There’s a new bourbon about to hit the shelves of your favorite liquor store, and it pays homage to a historic Louisville neighborhood where the founders spent much of their time.
The Old Louisville Whiskey Co. has just launched its first small batch bourbon that is aged between 7 and 10 years and bottled at barrel proof (114). The couple behind the company, Amine and Beth Karaoud, started the brand after they sold several properties in the Old Louisville neighborhood, including Red Castle Liquors, to fund the project.
The Karaouds have much respect for the notable neighborhood known for its Victorian mansions, and they wanted to honor it with its very own whiskey brand that also celebrates tradition and history.
“We’ve always loved the architecture in the neighborhood, and Old Louisville is really where we learned the trade of whiskey and gained our bourbon knowledge,” said Amine in a news release. “Much like the neighborhood, we wanted to release a whiskey that was aged properly. It took patience, but it has been well worth the wait.”
The Old Louisville brand will feature a variety of mashbills for each batch, and Amine tells me future releases might include a 16-year-old American whiskey and a rye whiskey. All batches will be limited to 2,000 bottles or less.
Amine has secured barrels from various distilleries throughout the years, so he’s amassed quite an inventory to work with and blend. For Batch 1, he used rye bourbon that was distilled at MGP in Indiana.
The company operates out of a warehouse off Poplar Level Road, which the Karaouds plan to turn into a tasting room and barrel select experience that will be open to the public.
I attended the launch party last night, where I got to see the space where basically EVERYTHING happens (barrel storage, dumping, blending, bottling, labeling, etc.) and also try a sample of Batch 1.
The gift shop and tasting area are already well on their way to being open (although they aren’t open yet — stay tuned to social media for that announcement at @oldlouisvillewhiskeyco), offering a cozy bourbon experience for someone looking for something off the beaten path of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
And the bourbon, well, it’s a solid pour and a fine specimen for a first batch. At 114 proof, it’s a little hot at first, but the burn soon gives way to the familiar caramel, toasted marshmallow and black pepper notes, as well as some almond and dark cherry flavors as well. It’s also non-chill filtered and is somewhat viscous, which I noticed as I swirled it in the glass.
The suggested retail price for Batch 1 is $149.99, and you should start to see it on liquor store and bar shelves this week. Here are some more photos from the launch party: