The Tom Moore Distillery has been operating in Bardstown since 1879.
In 1944 the distillery changed hands and was renamed Barton.
It remained as such until 2008 when the name was changed back to the Tom Moore Distillery.
This building displays the many years of distilling that have occurred on this site. The stonework is from the original Tom Moore Distillery in 1879. The brown brick upper stories were added next, and finally the adjacent red brick addition in 1946.
We stopped at warehouse "Z" where an 8 year old barrel had been pulled down for us to sample.
Sadly no one brought a glass along, but a coffee cup was offered to the cause. Much to my surprise the full strength bourbon did not melt the cup on contact. The cup was filled and passed around for all to sample.
If you've never had whiskey right out of the barrel, I highly recommend it.
Aging barrels illuminated by the morning sun in warehouse Z.
Barton has 28 warehouses. The oldest date from before prohibition and the newest ones were built about 35 years ago.
One of the warehouse's plum bobs. As barrels are moved around the warehouse their tremendous combined weight can shift the entire structure. The plum bob is checked to make sure the structure is kept evenly loaded.
Master Distiller Greg Davis. The long pole Greg is holding, called a grain thief, is used to take samples from a delivery truck for testing.
Barton has two long rows of fermenting tanks with a narrow building running down the middle. Each tank protrudes partially into the building but is mostly outside.
The grain drying building. After distillation the remaining "spent grain" is dried and sold as cattle feed. It is actually higher in nutrients than the raw grain that arrives at the distillery.
These huge steel drums are rotating and drying the grain, similar to a clothes dryer.
Greg calls the drying plant the "tail that wags the dog" since it dictates the throughput of the entire distillery.
For instance, when Barton is distilling rye whiskey it tends to clog up the drying equipment. Since the drying plant efficiency is reduced they must slow down the entire distilling operation to match.