A trip to Kentucky to visit Maker’s Mark and other distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® just got even more enticing with your chance to live inside Kentucky bourbon history dating back to 1820.
When it comes to heritage and longevity, the Samuels family stands atop all whisky families. Yes, whisky without the “e” because that’s how Maker’s Mark does it. The Samuels family began distilling whisky by at least 1783, and in 1840, Taylor William “T.W.” Samuels opened the family’s first commercial distillery in Kentucky. The Samuels line of whisky making is unbroken through eight generations, even though Prohibition, World War II, and breaking off to form Maker’s Mark each resulted in some down-time.
Take a drive through Nelson County north of Bardstown, near Deatsville and Cox’s Creek, and you’ll soon find yourself in “Samuels Depot,” with several roads named for the family, and you’ll run across the remains of the old T.W. Samuels Distillery, which Bill, Sr. (a/k/a T.W. Samuels IV) and his wife, Margie, left behind in the early 1940’s with the mission of making a better bourbon. Drive a little further, and you’ll find the family home, built around 1820, by John Samuels, the son of Robert Samuels, who was the family’s first whisky distiller.
The Samuels House has been a part of history beyond bourbon. This is the home where Sheriff T.W. Samuels arranged for Frank James and his gang of the remnants of Quantrill’s raiders, who were Confederate guerrillas, to surrender to the Union Army, marking one of the last post-Appomattox surrenders. As part of the surrender, the Samuels family still owns Frank’s .36 caliber 1851 Navy Colt revolver.
And now, under the vision of Janell and Rob Samuels (the eighth generation), The Samuels House has been repurchased, renovated to its historical grandeur with modern conveniences, and filled with family heirlooms and memorabilia. From 50 bottles spanning 150 years of distilling, to the actual deep fryer that Margie used to perfect the iconic dripping red wax, to Frank James’s revolver, The Samuels House is practically a museum. Starting in September 2021, you can spend the night with up to eight total guests and experience the history.
Find more information here: https://www.thesamuelshouse.com/.