Foundation


More than 130 years since founder John McCulloch established Green River, the distillery has been painstakingly renovated on the original grounds. Under the expert eye of eighth-generation Master Distiller Jacob Call, its namesake bourbon whiskey has been traditionally crafted and aged to savor as much in the drinking as in the making.

j w mcculloch

The Visionary

Founder John W. McCulloch was a man ahead of his time. He founded the Green River brand with a commitment to quality, but also a visionary approach to spreading the word far and wide. Green River lore traveled throughout the United States and around the world. McCulloch understood the power of storytelling as marketing in a way few others in the spirits business did.

Green River’s history is as legendary as the whiskey itself: 20 barrels were once traded for interest in a Colorado goldmine, earning it the title “most expensive spirit ever sold.” Reviews praised it as “king among whiskeys” and songs were penned to “the whiskey without regrets.” It was awarded the gold medal and “Best of Show” at the Paris Exposition of 1900, and received the Grand Prize at Belgium’s Liege Exposition in 1905. It was even made the official whiskey of the U.S. Marine Hospital. Then, at the height of its reign, Prohibition and a mysterious fire reduced the distillery empire to ashes within hours.


Historic Whiskey, Historic Distillery Beyond the Bottle

Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is crafted on the historic Green River campus in Owensboro, Kentucky–just the tenth licensed distillery in the state. Today, the grounds are a living museum, home to artifacts and records stretching back to Green River’s beginnings in 1885. Working together with the founder’s great-grandson, the Green River team has recovered historic elements now on display, including John McCulloch’s original desk and some of the earliest Green River bottles.

Our Distillery

The First Stop Owensboro, Kentucky

The first stop for whiskey lovers making their way east along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Green River sits at the trail’s western end in Owensboro, a key city in bourbon’s history. Visitors discover the deep roots of America’s favorite spirit in the community’s distinctive sights, sounds, and flavors.