Object No. 11: Bourbon

Rye whiskey is once again being made in Maysville. This bottle, signed by members of the Pogue family is on display at the distillery musuem.

Bourbon production in Mason County, known as Limestone Landing at its founding, began after the Revolutionary War when distillers migrated down the Ohio River.

The territory was part of Bourbon County, Va.

It is said the first distillery was established in Kentucky in 1790 in Maysville. Soon after the initial distilling activity, the region experienced an influx of pioneer distillers seeking to escape the taxation on spirits associated with the payment of Revolutionary War debt.

In 1876, H.E. Pogue built a distillery in Maysville. It was a large-scale enterprise, capable of producing 2,000 barrels a day and with an inventory of 15,000 barrels at any time. The distillery employed more than 100 people and sold its product in bulk to whiskey merchants, as well as producing its own brands.

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 Besides Pogue, there were other distilleries (or at least merchants) in the area. Perhaps the best known of these was the James H. Rogers Company, which was originally located very close to the Pogue site prior to 1877, when they moved nearer to the railroad tracks above the first bridge on the Germantown pike.

During Prohibition, Pogue sold limited quantities of its whiskey for medicinal purposes under the Old Jordan brand but finally ceased production in 1926.

Bourbon production returned to Maysville in 2012 when descendants of Pogue family began distilling small batches of Kentucky bourbon at a facility on the restored family home.



Editor and reporter, covering Mason County.

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