Brown-Forman Corporation is expanding its historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, US, to meet the increasing demand for Woodford Reserve, the world’s finest and top-selling bourbon whiskey.

The Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC), the state historic preservation office, reviewed the expansion plans of the distillery, which will double its existing production capacity. The construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2021 with completion scheduled for the third quarter of 2022.

Woodford Reserve Distillery location and expansion details

The distilling facility is located at McCracken Pike in the city of Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky, US. The nearby airports to the distillery are Louisville Standiford Airport (SDF) and Lexington Blue Grass Airport (LEX). The Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles became a national historic landmark in 2000. 

The expansion will include the installation of three new iconic copper pot stills and additional fermentation tanks.

A new building with a boiler plant, a grain unloading area, a barrel storage area and a conference and training centre for employees will also be developed as part of the expansion project.

Details of the existing facility

The Woodford Reserve Distillery is one of the oldest and smallest distilleries of Kentucky. It features one of the only heat-cycled barrel-houses in the world. Distilling at the facility first began in 1812. However, it was officially recognised by the US Government and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

The Versailles distillery includes two bars, the Baccarat bar in the Welcome Centre and an outdoor bar on the patio of the visitor’s centre. The distilling facility has a limited RV and trailer parking in the Welcome Centre parking lot. It also includes a dedicated pet relief area in the Visitor’s Centre grass lot.

The working production facility uses copper pot stills in a triple distillation process for handcrafting bourbon.

Lined with copper stools, the new tasting room at the distillery offers a panoramic view of the distillery grounds.

The distillery provides educational tours that cover the history of bourbon as well as the unique five sources of flavour and the bottling process. The Woodford Reserve Distillery tour path and the tour bus are fully wheelchair accessible.

Sustainability features implemented by Brown-Forman

Woodford Reserve Distillery recycles 98% of waste material across all operations. The distilling company has dedicated 10 acres of land on the Woodford Reserve property to native grass restoration. As part of its sustainability practices, Brown-Forman composts 97% of food scraps on the Woodford Reserve property.

Product portfolio

The distilling facility offers more than 200 flavour notes through Woodford Reserve Personal Selection, which is available in three options such as Woodford Reserve Bourbon Personal Selection, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Barrel Personal Selection, and Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Personal Selection.

The annual limited-edition Woodford Reserve Batch Proof was introduced in February 2020 while its 2021 edition was released in March 2021. The company released Woodford Reserve Distillery Series-Five Wood in June 2020 and introduced Kentucky Derby® in March 2021.

The distillery also offers cocktails including Bourbon Raspberry Sour, Woodford Spire Cocktail, Bourbon Mint Julep, Rye Manhattan, Wheat Boulevardier, Bourbon Sazerac and Bourbon Porch Swing. 

Marketing commentary

Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the leading American-owned spirits and wine companies. Brown-Forman opened the Woodford Reserve Distillery and launched Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon in 1996.

Brown-Forman has been offering fine quality beverage alcohol brands such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Cooper’s Craft, Old Forester, Chambord, GlenDronach, Herradura, Slane and Fords Gin.

The company’s brands are sold in more than 170 countries globally. In 2018, Woodford Reserve won a gold medal at the Class Bartender Awards. Woodford Reserve surpassed the milestone of one million cases in 2019 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021.