In 1879, Tom Moore settled down in Bardstown and decided that he wanted to get into the bourbon game. He founded the Tom Moore Distillery and the rest, as they say, is history. He chose the location because of the proximity to a spring with high-quality limestone water perfect for making bourbon. Moore spent the next 64 years churning out bourbon before finally selling the distillery to Oscar Getz when he was getting to old to continue running the operation.
While Getz didn’t have the longevity of Moore, selling out only 39 years later, he does get significant credit for turning the distillery into a tourist attraction with the addition of a visitors center and tour about 20 years after purchasing the distillery. In 1982, Getz sold out, and to the great sadness of bourbon tour enthusiasts everywhere, the tours ceased.
Fast forward to 2009, Constellation Brands, who owned the Tom Moore Distillery at the time and had re-branded it as the Barton Distillery, sold it to Sazerac. After it’s purchase, Sazerac maintained the status quo, with one awesome exception: they resumed offering tours for the first time in more than 25 years! Yay, tours.
Of course, things couldn’t be that simple. In early 2010, Sazerac formally withdrew from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. What this meant was that the KDA officially removed both Sazerac distilleries (the Tom Moore Distillery and the Buffalo Trace Distillery) from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Tours are still offered at both, but all KDA materials and Kentucky Bourbon Trail promotions do not include mention of either distillery.
To this day, Sazerac continues to churn out high quality bourbons the Tom Moore Distillery, most famously 1792 Ridgemont Reserve and Barton. Other bourbons produced at the Tom Moore Distillery include:
Old Miner Bourbon
Schenley Reserve American Whiskey
Very Old Barton