Bourbon Origin Story

Around here, you don’t spend a lot of time wondering where the county got its name. 

State history records show in 1810 Bourbon County had 128 distilleries producing about 146,000 gallons valued at more than $48,000.

With his keen distiller’s sensibilities, Pennsylvanian farmer Jacob Spears came to Paris in the late 1700s and along with Samuel Williams created one of the earliest brands, “Best Old Whiskey,” which he bottled and sent his grown sons down the Mississippi River to sell in New Orleans.  

Just north of Paris, a house known as Stone Castle was built in 1790 by Thomas Metcalf for Spears, which along with a springhouse and storehouse still stand today.

After a “long dry spell,” so to speak, that started with and lingered long after Prohibition, Hartfield & Co. took up the mantle in 2014, producing bourbon from its three-story historic downtown distillery, along with tour experiences.

We’re also an hour or less from distilleries in Lexington, Georgetown, Winchester, Maysville, Lawrenceburg and Versailles, so consider us your hub for bourbon experiences!

cat walking past barrels in warehouse
drink being poured at bar