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 for this year’s release.

The KBBG is hosting an event on Monday, December 4th, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at The Origin Hotel in Lexington to celebrate the third release. Tickets for the event are available and can be purchased through the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild site here. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase bottles at the event. 

“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 about 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 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. It features Hickory King Corn, an heirloom varietal widely cultivated and favored for whiskey production a century ago but pushed from the spotlight by introducing 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 differentiates it from other corn varieties. Its exceptional characteristics encompass rich dark fruit and chocolate notes, reminiscent of the nuanced flavors of 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)

Mash details

  • Nose: Sugar Cookie, Buttercream, Dried Apricot, Grapefruit Zest, Cassia, Caraway
  • Palate: Shortbread Cookie, Dark Brown Sugar, Candied Orange Peel, Ginger, Black Tea,, Marzipan, Chocolate, Light Allspice
  • Finish: Jammy, Orange Blossom, Light Baking Spice, Strudel

The bottle labels and design of the bottles were 100 percent donated by Stranger & Stranger and Eurostampa.

Click here for more Bottle Releases.

Owner/President at The Bourbon Flight, LLC | + posts