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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: first founding the site that Woodford Reserve Distillery sits on today, and later the James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington. 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.

In 2008 the brand was relaunched by whiskey entrepreneur Amir Peay. A decade-long campaign of thorough historical research and collection of historic materials was used to retell the lost story of this iconic American whiskey brand and to distill new stocks of “Pepper” whiskey. To initiate the relaunch of the brand, partnerships with the Lawrenceburg Distillery in Indiana and the Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Kentucky were formed.

After a multi-year construction effort, the historic James E. Pepper Distillery—which after fifty years of neglect had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair—was completely rebuilt and restored. In December 2017, the distillery once again began distilling whiskey using the same historic recipe as when it shut down in 1967.



111.4 Proof / 55.7% ABV
Barrel #1302
Mashbill: 95% Rye / 5% Malted Barley
4 Years Old
216 bottles

Holly’s Tasting Notes: Rich, chewy nougat, dark rye, hard salty pretzels, some dill, black pepper, and a bit of citrus zest on the nose. The palate is oily with apple & peach chai spice mixed alongside that peppery rye spice. The finish is long with oily vanilla and pepper all throughout the mouth.

Charles’ Tasting Notes:
Nose – herbal rye, apricot, caramel
Palate – thick, mouth-coating, bright, vanilla, rye spice, oak, a true rye experience
Finish – lingers, red dark fruit, spice

  • Bottle Size750
  • DistilleryJames Pepper
  • StyleRye Whiskey
  • RegionKentucky
  • Age4
  • ABV55.7%
  • No. of Bottles216
  • Year Bottled2022
  • Country of OriginUnited States
  • Cask StrengthYes
  • Cask TypeNew Charred American Oak
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