The next phase of refurbishing the facility will include construction of a new bottling line, an on-site finishing centre and a small batch craft still for the Visitor Centre focused on innovation. This brings Diageo's total investments in Stitzel-Weller announced in 2014 to more than ten million dollars.
|Bulleit Bourbon Founder Tom Bulleit and Diageo President, North America Larry Schwartz present a personalized bottle of Bulleit Bourbon to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer|
Commenting on the news, Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo North America, said: "Stitzel-Weller is widely recognized as an iconic part of bourbon's past, and the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience we are opening today celebrates that history. Now, with these new investments and our innovation plans, Stitzel-Weller and Diageo will help shape the future of American Whiskey in Louisville, and in the state of Kentucky."
The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience will be officially open to the public beginning today. Visitors will be able to see first-hand Bulleit founder Tom Bulleit's working office and take a trip into the past of one of America's most historic facilities.
Guests will tour the warehouse where the rickhousing system was invented in 1879, the cooperage which remains unchanged since opening in 1935, and the historic foyer, inspired by Monticello. Beginning in early December, the tour will also include a look at a new finishing centre, where visitors will be able to add customized engravings, etchings and hand-selected graphics to products available for purchase at the site.
While Stitzel-Weller will remain home to the Bulleit Bourbon brand, the new small batch craft still for the Visitor Centre will also nurture inspired experimentation and education. Fuelled by innovation, it will embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has long lived within the walls of the historic site. The facility will include an industry archive and serve as a resource for members of the trade, whiskey industry and other interested parties who are of legal drinking age.
At yesterday’s ceremony Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer said: "Stitzel-Weller is sacred ground in our city, the home of iconic bourbon brands and now the home of the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience. The beautiful setting and the historic preservation of the property will make the distillery a must-see stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail journey."
Also commenting on the news Bulleit Bourbon Founder, Tom Bulleit said: "As a Kentuckian and a son of the Bourbon industry, watching this national treasure come back to life has been an incredible experience. Having Stitzel-Weller be the home of the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience and a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® gives me a tremendous amount of pride and a feeling of excitement for what the future holds."
In addition to distilling, the company will bring bottling capabilities back to Stitzel-Weller. A new bottling line is currently under construction and slated to start up later this year.
During the announcement, Gregory presented Schwartz with a copper plaque to commemorate their Kentucky Bourbon Trail membership. Schwartz and Mayor Fischer also stamped the first Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passports featuring the new attraction.
This latest investment comes on the heels of Diageo's ground breaking last month at the new Shelby County, Kentucky Bulleit Distilling Co. facility. The 1.8 million proof gallon (750,000 9-liter cases) distillery will distill Bulleit Bourbon, as well as a number of current and future Diageo bourbon and North American Whiskey brands. Construction plans are on track and Diageo aims to have the distillery operational in late 2016.
Source: PR Newswire