Castle & Key
Frankfort, KY – December 5, 2023 – Castle & Key Distillery, in partnership with the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild (KBBG), announces the release of The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey, Chapter 3 (54.3% ABV; $175 SRP); the third release in the distillery’s limited-edition series in which 100 percent of proceeds are donated to scholarship funds to support diversity, inclusion and equity within the distilling industry. Cumulative scholarship funds from the three chapters are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of this year based on forecasted sales, with 400-420 bottles available of this year’s release.
“The goal of the Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey series is to educate consumers about the diverse history of Kentucky distilling,” says Will Arvin, Co-Founder of Castle & Key. “Castle & Key has produced these annual chapters, to promote productive conversations around inclusion within the industry. As producers of American whiskey, it is our responsibility to share the history of how the spirit came to be, and we value our partnership with the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild to work together to support a more inclusive future for prospective distillers.”
Featured on each iteration’s label is a “chapter” that serves as a historical narrative to promote conversations around the aspects of how African-Americans have contributed to the spirits industry. Written by Historian Kayla Bush, The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey Chapter 3 narrates the story of Brack Beverly, who was born enslaved and eventually, as a freedman, worked as a mash hand for a Kentucky distillery in the early 1900s. The new release honors Brack Beverly and countless other African-Americans who played a vital role in shaping the legacy of bourbon, paying tribute to their ingenuity and unwavering spirit.
"We're here, and we've always been here. We must correct the record and provide tools for the unknown future," says Mr. Robert Beatty, the Lexington entrepreneur who established the KBBG in 2018 after recognizing a significant gap in historical information about the African-American influence on bourbon. “The KBBG supports minority entrepreneurs, addressing challenges in accessing resources. Historical roots have, at times, hindered openness to change. A collective industry effort is essential to champion inclusivity and overcome hurdles. Our focus is on cultivating genuine bourbon enthusiasts by addressing barriers to accessibility and playing a role in clearing these hurdles."
The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey Chapter 3 is a two-barrel blend and features Hickory King Corn, an heirloom varietal widely cultivated and favored for whiskey production a century ago but pushed from the spotlight with the introduction of other commodity grains. Castle & Key partnered with Walnut Grove Farms, renowned custodians of heirloom crops, to ensure the cultivation and preservation of this treasured grain. Hickory King Corn offers a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart from other corn varieties. Its exceptional characteristics encompass rich notes of dark fruit and chocolate, reminiscent of the nuanced flavors found in spirits such as scotch and rum.
“The reintroduction of Hickory King Corn demonstrates our efforts to honor its heritage,” says Brett Connors, Head Blender, Castle & Key. “The collaboration between Castle & Key and Walnut Grove Farms underscores a shared commitment to quality and sustainability, allowing bourbon enthusiasts to savor the legacy of Colonel EH Taylor and experience the exceptional character of Hickory King Corn.”
Tasting Notes: The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey Chapter 3
(54,3% ABV; $175 SRP; 400-420 bottles produced)
The bottle labels and design of the bottles were 100 percent donated by Stranger & Stranger and Eurostampa.
ABOUT CASTLE & KEY
Castle & Key is steeped in Kentucky distilling history. With its stunning site dating back to 1887, the distillery is known both as the birthplace of bourbon hospitality and for the high-quality Kentucky spirits made there today. In 2014, Co-Founder Will Arvin began restoring The Old Taylor Distillery — which had fallen to ruin after decades of neglect — with a vision of creating an immersive distillery experience.
Today, the restored distillery has become a popular travel destination for enthusiasts of spirits and history alike. The facility expertly juxtaposes historic architecture and spirits production alongside expansive gardens and public spaces designed by famed fine gardener Jon Carloftis.
The blending team, led by Head Blender Brett Connors, works to accentuate the quality of the spirits produced by the distillers and diverse maturation environments. Castle & Key’s core portfolio includes annual releases of Bourbon, Restoration Rye Whiskey, Sacred Spring Vodka, and Roots of Ruin Gin. Additionally, limited-time, seasonal, and distillery-only exclusives highlight the efforts and innovation of the distillery’s research and development team.
ABOUT THE CASTLE & KEY SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Castle & Key Scholarship Fund was established at Blue Grass Community Foundation by Castle & Key Distillery to support scholarships for students of color who have an interest in working in the distilling field in Kentucky. The scholarship provides a $5,000 award that is renewable for one additional year of study. More information about this scholarship and eligibility requirements can be found via the Blue Grass Community Foundation (BGCF). The scholarship opens for submission in January 2023 and closes in March.
ABOUT KENTUCKY BLACK BOURBON GUILD
The KBBG was founded by a local Lexingtonian entrepreneur, Mr. Robert Beatty. During a summer 2018 tour that Mr. Beatty conducted to three distilleries and a museum in Bardstown, KY, the conversation arose about African American and multicultural influence in the industry pre-prohibition. Through many conversations with industry gurus, history buffs, and other bourbon societies, the decision was made to form an organization that will educate minority consumers about the spirit and properly acknowledge all of the ethnic groups that contributed to the robust industry it is today. The organization's core mission is to honor minority involvement throughout bourbon history while embracing its future development through inclusivity, education and community building. For more information visit www.kentuckyblackbourbonguild.com.