Woodford Reserve

Woodford County, Kentucky, is largely covered by stud farms. Magnificent race-horses graze in verdant meadows and parkland, divided up by white wooden fences and fine old homesteads. The very epitome of the Old South.

Woodford Reserve is the smallest distillery in Kentucky. Standing in a wooded valley, Glenn’s Creek, between Frankfurt and Lexington, it is built of pale limestone, with some of the buildings dating from the 1830's. For me, it is the prettiest distillery in America.

It is also the most historic. It was founded by Elijah Pepper in 1776, the year the United States became independent – indeed for many years Pepper’s whiskey proudly advertised itself as “Born with the Republic”. He was succeeded by his son, Oscar, in 1838, who rebuilt the distillery (now known as The Old Oscar Pepper Distillery) and hired a Scottish chemist, Dr. James Crow, who applied modern science to the art of distilling and is generally considered to be ‘the Father of American Distilling’.