Amir Peay, Owner/Operator of Historic James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky, is a former bartender who spent over a decade working to relaunch the iconic Pepper whiskey brand and rebuild the historic distillery.
The Pepper family brand of whiskey is an iconic Kentucky whiskey brand initially produced during the American Revolution and continued through 1967. The family built and operated two main distilleries: first founding the site that today hosts the Woodford Reserve Distillery, and later the James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington. In the late 1960s the bourbon industry hit hard times, and both the brand and distillery in Lexington were abandoned for over half a century.
In 2008 the brand was relaunched by whiskey entrepreneur Amir Peay. A decade-long campaign of thorough historical research and collection of historic materials was used to retell the lost story of this iconic American whiskey brand and to distill new stocks of “Pepper” whiskey (visit the History Page to learn more). To initiate the relaunch of the brand, partnerships with the Lawrenceburg Distillery in Indiana and the Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Kentucky were formed. Today some of our whiskies contain whiskies distilled at those distilleries.