Food & Drink

Distill Your Own Whiskey on This Kentucky Bourbon Retreat

You'll Make and Mature Full Barrels of DIY Booze

Daniel Vogel/Unsplash

Many people dream of starting their own distillery, and that's a great goal if you've got the money, the know-how, and an acceptable risk tolerance for going blind.

So most are better off just drinking and appreciating spirits as consumers.

Though there is a new compromise that might put you on the path to distillation but will at the very least result in a few barrels of good whiskey.

The Kentucky Bourbon Retreat is a newly launched experience from Barrel Global, a company that helps its customers purchase full barrels of whiskey from leading distilleries around the world. Now, they're letting you make it for yourself.

The retreat is a three-day experience that'll see attendees make bourbon to their own specifications under the watchful eye of a master distiller. It includes a deep dive into bourbon-making, with a tutorial on the art and science of distillation and barreling, plus a comprehensive bourbon tasting, dinner and hotel accommodations.

george koutsakis in a barrel rickhouse
Barrel Global founder George Koutsakis

You'll start by selecting a mashbill tailored to your own palate, then distill it into new-make whiskey, making the correct cut between heads, hearts and tails, and then proofing the liquid to your desired strength. 

Guests return to the distillery on the next day to fill their own barrels with distillate, seal them, check for leaks and roll them into the rickhouse, where they will mature until they're ready for bottling. When the time comes, owners of the custom bourbons can keep them for personal consumption, gift them, sell them or launch their own mini bourbon brand. There's a minimum order of 10 barrels, so the experience is best shared with friends or family members, or is also a good option for restaurants, bars, hotels and corporate outings.

The Kentucky Bourbon Retreat takes place at Casey Jones Distillery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which is situated on 74 acres of good-looking land. In the future, Barrel Global plans to expand the experience to include other distilleries, so you can one day fill your shelves with bottles you've made all across the world.

In which case, you might want to start looking for a bigger house.

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