|Origin||Kentucky, United States|
Pure Kentucky XO is a small batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is produced by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers who are based out of the Willett Distillery.
The Willett Distillery was founded by Thompson Willett on his family’s farm three short years after the repeal of prohibition. Both Thompson and his father has worked at the Max Selliger & Co. Distillery but, in 1936, Thompson left Selliger to build his own distillery and the first batch, which was approximately 30 barrels of spirit, was produced on the 17th March 1936. The distillery remained in Willett family ownership until 1st July 1984 when Even G. Kulsveen, son-in-law to Thompson Willett, purchased the property and formed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Ltd., which Even’s family runs today. As well as Pure Kentucky XO the distillery also produces Johnny Drum, Kentucky Vintage, Old Bardstown, Rowan’s Creek, Noah’s Mill, Willett’s Bourbon and Rye.
After a period when no whiskey was distilled from the early 1980s (during which time it was an independent bottling company), the distilling plant was renovated and now has three operating stills – a column still, a “doubler”, and a pot still which recommenced distilling in 2012. The whiskey is stored in one of the eight warehouses each capable of holding between 5,000 to 6,000 barrels (total capacity 48,623 barrels), approximately a quarter the size of those found at other distilleries. The warehouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the whiskey.
The XO in Pure Kentucky XO Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey stands for XO, however, unlike in Cognac, XO Bourbon is not a legally defined term. It is reckoned to be “about 12 years old”.