In 1887, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. built a new kind of distillery destination in Millville, Kentucky. Inspired by European architecture, the site featured a Castle, a classical Springhouse, and a Sunken Garden. What he built became the birthplace of bourbon hospitality and tourism.
Prohibition forced the closing of the distillery in 1920. Over the next century, the property changed owners and occupants several times, eventually falling into ruin.
In 2012, Will Arvin came across photographs of the abandoned distillery. He couldn’t stop thinking about its legacy and potential. He decided to visit the property to see for himself.
At the distillery, Will found caved-in roofs, boarded-up windows and doors, and vegetation so overgrown he had to use a flashlight — in the middle of the day — to navigate. But, he felt an affinity for the property. It was then that he resolved to restore the historic bourbon icon.
In 2014, our team purchased the Old Taylor Distillery, in ruins. Then we got to work, building a consortium of like-minded people, often from outside the industry, who shared their vision. Together, we did not renovate the distillery - we restored it.
As our team restored the distillery we pondered a name that fit with both the distillery’s history and modern ideals. After much debate and exploration, Castle & Key was a perfect fit as it highlighted both our historic distillery in the Castle and the importance of our grounds and watersource, the keyhole-shaped Springhouse.
Over the years following, the team conquered multiple milestones – the release of the first Castle & Key clear spirits in April 2018, the Grand Opening of the distillery in September 2018, and the release of Restoration Rye, Castle & Key’s first aged spirit in December 2020.
In March 2022, Castle & Key Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey became the first bourbon distillate that has been distilled and released at the Historic Old Taylor Distillery in nearly 5 decades.
By people like us, who expect more. Who think a great drink should do more than comfort, it should delight. Who wants to challenge conventions and their palate.
Taking up Colonel Taylor’s sensibilities for excellence, we source local ingredients to inspire our product. We make everything that we sell from carefully selected grains. We choose to do things the thoughtful way – even though it's not the easy way – because waiting to sell the spirits we make is worth it.
We are reimagining how Kentucky spirits are presented to the world. We invite you to join us and be a part of our story.