Meet Corky Taylor of Kentucky Peerless, Just Named One of “Top 20 Whiskies” by Whisky Advocate
When Corky Taylor opened, or rather re-opened, Kentucky Peerless Distillery in downtown Louisville, he brought with him more than 120 years of distilling history and, needless to say, he’s hardly that old! The TasteMaker (TM) sat down with him to find out more about his story.
TM: What was your motivation to get involved in the distilling business?
CT: I guess you could say it’s in my blood. My grandfather, Henry Craver, started the Worsham Distilling Co. in Henderson, Kentucky in 1889 and later changed the name to Peerless. I consider it a privilege and honor to pick up where he left off and to celebrate our family heritage all at the same time.
TM: Besides moving the operation to Louisville, what other changes have you made to Peerless?
CT: With the incredible boom in the bourbon business, we’ve made substantial changes in how we produce and present our products. We are open to the public now for distillery tours and our facility includes a gift shop that carries our own signature line of whiskey products along with merchandise and memorabilia for visitors. PNSA was instrumental in helping us identify our brand personality through the design of our tours and retail product mix. The tourism aspect of the business has made it considerably different from when my grandfather was here, but he also owned movie theatres and hotels, including the Palmer House in Chicago, so he would have understood the public’s need to have an experience as well as the product.
TM: How do you feel about your success including being named one of the Top 20 Whiskies in the World by the Whisky Advocate and USA Today’s Readers’ Choice for Best Craft Whiskey Distillery?
CT: In a word — shocked. But, that’s good. This extraordinary reception for Peerless is giving us the drive and energy to fulfill our goals of being available in all 50 states – we’re in 37 now – and Australia by first quarter of this year. After that, we’re off to Asia and the United Kingdom!
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