Originally founded in 1865 as the Ashland Distillery by three prominent merchants in Fayette County, the company was the first to obtain a federally registered distillery license in Lexington and was assigned RD #1.
In 1871, prominent Bourbon County land speculator William Tarr and partner Thomas Megibben of Harrison County acquired the distillery and restarted whiskey production. But like many others, the distillery closed as a victim of Prohibition in 1933.
The Ashland Distillery was revived as RD1 Spirits in 2020 in Lexington’s historic Distillery District at 1170 Manchester Street, just down the road from the original distilling location. The company received its Class B distiller’s license in December 2020.
UK Coach Mark Stoops and his family are major investors in the brand.
The inaugural RD1 Spirits releases are from the Tribute Line, paying homage to William Tarr, one of the original owners. These expressions include multiple gold award-winning Wm Tarr Manchester Reserve, an eight-year-old Kentucky straight whiskey blended with a 7-year-old Kentucky Bourbon.
Wm Tarr Inheritance, a 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey, is also part of that line.
Learn more at https://rd1spirits.com
KDA President Eric Gregory said RD1 Spirits will play an important role in preserving Bourbon’s heritage in the Commonwealth and Central Kentucky where the distillery first started. In fact, Gregory said Thomas Megibben was the first Chairman of the KDA’s Board of Directors when the KDA was founded in 1880.
RD1 is the KDA’s 27th Craft-level member, aging less than 10,000 barrels a year. Other Lexington-area KDA members include Bluegrass Distillers, Town Branch Distillery, James E. Pepper Distilling Co. and Barrel House Distilling Co.
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