Danville is going to have its first legal distillery with operations set to begin this September.
Owners of Ferm Solutions, a research and engineer fermenting company on Roy Arnold Drive, are developing a division of their company that will distill vodka, Kentucky bourbon, and rye whiskey.
Wilderness Trace Distillery will be a small operation committed to quality more than quantity, Baker said.
“We carefully selected a name that would bring a sense of tradition and connection to Danville,” he added.
Since Ferm Solutions provides the revenue the company operates on, Baker said the distillery will act as a craft distillery operation.
“We’re not worried about making a lot of product,” he said. “We’re just interested in making the best.”
Baker said the company intends to do this by offering a unique sweet mash process that is more expensive and time consuming for mainstream distilleries driven by the economy and revenue.
Wilderness Trace Distillery’s “Wilderness Trace Bourbon” and “Kentucky Blue Vodka” will be among the purest and clean in the industry, Baker said.
For example, Greygoose vodka is distilled four times, he said. Wilderness Trace will distill its vodka 17 times, offering a “very unique” product.
In addition, the distillery plans to offer a once-a-year product that is nearly unheard of — a 34-times distilled “heart-cut vodka.”
Baker said when distilling alcohol, the still removes what is called “the heads and tails,” ridding the product of dirty bacteria and other agents.
What is left behind is the “good stuff,” called “the heart” by experts in the field. The heart-cut vodka offered essentially will be the “heart of the heart,” Baker explained.
Although Baker said the distillery’s products will be worthy of a high price, the vodka and bourbon will cost about as much as a non-premium brand, which ballpark in the $20 range.
The distillery’s bourbon will not be available when operations begin in September because Baker said it has to age about four years. However, the company plans to age some of its product in smaller barrels to cut the aging process to about five months.
The distillery also will offer tours, which will be unique compared to typical bourbon trail tours.
“It will be more focused on the process of alcohol making as opposed to traditional distillery visits,” he said.
He said they also plan to make “Danville’s Rye Whiskey” once a year in the fall to commemorate the city.
“It should bring a sense of pride and tradition to what everybody associates Kentucky with,” said Baker.