Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced Log Still Distilling LLC will construct a premium bourbon and rye whiskey operation in Nelson County with a $12 million investment that could create as many as 20 full-time jobs.
“Bourbon and Kentucky have a rich, shared history, and we are glad to work with a company that wants to tap into that legacy by building a new business in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Bevin. “The arrival of Log Still Distilling signals exciting growth in the industry and reintroduces the Dant family’s historic involvement in Kentucky’s long line of distilling operations. This is tremendous news for the people of Nelson County, and we look forward to the start of operations.”
Log Still Distilling will establish a campus on Dee Head Road (Gethsemane) between the communities of New Haven and New Hope to include a distillery, bottling operation, rickhouses and visitor’s center, which will offer a gift shop and tasting room. The property has a long history within Kentucky’s bourbon industry, as owner J.W. “Wally” Dant’s family has operated multiple distilling operations in the area since as early as the 19th Century.
“We are very pleased to be back in our family distilling home,” Dant said. “Importantly, we want to thank the Governor and the commonwealth for assisting us in developing our project and ensuring our rich Dant family legacy. We need to further credit the J.W. Nalley family who preserved much of the former plant, which we will work to renovate into the new distillery.”
The Dant family’s ties to the community’s bourbon industry date back to the 1800s, with the establishment of Joseph W. Dant’s first distilling operation under the J.W. Dant brand. The Gethsemene property on Dee Head Road would eventually house a distillery owned by his sons in the early 20th Century. The operation continued production until the implementation of prohibition in 1920. The family business reopened following the end of prohibition eventually selling to United Distillers and Schenely. Production at the old distillery was relocated to Louisville in the early 1960s. The J.W. Dant brand was sold to Heaven Hill Distilleries in the early 1990s.
Rep. Chad McCoy, of Bardstown, said the project furthers the region’s status within Kentucky’s bourbon industry.
“This is great news for our community. It is proof that successful economic development policies include supporting Kentucky entrepreneurs,” Rep. McCoy said. “I am thrilled to see the Dant family build on their legacy and open Log Still Distilling. The family name is interwoven with the history of bourbon, all the way back to that first poplar still. Not only will this distillery create jobs and grow our economy, but it will further cement Bardstown as the bourbon capital of the world.”
Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts said the project will be a boost for the local rural community.
“We are very excited about Log Still Distilling coming to Nelson County,” Judge-Executive Watts said. “The jobs will be a boost to New Hope, a rural area of Nelson County, and will bring back a historical asset to that community.”
Kim Huston, president of the Nelson County Economic Development Authority, said it is great to see the resurrection of a piece of the region’s history.
“The Log Still Distilling project is special because it’s not only resurrecting a distillery property with great bourbon heritage, but it’s being done by the great-great-great grandson of distillery founder Joseph W. Dant,” Huston said. “We can’t wait to see all the production and activity once again return to this rural area of Nelson County.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) last month preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $500,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Log Still for up to $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, Log Still can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.