James E. Pepper Distillery




Lexington, KY



The Pepper family brand of whiskey is an iconic Kentucky whiskey brand initially produced during the American Revolution and continued through 1967. The family built and operated two main distilleries: one is now the home of Woodford Reserve, and the second was the James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington, KY. In the late 1960s the bourbon industry hit hard times, and both the brand and distillery in Lexington were abandoned for over half a century.  The historic building was neglected and fell into a terrible state of disrepair.

In 2008, the brand was relaunched by whiskey entrepreneur Amir Peay.  In 2015, we designed the new distillery and, after a multi-year construction effort, the historic James E. Pepper Distillery was completely rebuilt and restored.  The distillery served as a catalyst for the new Distillery District on Manchester Street in Lexington.  In December 2017, the distillery once again began distilling whiskey using the same historic recipe as when it shut down in 1967.