James E. Pepper
Established in 1780 the legacy of this iconic American distillery is obvious to see when you start to look into the history and although today the name might not quite be on everyone’s lips it certainly should be somewhere in the back of your mind if you are at all into Bourbon / Whiskey..
Being one of the oldest whiskey brands in Kentucky and American whiskey history this all starts with Elijah Pepper who was the distiller between 1780 and 1838 before his son Oscar Pepper takes over as the distiller from 1838 until 1867, Oscar’s son Colonel James E. Pepper became the distiller in 1867 and carried on the family traditions until his death on the 24th December 1906, James was the 3rd generation of that distilling legacy and the last as he had no children to carry on the legacy and his widowed wife sold the distillery to investors. The name carried on and the distillery became well known for sponsoring some of the larger horse races and sporting events including boxing where on July 4th 1910 Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the world successfully defended his title
After Prohibition ended the distillery re opens and production is at full steam as they say, and after a fire devastates the distillery is re built and becomes one of the biggest whiskey brands of the time.
1958 sees the end of an era for the James E Pepper brand as the distillery falls upon hard times and production is stopped, the stocks are all sold off..
50 years later Entrepreneur Amir Peay, founder and owner of the Georgetown Trading Co Starts to form a love affair with the history of the brand and begins the long process of re building this former giant back into a reality.. May 4th, 2016 is the date the distillery dream came back to life with the announcement that the James E Pepper distillery would be re built as a craft distillery and museum within the remains of the old distillery and grounds.
On December the 21st 2017 the first barrel of James E Pepper was filled from the new site..
3 Year Old James E. Pepper – Oloroso Cask Finish, That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Distillery.. James E Pepper
Region.. Kentucky USA
Age.. 3 years
Outturn.. 1622 bottles
Nose.. An abundance of aromas drift gently up to entice your senses into overdrive.. Dates, raisins, plum and toffee are very evident from the off. A delicate espresso coffee note mingles with dark chocolate which winds itself around tobacco notes and old Dunnage warehouse style aromas..
Palate.. The Rye notes are more evident with a bold spiciness and typical rye notes shining, that chocolate and espresso coffee combination found on the nose along with a rich toffee and exotic vanilla note really does enhance the flavours here.
Finish.. spices and Chocolate notes are endless
Thoughts.. I bloody love this !! enough said.
Sample taken from the 2020 That Boutique-y Whisky Advent Calendar..
For an alternative view on this whiskey take a look at THE DRAMBLE..