BARDSTOWN, Ky. —  A Georgia-based property developer and builder is the new owner of a historic Kentucky distillery.

"It's just been kind of sleeping there for generations and, you know, it's now time for them to shine again," says Rick Puig, co-owner of Old Samuels Distillery

The original T.W. Samuels Distillery was built in 1844 and whiskey production continued inside the facility until 1952.

The building has sat idle since the 1980s, but now, Rick Puig along with several other partners are ready to revive the facility.

"What an amazing site to do a destination for people that they can come they can stay in cottages you know they can do weddings, they can do group events, and do it right there and it's such a piece of history, that's just really ready to be you know reawakened," adds Puig

Over the next few months, restoration tours of the 45-acre property will be offered and then construction will start early next year on the first of many new cottages, that tourists will be able to rent while enjoying a unique bourbon tourism experience at the newly named, Old Samuels Distillery.

"I would say that by this time next year we will have accommodations for people to stay in. We’ll have tours operational, we'll have a retail gift shop and a craft distillery. So, it's going to take a little bit of time, but now we're really at that point where we're, you know, everything's pushing forward now you know all the planning all the preparation it's all. It's all coming into action now so we're excited about that," explains Puig

The distillery’s powerplant, which generated steam energy and electricity, remains completely intact, as do its multiple outdoor fermentation tanks. The facility sits beside the Deatsville train depot, where Puig hopes future tourists will disembark from rail cars for tours to explore the site. Puig’s partnership team includes Ryan Mollenkopf, Paul Diorio, and Laura Medley, all of whom bring a diverse array of skills and capital to the venture. Their collective investment is expected to approach $16 million.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority’s greenlighting of the project in mid-July helped clear the way for future tax incentives that could see the group recoup as much as 85 percent of its capital investment over time. 

Details on the reopening of Old Samuels Distillery will soon be available at