Jeptha Creed Bourbon Release Party
It was a chilly and damp evening in mid-May and the place was packed. The kind of packed typically reserved for Star Wars movie openings, Black Friday shopping or Pappy Van Winkle raffles. What was creating this kind of interest in Shelbyville, Kentucky on a Friday night? It was the release of Jeptha Creed’s new Four-Grain Bourbon.
The good folks at Jeptha Creed know how to throw a party. The gorgeous covered patio was full of Bourbon lovers and their families enjoying live music while dining from both a local food truck and Jeptha Creed’s own restaurant. Bartenders at the distillery’s two bars were kept busy all night serving Jeptha Creed’s exclusive cocktails. With all these great activities, however, it was the opportunity to taste the highly-anticipated new Bourbon that brought out the crowd.
The Family That Distills Together…
If you could somehow enter the talents of each member of the Nethery family in a calculator, the total would add up to “Distillery”. Joyce is a chemical engineer with extensive experience in distillation and is Jeptha Creed’s master distiller. Her husband, Bruce, is the agricultural guru in the family that allows Jeptha Creed to follow a “ground to glass” philosophy in its products. Autumn is the daughter with a degree in marketing and a year of distillation study in Scotland to her credit. For the Nethery’s to have a family business in anything other than operating a distillery would simply defy logic (and basic mathematics).
As busy as they all were on the night of the release, I had a chance to chat with them for a few minutes about the new bourbon, the distillery business and the future growth of Jeptha Creed. The entire family was thrilled with the turnout for the release party. Joyce smiled and clapped her hands when I told her how hard it was to just find a parking space!
I asked Joyce what some of their biggest challenges were and about that time Bruce joined the table. Bruce mentioned things like roads on the farm and dealing with contractors during construction of the facility’s meeting space. Joyce had her eye on additional rickhouse space, as every distillery in Kentucky seems to during this Bourbon Boom. The concerns seemed to be about logistics and managing growth. They both seemed very confident in what they and their team are doing to make quality Bourbon, vodka and moonshine.
Autumn, co-owner and marketing manager, is very excited about the growing interest in Jeptha Creed. Right now their products are only available in Indiana, Tennessee and, of course, Kentucky. However, visitors to the distillery are from all over the globe. Meaning, people are learning about the name and products of Jeptha Creed and that will help spread the word and expand distribution.
Joyce also shared some future releases to look forward to for Jeptha Creed. They will be coming out with both a rye Bourbon and a wheated Bourbon. These are planned to hit the market when they reach an age of four years. They are also working on a whiskey using red, white and blue corn. When it is ready it would likely be released on a future Veteran’s Day. In case you were wondering, the whiskey itself will not be red, white and blue…just the corn that is used to make it. But, you probably figured that out on your own.
What About the Bourbon?
The Netherys are a nice family with a wonderful story and a beautiful new facility. All of that is true without a doubt. But the question we really need an answer to is: what about the Bourbon?
Mashbill: 70% Bloody Butcher corn
15% malted rye
10% malted wheat
5% malted barley
(Note that all non-corn grains are malted…interesting)
Age: Two years
Proof: 98 proof (49% ABV)
Batch size: 14 barrels
Nose: Apricot with a hint of orange and floral (think “lilies”)
Palate: Vanilla comes in to make the fruit seem a little creamy. The floral notes are still on the palate.
Finish: Some oak and vanilla are key notes on the finish. The floral still remains, too.
Overall: The first time I tried the Jeptha Creed 4-Grain Bourbon was in a tasting room. My initial impression was that it had one dominant note throughout and that was floral. The observations above were from a pour out of a bottle I purchased at the distillery the night of the release. Floral is certainly still there, but I found some more complexity to it the second time around. This is a bottle that I’ll look forward to sharing with friends and getting their thoughts.
Even at just two-years old this Bourbon stands on its own pretty well. This should create a lot of excitement about what we will get to enjoy from future Jeptha Creed Bourbon releases after they have a few more years of age to them.
The Nethery family is doing some very interesting and innovative things at Jeptha Creed. I’ve touched on a few of those things here, but you can learn more (including about their Friday night “Jammin’ at Jeptha” events) at their website (www.jepthacreed.com). You can also follow them on twitter, instagram and facebook. Keeping up with the Netherys would be a good idea for any Bourbon enthusiast. I know this one will be.