There’s a new kid on the Kentucky bourbon block, and he’s hoping to bring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail westward into Owensboro.
Earl Hewlette, the CEO of Terressentia Corporation, is returning the old Charles Medley Distillery to its former glory with a $25-million renovation, enabling it once again to produce bourbon for the masses—but with a modern edge and a new name: the O.Z. Tyler Distillery.
“We will be producing bourbon exactly the same way as every other Kentucky distillery,” Hewlette said. “We will, however, utilize our patented, all-natural process to rapidly mature some of the bourbon we make … [The process] uses ultrasonic energy to react away the bad-tasting minor alcohols that the barrel filters away over time. Consequently, we have been able to take a 6-month-old traditionally aged bourbon and elevate it from a taste perspective to something that equates to four years of traditional barrel aging. My message is: ‘Don’t critique until you understand it and taste it.’ ”
During February, the distillery will install the new still that will begin making the new bourbon. Hewlette hopes to launch that process by summer.
In the meantime, the distillery currently stores 6,000 barrels of aging bourbon from Indiana in several rickhouses on the property.