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.

But, 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.

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.

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

We’re a team of creators.