unique bourbon blend to celebrate Father’s Day. The duo worked together at Woodford Reserve to create seven two-barrel blends, achieving the desired flavors through their combined expertise.

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Bourbon Release Special Feature Ratings
McCall’s Father’s Day Blend Seven two-barrel blends 90/100
Pepper House Selection Tasting house selections 95/100

Written by Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis has been writing about spirits for over 10 years. He is a frequent speaker at whiskey festivals and events around the country and has been a judge at several international spirit competitions. He is passionate about educating people about the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon and loves to share his knowledge with others.

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