Over 100 years ago, Kentucky bourbon was made by men so possessed with a spirit of grit and hustle that they ascended above men, and became Barons. Sadly, Prohibition and the rising tide of time has robbed us of the families’ signature bourbon recipes. Until now.

Enter The Whiskey Barons Collection®, an ambitious undertaking to recreate the taste of the original Pre-Prohibition liquids. The result was worth waiting for.

Every sip furnishes a silent biography.

Each expression in The Whiskey Barons Collection® is a masterpiece, as most of the original recipes have been lost to the ravages of time. We have painstakingly pieced these vanished gems back together by consulting original tasting notes from historical files, finding old product descriptions from packaging, and interviewing surviving family members. Each bottle of this premium, small-batch bourbon is more than a recreation of the amber glory that once coursed through the Kentucky area — it’s a direct link back to the high-toned and honorable Barons that made it.

Explore The Collection

More than a century ago, the Barons left their mark on Kentucky bourbon history. Showcased here are just a few of the pertinent milestones throughout their journeys.

  • 1827

    Anderson County is formed on January 16th from parts of Franklin, Mercer and Washington Counties. The county had many farmer distillers – most of them making as little whiskey as a barrel a week.

  • 1830

    James Ripy, with brother and sister John and Eliza, seek better opportunities and settle in the town of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

  • 1839

    The state of Kentucky selects James Ripy’s distillery to be featured at its exhibit in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, among 400 other potential claimants.

  • 1861

    The American Civil War hits. Anderson County is near the center of action during the Confederate invasion of Kentucky in 1862, and soldiers from both sides of the conflict are exposed to Anderson County bourbon. After the war, bourbon from Anderson County grows in popularity, and the distilleries expand to meet the rising demand.

  • 1869

    William F. Bond and Christopher C. Lillard form a partnership and begin labeling their product as Bond & Lillard®. Also in this year, T.B. Ripy and W.H. McBrayer purchase James Ripy’s business, including the distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River at Bailley’s Run. One year later, T.B. Ripy purchases McBrayer’s share.

  • 1889

    W.B. Saffell builds his own 350 barrel distillery on the Southern Railroad in the northwest of Lawrenceburg. With his grit, determination, and reputed hand-made sour mash, his delicate, golden Kentucky Bourbon becomes a treasure of Anderson county.

  • 1899

    Bond & Lillard® Distillery is sold to the Whiskey Trust. By 1910, the distillery has a mashing capacity of 400 bushels per day and a warehouse capacity of 30,000 barrels.

  • 1902

    T.B. Ripy’s sons, Ernest, Forest and Ezra, open the Ripy Brothers Distillery.

  • 1904

    Bond & Lillard® wins Grand Prize at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. Judges at the fair declare that the recipe represents “real delicacy of flavor, beauty in the sparkle and superiority in strength — It bears no equal.”

  • 1920

    Prohibition begins on January 16th, initiating a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. Anderson County distilleries would be closed during this period, but many of the brands survive and are sold as medicinal whiskey.


If the walls of this elegant, 11,000 square foot mansion could talk, you would hear tales of opulence, comradery, and the American Dream.

A portion of the proceeds from The Whiskey Barons Collection® will go towards renovating The Ripy Home on the famed Whiskey Barons Row in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. A gem in the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Built in 1888, The Ripy Home is more than a masterpiece, it’s an autobiography of the rich culture that the Kentucky whiskey barons enjoyed.

  • The Ripy Home, completed in 1888, is an exceptional local example of the “Queen Anne-style” architecture.

  • The house lies on approximately two acres of land at 320 South Main Street in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, just two blocks south of the downtown commercial area.

  • The house was built by Thomas Beebe Ripy, also one of Anderson County’s most prominent distillers.

  • Due to the house’s rich architecture and impressive history it is viewed as one of Lawrenceburg’s most noteworthy residences, and a local landmark.

  • One of the most striking features of the home is the octagonal tower in the southeast corner, which features stone banding and windows for contrast.

  • Throughout the house are stained-glass windows, ornamental chandeliers and accents of mahogany, cherry, and walnut.

  • “Resurrecting Old Ripy® and Bond & Lillard® has been a labor of love for all those involved. Old bottles of whiskey are a rarity and not easy to find. It took us two years of research to find descriptions of the flavor profile to piece together as accurately as possible what these lost original recipes would have tasted like.”

    MICHAEL VEACH, Bourbon Historian
  • “No one now living can compare the bourbons of the 19th century with today's products.  I can say with certainty that the bourbons of Anderson County were considered among the finest.”

    T.B. RIPY
  • “Distilling was a more laborious business in those days…[and] was unfettered by the red-tape of today. No imposition of a government tax; Uncle Sam being held in reserve, while the proprietor was monarch of his own affairs.”