Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review

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Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. offers an immersive urban distillery experience in a meticulously renovated 115-year-old building in downtown Louisville. The tour includes a history lesson, a look at the unique distillation process, and a tasting of their exclusive bourbon and rye selections. Read our full review for an in-depth look at the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour.
Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.
120 North 10th Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 566-4999
kentuckypeerless.com
Tour / Review
Updated February 2024

Please enjoy our Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co Tour Review!

An Urban Distillery In Downtown Louisville

Located on N 10th St. just off Main in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Peerless Distilling Co. is most definitely an urban distillery. Setting foot into the handsomely renovated 115 year old plus building immediately made me forget this fact. The building underwent meticulous renovation beginning in March 2014 by its owners Corky Taylor and his son, Carson Taylor, and was open to the public in June of 2015.

Gift Shop - Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review
Gift Shop – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review
The Kentucky Peerless Distillery Tour & Tasting

Kentucky Peerless Distilling offers a behind the scenes tour of their urban distillery. We booked ours online, and in fact, all reservations must be made online at least 1 hour 15 minutes prior to the start time of the tour or tasting. The cost of the Peerless Distilling tour is $28 for adults and $15 for those 65 and older, those 10-20 years old, and for veterans (as of February 2024). All tours also include a full whiskey tasting. Currently, tours are offered 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 2:30 EST Monday to Saturday, and they last approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Part of the History Exhibit - Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review
Part of the History Exhibit – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review

Tastings (without a tour) are also offered, and last approximately 45 minutes. Reservations for the tastings must also be made online at least an hour in advance. The cost of the tasting is $18 for adults and $10 for 65+ and veterans. Currently, Tasting Experiences are offered Monday – Thursday at 1:45, 3:45, and 4:45 EST and Friday – Saturday at 1:45 and 3:45 EST.

Active Military members can do the tour or tasting free of charge.

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Tours Start With Peerless Distilling and Taylor Family History

The tour began with a history lesson in which we learned that distilling ran in the Taylor family. There were a few other juicy tidbits that our guide Nikki discussed, but there will be no spoilers mentioned here. Check out the experience for yourself. Corky and Carson are the 4th and the 5th generation of Kentucky Peerless Distilling. Because they could trace their lineage back to the very early days of Peerless, the distillery was allowed to use its original Distilled Spirits Plant number (DSP) of 50.

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Distillation Process

After brushing up on the family history, we made our way to see where the magic begins. Grain is cooked, the liquid fermented, and what is now distillers’ beer, distilled. This is standard operating procedure we learned. What’s not standard are two things. The first is that Peerless’ first head distiller, Caleb Kilburn, designed his own software program to manage the cooking process to his exact specifications; and second, unlike most distilleries, Peerless uses a sweet mash instead of the more traditional sour mash process. In mid 2023 Caleb Kilburn moved on to a new venture, but has been staying on at Kentucky Peerless while that project is underway.

Still - Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review
Still – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review
Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Bottling Area and The Peerless Bottle

After a quick stop at the hardworking 26 foot tall, 14 inch diameter, 18 plate continuous copper column still (made by Vendome Copper & Brass Works), we moved on to the bottling area. Kentucky Peerless’ bottle is not just another bottle. Great care was taken from bottle design, to finding the perfect manufacturer, to the actual bottle production. Carson Taylor insisted that what was to hold the first Peerless whiskey in over 100 years be perfect.

Barrel House – Rick House Area – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review

Jumping the gun a little with bottling, we took a step back to the final stop in the distillery, the rickhouse area. Unique to this area is that Kentucky Peerless Distilling ages their rye whiskey and bourbon in single story rickhouses. While a few other distilleries also do that, it is certainly not the norm. In addition to the barrel storage at the downtown distillery, Peerless also has single story barrel warehouses in Henry County, Kentucky.

Tasting Room and Whiskey Tasting

The end of the tour brought us to the tasting room where four samples were provided. Three of the four were single barrel rye selections only available at the distillery, while the fourth was the small batch rye. The small batch rye is the whiskey widely available in retail outlets and bars. However, since the time of our initial visit, Kentucky Peerless Distilling has released their bourbon, and their ryes have grown older, now being around 5+ years old. A number of different finished ryes and double oak bourbon and rye have also since been released. Therefore, your tasting will likely be different than ours. With the tasting complete, we were allowed to keep one of the nifty tasting glasses as a souvenir.

Conclusion – Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review

I was initially hesitant about how good an experience an urban distillery could be, since part of the enjoyment of visiting distilleries for me, is the pastoral setting in which many older ones are located. I am happy to say that Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. knocked it out of the park. The staff, the story, the whiskey and the setting makes this experience one I would definitely recommend.

We hope you have enjoyed our Kentucky Peerless Distilling Tour Review! If you would like to learn about a couple of Peerless whiskeys, then read our Peerless Double Oak Bourbon Review and Peerless Absinthe Barrel Finished Rye Review!

Initial Visit: May 2019 Updated: February 2023, February 2024

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