Our History

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 sunken gardens. What he built became the birthplace of bourbon tourism.

Beyond the property, he also pioneered the high standards of bourbon quality. In 1897, Colonel Taylor led the passing of the Bottled-in-Bond Act, which still today ensures that the consumer gets what is advertised on the bottle.

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.

Wes Murry shared Will’s love for adventure and restoration. At Will’s invitation, Wes agreed to tour the property. Within minutes, it was clear to Wes that they could build a brand at this distillery.

They loved Kentucky bourbon culture, but had a dream of something different. Something new. They chose to follow intuition over the advice of industry experts. They were galvanized by those who called them crazy.

The two became partners in a new adventure. Knowing the path ahead would be challenging, unpredictable, and invigorating, Castle & Key was created.

In 2014, they purchased the Old Taylor Distillery, in ruins. Then they got to work, building a team of like-minded people, often from outside of the industry, who shared in their vision. Together, we did not renovate the distillery – we restored it.

Today, we are a spirits brand led by consumers. By people like us, who expect more. Who think a great drink should do more than comfort, it should delight. Who want 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.

We’re a team of creators.