Castle & Key The Untold Story of Kentucky Bourbon Chapter 1

Bourbon whiskey is as old as America itself, and the African American contribution to the craft goes back just as far: it was enslaved black men who operated the stills at George Washington’s distillery, after all. But the story of these black distillers – from the voices at Mount Vernon to the voices of skilled tradesmen in the hills of Kentucky who have shaped the industry as it grew – is largely absent from the archival history of American Whiskey. A powerful and necessary story that has to be told. That’s changing. It’s about time.

As African Americans gain recognition in the distillation field, we’re dedicated to uncovering and telling the stories from generations past. The conversation has started; we’re here to keep it moving. We see that as part of our responsibility as distillers – to see to it that the historical narrative honors all who took part. We are on a mission to untap the research, to tell the untold stories. Because if there’s one thing that goes well with a bottle of Bourbon, it’s the tale of where it came from.


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