February 10, 2022

A Legacy Revived: Introducing Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

On February 10, 2022, Green River Distilling Co., the 10th oldest distillery in the state of Kentucky, launched its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, marking the first time in more than a century that a bourbon bearing the Green River label hit the shelves.

The history of Green River is just as rich and interesting as its bourbon. Green River Distilling Co. was founded in 1885 by John W. McCulloch, a man focused on quality and considered a visionary in sales and marketing. McCulloch traveled the world to promote Green River Whiskey, and it quickly became known as some of the finest in Kentucky. Green River won many international awards, including a gold medal and “best of show” at the Paris Exposition in 1900, and later a grand prize at the 1905 Liege Exposition in Belgium. It was also known as “The Whiskey Without Regrets”, one of the most memorable advertising slogans in bourbon. 

Fire and Prohibition relegated Green River to history. Now, more than 100 years later, that history has come full circle with the release of the new Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

In September 2020, Green River Distilling Co. experienced an historic revival when bourbon production resumed under the Green River name at the original distillery site in Owensboro, Kentucky. Pre-Prohibition, Owensboro was an epicenter of bourbon production in Kentucky with more than 20 distilleries in the city. Green River was one of the most important, and its rebirth helps bring the city’s rich bourbon heritage back to life. 

For the first time in more than 100 years, Green River bourbon is flowing inside the walls of its original home, and each bottle of the new Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is proudly emblazed with the phrase “The Pride of Owensboro.” The bottle design took additional cues from the brand’s past, including key icons like horseshoes, rivets and the original Green River colors.

Today’s Green River bourbon is distilled by Master Distiller Jacob Call, an eighth-generation distiller and Kentuckian. Call’s family distilling history stretches back to the earliest days of bourbon when his ancestor Samuel Call distilled whiskey on his Kentucky farm in the late 1700s. 

Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 90 proof and has been aged more than five years at the distillery in Owensboro. It is rich in color with an amber hue and made with all Kentucky-grown corn, most from Daviess County. The mash bill is 70% corn, 21% winter rye, and 9% malted 2 and 6-row barley. The higher rye content results in a bourbon with warming spice notes on the nose and palate. Additional aroma notes to look for include cinnamon, dried cherry, and light leather. For taste, it has notes of cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate mint. The finish is rich, thick, and lingering.

Green River Kentucky Bourbon

A limited release of Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is available for purchase at the Green River distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky, and at select retail locations in Kentucky. In the coming months, Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey will also be rolling out to select retailers in Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Northwest Florida.