Collection: Barton 1792 Distillery
the oldest fully-operating Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky
Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and continues today as the oldest fully-operating Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Situated in heart of bourbon country on 196 acres, the Distillery boasts 29 barrel aging warehouses, 22 other buildings including an impressive still house, and the legendary Tom Moore Spring.
Tom Moore, an employee there, and another fellow employee bought the distillery and named it Morton Spring Distillery. The two ran it until 1881, when they sold it to a group of outside investors.
Moore stayed as an employee at the shop, but soon grew restless and bought the lot next door to open a brand new competing distillery. His new operation soon outstripped his former employer to the point he was able to re-purchase Morton Spring Distillery, and merge the two operations.
He renamed the combined operation “The Thomas Moore Distillery,” and everything went very well until Prohibition. When Prohibition came to an end, Tom Moore got things going again, but by then he was an old man.
So as soon as production was returned, he sold the property. It was bought and sold and traded a few times, and in the mix of ownership changes, the name got changed to The Barton Distillery.
Eventually future investors came on board and renamed the distillery, the “Tom Moore Distillery.” It was during this time that their 1792, and Barton Bourbon products became very popular.
Sazerac came along and bought them out in 2009, and decided to capitalize on the brand names, rather than historic ones, rechristening the entire operation “The Barton 1792 Distillery.”
Barton the brand produces a very wide range of Bourbons and other spirits, but most of the Bourbon produced at the Barton 1792 Distillery goes into the two namesake Bourbons.
The facility is huge, with 51 individual structures laid out over several hundred acres — including 29 massive storage rick-houses. It is said that those rick-house holds upwards of 2,000,000 barrels of Bourbon, roughly equal to 530 million bottles.
In June and July 2018 one of the 29 rickhouses at the Barton 1792 Distillery collapsed in two stages. The rickhouse had a storage capacity of about 20,000 barrels, and contained about 18,000 barrels when the first collapse occurred, with each barrel having a capacity of 53 US gallons (200 L). On June 22, 2018, about half of the building collapsed and caused about 9,000 barrels of spirits being aged there to fall with the structure, although about two-thirds of the barrels remained intact.
The facility had a 12-foot (3.7 m) deep basement to help contain spills, but some bourbon and brandy leaked into the nearby Withrow Creek and Beech Fork River, and about 800–1000 fish were killed. The building had been constructed in the 1940s, and one of the walls had been in the process of being repaired when the collapse occurred. Sazerac was given a notice of state law violation for the spill and for failure to properly notify the authorities. About two weeks later, on July 4, 2018, the remainder of the building collapsed. No one was injured in either collapse.