Stitzel-Weller Distillery logo in black and white

Stitzel-Weller Distillery

  • USA, Kentucky
  • 2022 Gold New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, 2022 Gold American Whiskey Masters.
Phone Number
  • +15028103800
  • 3860 Fitzgerald Rd, Shively, KY 40216, United States

Stitzel-Weller Distillery entrance with Bulleit whiskey signage.

History of Stitzel-Weller Distillery

The Stitzel-Weller Distillery, a notable name in American whiskey history, began its journey in the early 20th century. This distillery is renowned for its significant contributions to the bourbon industry and has a rich history intertwined with the evolution of American whiskey.

Founding and Early Years

Date of Establishment and Founding Figure The Stitzel-Weller Distillery was established on Derby Day, 4th May 1935. The founder, Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr., was a prominent figure in the whiskey industry. His vision and dedication played a crucial role in shaping the distillery’s early years and its reputation for quality bourbon.

Initial Operations and Distinct Approaches Initially, the distillery combined the operations of the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery and the W. L. Weller & Sons company, leveraging their heritage and expertise in bourbon production. The Stitzel-Weller Distillery quickly became known for its unique wheated bourbon recipe, which replaced the traditional rye component with wheat, offering a smoother taste profile.

Evolution and Challenges

Expansion and Innovation Throughout the mid-20th century, the distillery expanded its operations, introducing innovative techniques in bourbon production. These included advancements in aging and blending, which further enhanced the quality of their whiskey.

Challenges and Ownership Changes The latter half of the 20th century brought challenges, including changes in consumer preferences and economic difficulties. The distillery underwent several ownership changes, impacting its operations and product lines. Despite these challenges, the Stitzel-Weller name remained synonymous with high-quality bourbon.

Recent Developments and Current Status

Revival and Modern Operations In recent years, there has been a revival of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, driven by a renewed interest in premium bourbons. The distillery now operates as part of Diageo’s whiskey portfolio, with a focus on crafting small-batch and artisanal spirits.

Current Offerings and Contributions Today, the distillery offers a range of products that pay homage to its heritage while embracing modern techniques. It has become a destination for whiskey enthusiasts, offering tours and tastings that showcase its rich history and current innovations.

Conclusion: Legacy and Impact

The Stitzel-Weller Distillery’s history reflects the evolution of American whiskey. From its founding by Pappy Van Winkle to its current operations, the distillery has maintained a commitment to quality and innovation. Its impact on the bourbon industry is enduring, and its legacy continues to influence new generations of whiskey makers and connoisseurs.

Awards Won by Stitzel-Weller Distillery

  • Julian Van Winkle III:
    • Associated with Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, which was influenced by the legacy of Stitzel-Weller.
    • His products like the 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve and a 13-year-old rye whiskey have won numerous awards.
  • Weller Antique 107 and Weller Special Reserve:
    • Both were initially released under Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company.
    • As of the last update, Weller Special Reserve won 39 awards.
    • Weller Antique 107 bagged 40 major awards.
    • Notable awards include the 2022 Gold New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and the 2022 Gold American Whiskey Masters.

Stitzel-Weller Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Delve into the rich tapestry of the distillery’s history, tracing its roots back to the spirited atmosphere of Kentucky Derby Day in 1935. Explore its evolution and the renowned brands it has housed, like Bulleit Bourbon and the present Blade & Bow and Orphan Barrel.

The Art of Bourbon Crafting

Step into the world of bourbon creation. From the fragrance of milled grains to the quiet majesty of the rickhouse, experience each stage of the bourbon’s lifecycle. Feel the palpable history in the air as you witness the aging barrels, each with a story to tell.

A Symphony of Flavors: Tasting Experience

Conclude your journey with a symphony of flavors, sampling the distinct character of Diageo’s celebrated bourbons and ryes. Take home not just a unique rocks glass souvenir but also the memory of these refined tastes.

Treasures Unveiled: Exclusive Releases

Get exclusive insights into the distillery’s innovative spirit. Discover limited-edition bottlings and rare finds, a testament to Stitzel-Weller’s commitment to evolving the bourbon legacy.

Plan Your Visit

  • Location: 3860 Fitzgerald Road, Louisville, KY.
  • Tour Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday. Visit our website for specific hours.
  • Book in Advance: Essential for all visitors. Sampling available for those 21+ with valid ID.

Beyond the Standard: Custom Tour Options

Through our partnership with Mint Julep, we offer bespoke tours. Enjoy a before-hours experience with an elevated tasting selection, tailored to your unique preferences.

Flask & Barrel Review of Stitzel-Weller Distillery

As someone who’s been around the block with distillery tours and has a pretty neat collection of whiskeys, I’d say my visit to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery was a solid 4.7 out of 5. The place oozes history, and you can feel the legacy in the air. Their tour was both informative and engaging, not the usual run-of-the-mill spiel. Sampling Blade and Bow was a highlight – it’s got a depth of flavor that speaks to the distillery’s craft. The guides were friendly and knew their stuff, which made the experience more personal. If I had to nitpick, I’d say maybe a bit more on the technical side of their bourbon-making would’ve been the cherry on top. Overall, though, it’s a must-visit for any whiskey enthusiast.

What To Do Nearby Stitzel-Weller Distillery

Kentucky Kingdom: An amusement park with roller coasters, water slides, and fun attractions. It’s a great spot for a day of excitement and thrill, located about 7 miles from the distillery.

Louisville Mega Cavern: This unique attraction offers underground zip-lining in a massive limestone cavern beneath the city. It’s about 7 miles away and is a must-visit for adventure lovers.

Jefferson Memorial Forest: For nature enthusiasts, this forest provides an opportunity to zip through treetops. Situated around 15 miles from the distillery, it’s perfect for outdoor adventures.

Waterfront Botanical Gardens: This tranquil spot features beautiful gardens and is located about 5 miles from the distillery. It’s ideal for a peaceful stroll to appreciate nature.

Cave Hill Cemetery: This historic cemetery, around 7 miles away, is known for its serene beauty and notable residents, including Muhammad Ali and Colonel Sanders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Stitzel-Weller Distillery?

Sue’s Touch of Country Restaurant: It is located at 2605 Rockford Ln., is a popular dining spot with a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. This restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere and closes at 8 PM. They provide various service options including dine-in, curbside pickup, and no-contact delivery, catering to the needs of different customers. You can contact them at +15024505059.

Zamzam Restaurant LLC: It is found at 1808 Berry Blvd., boasts an impressive 5.0-star rating on Google Maps. This establishment is recognized for its exceptional service and closes later, at 11 PM. Like Sue’s Touch of Country Restaurant, Zamzam also offers dine-in, curbside pickup, and no-contact delivery options. You can contact at +15029120626.

Waffle House : It is located at 4150 Cane Run Rd. has a rating of 3.7 stars on Google Maps. This restaurant is unique for being open 24 hours, making it an ideal choice for late-night or early-morning dining. However, it’s important to note that they only offer takeout services and do not provide options for dine-in or delivery. You can contact them at +15024477203.

What hotels are near Stitzel-Weller Distillery?

Homewood Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown:  It is a highly-rated accommodation option, with a 4.5-star rating on Google Maps. This hotel is known for its range of amenities, including an indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioned rooms. You can contact them at +15025892000, and their address is 635 W Market St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States.

Best Western Premier Airport/Expo Center Hotel: With 4.1 stars on Google Maps, this hotel offers a variety of amenities for its guests, such as a pool, free parking, complimentary breakfast, and free Wi-Fi access, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay. Their address is 4110 Dixie Hwy, Louisville, KY 40216, United States and the contact number is +15024482020.

The Galt House Hotel, part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham: It is an elegant hotel situated at 140 N Fourth St, Louisville, KY 40202. It enjoys a favorable rating of 4.1 stars from 7,759 reviews on Google Maps. This 4-star hotel is known for its great location and excellent views, particularly noted for its proximity to the Ohio River. Their address is 140 N Fourth St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States and the contact number is +15025895200.