Top 3 Reasons to visit

  1. Everyone deserves an adult timeout.

    Some of the best porch sitting in the world happens at Willett Distillery.  Nestled in the Most Beautiful Small-Town in America, its easy to loose track of time and truly unplug on the storied scenic property.  The small guided tours provide guests with an intimate, exclusive and memorable experience. 

  2. We are expanding the ways you can enjoy our whiskey.

    Just this year “The Coffee Shop at Willett” opened providing local roasted Quills coffee to jump start guests' Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour adventure.  Numerous construction projects are underway on the historic grounds.  The team is busy working on “The Bar at Willett”, a fully functioning grist mill, event pavilion, 5 room bed & breakfast and two cabins deep in the woods that will overlook a beautiful body of water. 

  3. It’s a family affair.

    In 1936, Thompson Willett and his brothers begin construction on what is now the Willett Distillery.  By St. Patrick’s Day 1937, the first barrel of whiskey was distilled.  Over 80 years later, Willett remains truly family owned and operated.  You will find members of the Kulsveen family working alongside staff in every building everyday of the week.  


The Willett family distilling legacy began in Kentucky shortly after the Civil War. John David Willett was the Master Distiller and part owner of Moore, Willett & Frenke Distillery in Bardstown, KY. John David’s son Lambert Willett walked 5 miles each way to his distill- ing job at the current site of Barton’s.

During prohibition Lambert raised cattle and hogs to support his
family and community. The impact of prohibition was devastating to the Bourbon Capitol of the World. Immediately following the repeal of prohibition in December of 1933, Lambert’s son Thompson Willett began learning the distilling trade working alongside his father at the age of 25. 

Est. 1936. Three short years after prohibition, the Willett family chose the highest point in Nelson County, Kentucky to begin construction on what is now the Willett Distillery. By St Patrick’s Day 1937, the first barrel of whiskey was rolled into Warehouse A. 

After 80 years, Willett remains independently family owned and operated. Under the leadership of par- ents Even and Martha Willett Kulsveen, the fifth generation of family distillers, siblings Britt and Drew Kulsveen, are continuing the family tradition of spirits excellence, generosity and southern hospitality. Janelle Kulsveen, Drew’s wife, hosts visitors from all over the world for tours and tastings. The over 43,000 annual visitors have necessitated a number of expansion projects on the Willett property. 

Family of Brands: Willett Pot Still Reserve, Johnny Drum Private Stock, Johnny Drum Black Label, Old Bardstown Bottled In Bond, Old Bardstown Estate Bottled, Old Bardstown 90 Proof, Noah’s Mill, Row- an’s Creek, Pure Kentucky, Kentucky Vintage and the Willett Family Estate collection. 

Come visit  the whiskey shop for a tour or complimentary tasting. Distillery tours are available year-round and last between 45 minutes and an hour. The distillery address is 1869 Loretto Road, Bardstown, KY 40004. For holiday closings or to book your tour call 502-348-0899 or visit us online at www.willettdistillery.com


There is a reason folks have been ordering bourbon and branch for over a century.  The best way to enjoy Willett whiskey is with a glass of branch water between each Bourbon.  A tall glass of that indigenous Kentucky limestone water between each serving of carefully crafted whiskey ensures proper hydration and pacing for the most memorable of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour adventures.  Need a reminder to stay the course?  Ask a Willett Whiskey Guide for a complimentary press on tattoo.  

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1869 Loretto
Bardstown, KY 40004