A love story for bourbon lovers.
Some wedding gifts last a little longer than others.
Kentucky Owl was founded in 1879 by a local pharmacist, Charles Mortimer Dedman. He and his new bride received a large parcel of land on the banks of the Kentucky River as a wedding gift from his adopted father, a town judge. After running it by his wife, he decided to build the C.M. Dedman Distillery. For decades, it produced "The Wise Man's Bourbon" under Distilled Spirits Plant Designation “No. 16,” one of Kentucky’s original distilleries and part of a booming industry.
For decades, the Kentucky Owl continued to flow until Prohibition put an end to the party.
Try as they might, the Dedman family could not hold out against the forces of teetotalism, temperance and eventually, the Feds. In 1916, as total Prohibition loomed, local distilleries had a lot of perfectly good bourbon sitting around. In the case of Kentucky Owl, something like 250,000 gallons of it in various stages of aging. (In today’s dollars, think “$40 million in inventory.”).
Federal agents descended on the Dedman’s distillery, seized the bourbon, and shipped it up the river by barge to the state capital in Frankfort for “safekeeping” in a warehouse.
Notes of gardenia, banana bread, toasty sourdough bread crust, and red apple on the nose. The taste is of graham crackers, citrus, toffee, and muted sweet cinnamon spice, balanced with white grape notes, and a hint of cayenne on the finish.