Early Times Whiskey Celebrates 160 Years

Today is a glorious day as Early Times Whiskey Celebrates 160 years. Originally coming from Nelson County, Kentucky, Early Times Whiskey was born in 1860 and has become one of the most recognized Whiskeys in the world. Currently, the 7th largest unflavored whiskey in the U.S. this whiskey has become known as, “The Whiskey That Made Kentucky Whiskies Famous.” 

“160 years is a long time in the whiskey world,” said Dallas Cheatham, Early Times Senior Brand Manager. “In 1860, The Pony Express was delivering mail, Abraham Lincoln was elected president and Early Times was born. It’s a true testament to the long-standing history of the brand and whiskey being part of the American fabric.” 

Early Times Billboard

Early Times Whiskey was originally produced using “the early times method” of whiskey making, which consisted of mashing grain in small tubs and boiling beer and whiskey in copper stills over open fires. This unique method of production continued until 1918 when the 18th Amendment passed banning the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption. During the time of prohibition, Owsley Brown, the owner of Brown-Forman, bought Early Times stock due to the fact that the whiskey had been sitting in the barrel untouched for 5 years. He needed this mature whiskey to operate as a bottler and wholesaler during prohibition, and thus Early Times Whiskey became the first brand the company purchased.  

As Prohibition came to a close, Brown-Forman geared up to begin distilling Early Times. To keep up with the brand’s growth, Brown-Forman acquired the Old Kentucky Distillery, which later became the Early Times Distillery, providing the brand a home of its own. Today, the historic plant, now named the Brown-Forman Distillery, remains the home of Early Times and stands as the longest continuously operating distillery under the same ownership in Kentucky.

About Early Times Kentucky Whisky:

Early Times Whiskey Bottle

From a rich history dating back to 1860, Early Times continues to use the same process of distilling, using crystal clear Kentucky water, select grains, and special yeast. Early Times is matured in oak barrels to give it special smoothness and flavor. The Brown-Forman Company acquired Early Times in 1923. Today its smoothness is savored in over 40 countries.

Details and photos provided by Brown-Forman.

Will Gray
Founder and Content Warden of Booze World News.

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