WHY BOURBON?

Here at the Holladay Distillery, we believe what our founders knew to be true: you don’t just taste bourbon, you experience it. You experience the history of the people who created it, of the place it comes from, and of the barrels where it builds its character.

THE HISTORY OF THE HOLLADAY DISTILLERY

It all started with the limestone spring. First discovered in what would become Weston, Missouri, by Lewis and Clark during their 1804 expedition, a pure limestone spring was a rarity whose potential was recognized by two enterprising young brothers by the names of Ben Holladay and Major David Holladay. After visiting the site, which was then a meat-packing house, the Holladay brothers divined an even greater purpose for that limestone spring: Bourbon.

Together, they founded this distillery in 1856. Ben Holladay went on to great fame and fortune as the “Stagecoach King,” running the stagecoach lines from Missouri to the West Coast that later became the Wells Fargo Express, and ultimately acquiring the Pony Express as well. He was a serial entrepreneur who owned saloons, hotels, and silver mines, and by 1864, he was the largest individual employer in the United States. Little did he know that his distillery would become the lasting legacy that carried the Holladay name well into the future.

The Holladay Distillery evolved as the decades passed, changing ownership and names a number of times before ultimately becoming known as McCormick Distilling Company in 1942. Acquired in 1993 by Ed Pechar, Mike Griesser, and a small group of private investors, the distillery has since grown in size and expanded its portfolio of products. In 2016, the distillery commemorated 160 years of rich history and paid homage to its founders by going back to its bourbon-making roots and bearing the proud name of Holladay Distillery, operated by McCormick Distilling Company.

THE MODERN DISTILLING TECHNIQUES MAY BE NEW,
BUT OUR 160-YEAR-OLD RECIPE REMAINS THE SAME.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

WHISKEY AND BOURBON?

We could talk for days about what makes a true bourbon, but we’ll stick to the basics. All bourbon is considered whiskey, but not all whiskey earns the bourbon distinction. There are four essential characteristics that determine whether a whiskey can rightly be called a bourbon: the mash used for distilling, the aging process, the proof, and the location where the product is made.

The spirit is distilled from a fermented grain mash including wheat, rye, barley, and corn. A bourbon mash must contain at least 51% corn, which gives the spirit its sweet character.

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