Kentucky now boasts nearly 10 million aging barrels of Bourbon and distilled spirits

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky bourbon continues to fuel the commonwealth’s economy with nearly 10 million barrels of Bourbon and other distilled spirits aging in warehouses across the state, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Wednesday. The barrel inventory for 2020 broke several state records, the KDA said, including:

  • Total barrels of bourbon and other spirits: 9,864,197
  • Total barrels of just bourbon: 9,266,228
  • Number of barrels of bourbon filled last year: 2,122,954

The previous high of total barrels was 9.1 million last year. Before that, it was 8.7 million in 1968. This is the first time since 1967 – when the KDA started keeping records of barrel inventories that the number of just aging bourbon barrels topped nine million. It also marks the second year in a row that Kentucky distillers have filled two million barrels, the first time that’s happened in the modern era.

From a historical perspective, the number of total barrels has increased by 164% since the turn of the century.

“To the world, Kentucky’s iconic bourbon and spirits industry is renowned and loved for its delicious, high-quality products. To Kentucky, the industry represents our history and future, with thousands of Kentuckians employed at distilleries and adjacent businesses,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We are committed to strengthening our historic distilling industry, knowing it is not just our heritage but a main economic driver as we build a better Kentucky that works for all our citizens.”

All of these numbers are based on warehouse inventories reported as of Jan. 1, 2020, submitted to the Kentucky Department of Revenue for tax purposes from 42 distillers, rectifiers, and other companies licensed to store barrels. These figures include all of those companies, the vast majority of which are KDA member distilleries.

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