$200 Million Distillery Destination Investment coming to Bourbon Country

Horse Soldier Bourbon
"American Freedom Distillery" Credit: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP (RSHP)

Yet another Distillery has broken ground in Kentucky, this one however to the scripted tune of $200 Million – placing it in a league of its own.

Ground breaking ceremony. Somerset, KY.

Horse Soldier Bourbon recently had its ground breaking ceremony in its future home of Somerset, KY, slated for 2024 completion. Adorned on a 227 acre former golf course and overlooking the extremely popular outdoor attraction Cumberland Lake (southeastern KY), this project has all the makings of captivating greatness. An addition of this magnitude could do wonders in expanding Bourbon Country Tourism to the southern region of Kentucky and playing heavily off the existing visitor foot traffic of the Cumberland Lake area.

The overall vision is outright impressive, with the potential to be other worldly. This will not be a a distillery. It will be a destination.

  • 27,585-square-foot distillery visitor center
  • 4,600-square-foot activity center
  • 5,000-capacity amphitheater
  • 500-person outdoor event space and adventure center
  • 3,200-square-foot wedding chapel
  • 60-key luxury lodge and 20 cabins
  • Retail village with about 15 different shops particularly focusing on local products.
Aerial rendering. Courtesy of RSHP Architects.

Per Commonwealth Journal, the founders of Horse Soldier Bourbon were part of the first U.S. Army Special Forces unit to enter Afghanistan following the events of 9/11, crossing the rough terrain on horseback. Their story was illustrated in the film 12 Strong starring Chris Hemsworth.

Speaking of strong, there is a strong overlying connection to area of the future distillery site as the group of soldiers were training on the Cumberland River when they heard about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The brand is led by founders John Koko (President/CEO), Scott Neil, Bob Pennington, and Mark Neutch and is a member of the Foley Family of Wines (FFW) portfolio.

The distillery will incorporate a strong architectural salute to its military foundation and historical origins, having both a replica of America’s Response Monument at Ground Zero in New York and metal from the Statue of Liberty incorporated into the structure.

Image Credit: RSHP Architects

The stunning architectural charge is being led by well known London based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) who is a significant player in the ‘distillery destination’ world, most notably behind the Macallan single malt distillery and visitor experience in Scottish Highlands. A slew of Kentucky based architectural firms are also noted for their involvement.

It will be exciting to see the progress of this behemoth project with such a heart felt story at its core. We’re pulling for you HSB!