B.H. James Distillers
Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky – October 25, 2022 – Shawn McCormick, owner & founder of B. H. James Distillers, proudly announces the opening date of his distillery in Adairville, Kentucky, on Saturday, November 5, 2022. McCormick is excited to open his distillery in Adairville as it and Logan County have been home to his family for more than 130 years. A ribbon cutting will be held on November 4, 2022, with officials from the City and County along with members from the business community. The products currently being produced by B. H. James Distillers will be available to purchase starting at 11:00 AM until 5 PM Saturday November 5th.
The distillery will have a small retail bottle shop open Thursdays thru Saturdays starting November 10, 2022. Products will also be distributed by Heritage Wine and Spirits starting first in Western Kentucky and then throughout the commonwealth. B.H. James Distillers is also working on securing distribution in Tennessee. McCormick is grateful for the warm welcome and support from Adairville Mayor Donna Blake, the Adairville City Council, and the Adairville business community and residents. B. H. James Distillers is located in the old Adairville Fire Station just west of the town square at 220 W. Gallatin Street, Adairville, Kentucky 42202.
Initially, B. H. James Distillers will produce two spirit brands. The namesake brand is Burton James Uniquely American Whiskey. This flagship spirit is crafted from a variety of sourced premium American whiskies. Each batch is comprised of 5 to 7 hand-selected barrels thoughtfully aged, proofed, and married to create a unique and delightful expression of American Whiskey. The one-of-a-kind batches are released in limited quantities 3 to 4 times a year. The Burton James roster of whiskies in the future may include a line-up of premium ready-to-drink cocktails and real fruit-infused whiskies.
Batch one of Burton James Whiskey debuting on Saturday November 5, 2022 is named Rookie Season – Opener. The blend was made from seven lucky barrels which included three styles of American whiskies. The final blend was comprised of 34.4% - 7.7 year old Bourbon (with 21% rye content), 27.4% 6.9 year old Bourbon (with 36% rye content), 36.9% 7.6 year old Rye Whiskey (with 95% rye content) and 1.3% Light Whiskey. All the whiskies were distilled in Indiana. The Rookie Season – Opener was proofed down to 53.2% Alc./Vol. (106.4 Proof) which the team determined provided the best overall drinking experience when enjoyed neat. It is a full-flavored experience when enjoyed neat with an initial sweetness of brown sugar and caramel followed by baking spices and cinnamon. With additional sips, the baking spices become more dominate with a nice sweet brown sugar background. The finish is very pleasant and long with a lingering sweet profile with baking spices and light oak notes. Batch One works well in classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan as the complex flavor of the whiskey shines through nicely. Simple mixed drinks become elevated from the baking spices and light oak notes. The Burton James website is www.burtonjameswhiskey.com.
The second brand in the B.H. James Distillers' portfolio is James Lake Botanical Spirits. A line of small-batch premium vodkas will be the first to debut. The vodkas are crafted from a base of fine neutral spirits distilled from American corn and will feature a range of authentically fresh tasting and aromatic flavored vodkas. The products include the Small Batch Crafted Vodka, Citrus Solstice – a citrus flavored vodka that is bright and refreshing, Tangerine Dream – a tangerine flavored vodka that is juicy tasting and aromatic, Summer Berries – a berry flavored vodka is fresh and fruity tasting, and Crisp Cucumber – a cucumber flavored vodka with a garden-fresh essence that is light and lively. The flavored vodkas are truly refreshing when simply mixed over ice and seltzer and will enhance all your favorite cocktails. Gin and liqueurs are planned for future releases. The James Lake website is www.jameslakespirits.com.
Once distilling operations are ready, B. H. James Distillers will distill Bourbon, Rye, Corn, and other American whiskies using as much locally grown grain as possible.
B.H. James Distillers and Burton James Uniquely Americanare the names chosen by the owner, Shawn McCormick, as a tribute to the legacy of his great-grandfather, Burton Hulon James (well known as B. H. or Huse). James played professional baseball from 1908 – 1919 when he and his wife, Estelle, settled on the on her family farm in Adairville, KY. James opened and operated B.H. James Grocers from 1921 to 1939 and was involved in the local dark-fired tobacco industry as the Eastern Dark Fired Tobacco Association director from 1933 until 1959. He also served as Vice President and Director of the First National Bank in Adairville from 1944 until 1959. He was elected a Logan County, KY Magistrate in 1931 and served until his death in January 1959.
James Lake is named after the limestone spring-fed lake created by B. H. and Estelle James on their Adairville farm so she could indulge her passion for fishing. Because some of McCormick's favorite memories are fishing and skipping rocks with his great-grandmother at James Lake, he called his botanical spirits James Lake. Today the lake is still fed by the limestone spring and is owned and maintained by the Red River Fish & Game Habitat.
Being a long-time bourbon drinker and wanting to own a business, McCormick became inspired to open a distillery after going on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 2012. In January 2015, he purchased his first 16 barrels of Bourbon & Rye whiskies to start the aging process. His original goal was to open the distillery before 2020; however, like a fine whiskey, good things can happen with a little more age. His now 10-year dream is coming to reality on November 5, 2022, when he opens his doors at 11:00 AM to begin selling his spirits.
McCormick, born in Russellville, Kentucky, has a family history going back at least five generations in Logan County. He is excited about re-establishing his roots in Adairville 100 years after his great-grandparents, B.H. and Estelle James, re-established theirs. McCormick's father served in the United States Army, and the family moved often. However, the family spent every summer and Christmas vacation with his grandparents and relatives in Adairville and Russellville. He has always considered Adairville his home, even though he didn't reside there until late 2021. Before dedicating 100% of his time to opening the distillery, McCormick was a food scientist working in Research & Development at Kraft Foods / Kraft Heinz in Glenview, IL, and most recently, AFP – Advance Food Products in New Holland, PA. He also spent a lot of time in college, receiving an AOS Degree in Culinary Arts and a BS Degree in Food Service Management from Johnson and Wales University, and BSA and M.S. Degrees in Food Science from the University of Georgia.
Renovations of the old Adairville Fire Station were provided by architects Rivetna Architects of Chicago, IL; engineering by S.E. Engineering of Bowling Green, KY; construction was completed by Gunderson Brothers Construction of Adairville, KY; mechanicals and plumbing by Comfort Systems of Bowling Green, KY; electrical by PSK of Russellville, KY; and warehousing provided by PAC Logistics of Russellville, KY.
McCormick would like to give a very special thanks to his late parents, Mike and Lucy McCormick, and his sister and brother-in-law, Cindy and Pat Suiter of Russellville, Kentucky. Their continued love and support proved invaluable as he pursued his passion. He also thanks his many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends for their support throughout his journey in realizing his dreams of starting his own distillery business.
Finally, McCormick wants to remind the reader to always pursue their passion! Sometimes the road to fulfilling your dream is as lengthy as aging fine Bourbon. But if you're persistent and patient, do good work, and start with the end in mind --- dreams can be realized!