CMDK - Revised

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Information about CMDK - Revised

Published on July 13, 2009

Author: CPTDerek


CMDK : CMDK History and Operations Slide 2: The Medley’s have a long and proud distilling history. Shown here the Distillery crew, office force and drummers of the old Medley Distillery circa 1890. The gentleman third from the left in the top row is Thomas A. Medley, owner. Medley Distilling History : Medley Distilling History The Medley Family has been tied to Owensboro and the Distillation industry there since the 1800’s. Their story is the prequel to today’s CMDK operations Left: The old still which sat in front of the Medley Distillery since the 1940’s. Right: Barrels await filling at the Distillery Slide 4: In 1634 John Medley immigrated to Virginia from England bringing his families still with him. The Medley tradition of Distilling in America can be traced back to this point. Virginia Map c1640’s Slide 5: In 1800 John Medley IV takes his family across the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky bringing the family still along with him The Cumberland Gap Slide 6: In 1805 the first distillery opens in the town of Yellow Banks, Kentucky which was later called Owensboro. An early Distillery Slide 7: Bottling plant of the old R.N. Wathen Distillery, Rolling Fork was their lead label, Circa 1885. The Wathen’s later married into the Medley Family, combining these two great Kentucky Bourbon families. Slide 8: In 1812 the Medley Distilling Company was first formed in Lebanon, Kentucky not too far from the Wathen’s Distillery An early distillery c1812. Slide 9: In 1788 Henry Hudson Wathen begins distilling in Lebanon, Kentucky. The Wathen’s family began making Old Grand Dad in 1899. Slide 10: The two great Kentucky distilling families of the Wathen’s and Medleys joined when Thomas Medley and Florence Wathen married in 1902 Slide 11: In 1885 John C. McCulloch begins making Bourbon at the Green River Distillery in Owensboro, KY. The distillery sits on the site of today’s Charles Medley Distillers Kentucky location Slide 12: The Green River Distillery quickly became the producer of one of America’s top Bourbon, Green River Sour Mash Whiskey. It was called “The Whiskey Without A Headache”. Slide 13: Owensboro Kentucky was selected as the location for the next Medley Distillery expansion at the dawn of the 20th Century A suffragette parade passes in front of the Distillery circa 1910 Slide 14: The Daviess County Distillery circa 1873. It was purchased by the Medley’s from the Monarch’s, another Owensboro Distilling family, in 1901. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1911 and rebuilt. It remained in operation until Prohibition when it was sold and along with the nearby Fields Distillery, turned into a meat packing plant. Slide 15: A Train pulling past the Distillery into Owensboro c1910 to pick up passengers and barrels of Medley Bourbon. The distillery smoke stacks and aging warehouses are visible in the background Slide 16: Fire has always been the biggest danger for Distilleries. The History of Bourbon is written in the ashes of many a distillery fire FIRE! Slide 17: In 1911 the Medley owned Daviess County Distillery caught fire After a fire little remains of this Sour Mash Distillery Slide 18: On August 24th, 1918 the Green River Distillery burned to the ground. With Prohibition looming, the plant was not immediately rebuilt. The site later become the location of today’s distillery Slide 19: The News of the fire at the Green River Distillery fire knocked even World War I off the top of the page. The flames reached so high that they could be seen in Evansville, IN over 40 miles away. Slide 20: The 1918 fire destroyed the entire distillery. However a bigger fire storm was coming that would cause even greater damage to Distilling as a whole. Slide 21: Prohibition: Jan 1920 – Dec 1933 Slide 22: As Prohibition approached the Medley’s and other Owensboro Distillers rushed to load their barrels onto rail cars and ship them to the docks of New York and Philadelphia Slide 23: The docks soon had a back log of barrels that were being shipped overseas to beat Prohibition. Slide 24: Rail Cars full of barrels were soon headed to the ports in an attempt to get the precious cargo out of the country before time ran out. It took 8 days to get the whiskey to the port from Kentucky and another 3 days to load it out to ships. The last train left Kentucky on Jan 4th 1920 with 22 cars of barrels and armed guards Slide 25: The barrels were loaded onto barges that carried the barrels out to freighters waiting at sea. A barge overloaded with barrels in the rush to move the cargo sank as it approached the waiting freighter. Over 700 barrels of Green River Whiskey was lost at sea. Since the loss occurred just inside the 3 mile territorial limit, the $177,000 in taxes on the Whiskey were still owed to the US Government. A little further out and no taxes would have been due. Slide 26: Due to the loss of the barge transporting barrels and the back log at the docks, $3 Million of whiskey was seized on the docks of New York when the stroke of midnight hit bringing in Prohibition. The largest amount seized, over $1 Million worth was the last barrels of Green River Whiskey in existence. All of it was destroyed by the Government. The distillers were still responsible to pay the taxes on this alcohol which resulted in most distilleries filing for Bankruptcy. Slide 27: After Prohibition Government agents seized the barrels in Owensboro’s aging warehouses. However, former workers at the Medley owned Daviess County Distilling Co. knew that the boards in the back of the warehouses were loose and could be removed. They snuck in at night and removed barrels and bottled them at home. Then with the help of a local Dr. and Pharmacist they sold the product to the public as Medicinal Whiskey. This kept up until an inventory showed the government agents that barrels were missing and the boards were replaced. Shown Here: A Prohibition era Prescription for Medicinal Alcohol which allowed for the legal possession of Whiskey. Slide 28: With Prohibition coming so soon after the disastrous distillery fires in Owensboro the fire damage was not repaired and no distilling occurred on the site for many years Slide 29: None of the Medley owned distilleries survived Prohibition. The original Daviess County Distillery was turned into a meat packing plant and the Green River Distillery site was used as a storage yard. The Medley’s distilling empire seemed to be at an end. Slide 30: However, within a few years Prohibition was seen as a failure. It increased crime and violence and did little to stop drinking. So in the height of the Depression moves were made to repeal prohibition and allow the manufacture of alcohol again in America Slide 32: Prohibition ended in December 1933. Shortly there after work begun to rebuild a distillery on the site of the old Green River Distillery, now named the Kentucky Sour Mash Distilling Co. Slide 33: The Medley owned Daviess County Distillery, Owensboro. The plant was built after Prohibition ended. In 1940 it was sold by the Medley’s to the Fleishman Co. It was torn down in 1992. The barge on the Ohio River in the background carries a cargo of barrels of Medley whiskey. Slide 34: The location was selected for the very same reasons that brought distillers to the area in the first place: Great Limestone filtered water from an underground aquifer In the middle of the best Midwest corn country Kentucky’s favorable aging seasons with Hot Summers and Cold winters Slide 35: In 1940 the Medley Brothers bought the distillery and renamed it The Medley Distilling Company. Slide 36: The five Medley brothers, left to right, Edwin, John, Wathen, George and Ben. The man sitting was the gauger. The Medley Brothers created the Owensboro Distilling Co. later renamed to the Medley Distilling Co. Slide 37: In World War II the Army built the Dryer House. It was used to dry the remains of distilling known as stillage and turn them into feed for cattle. The product called Distillers Dried Grains (DDG) was shipped to cattle feed lots throughout the country as part of the war effort. Slide 38: During World War II all distilleries in the Nation were converted to the production of Industrial Alcohol (190 Proof) for the War effort. The U.S. Army took over and ran operations at the Medley Distillery for the duration of the war. Industrial Alcohol was used in the manufacture of : rubber, antifreeze, tetraethyl lead (used in the production of aviation gasoline), rayon for parachutes and ether. 23 gallons of industrial alcohol were required in the manufacture of a Jeep. 1934 gallons were needed to produce one 16-inch naval shell. 1 gallon was needed in order to make 64 hand grenades or two 155mm Howitzer shells. Slide 39: During the war there were 3 month long “Distilling Holidays” in which the company could produce alcohol for consumption. Here is a barrel filled during one of these “holidays” Slide 40: Many of the products associated with Medley Distilling were produced during this time period. Medley Brothers Bourbon Medley’s Kentucky Whiskey Old Medley Bourbon Medley’s Kentucky Bourbon Slide 41: In 1951 the Medley Distilling Company introduced a Specialty Bourbon Bottle. It was a banjo shaped Medley Bourbon Bottle that has now become a collectors item. Slide 42: The Medley Distilling Company was one of the largest employers of women in the community. Over 250 women worked on the 5 bottling lines. Here workers place labels on the distinctive Banjo Bourbon Bottles. Slide 43: Placing the Banjo Bourbon Bottles into boxes Slide 44: Bottling Line Slide 45: Placing the boxed bottles into cases Slide 46: Barrel’s were filled by hand using scales to determine the amount of spirit entered. Here Berturm “Tubby” Mattingly and co- worker fill old style 8-hoop barrels in the 1950’s. Note the wooden bung hammer in “Tubby’s” hand used to pound the bungs in the barrels. Slide 47: Master Distiller Charles Medley, Plant Manager Joel High and Bottling Manager Jerry Kuntz overseeing Bottling lines Slide 48: After the disastrous Green River fire engineers designed the warehouses with concrete pits to prevent a fire from spreading from one building to another. This concept was soon put to the test. On June 30th 1960 a lightning strike set Warehouse A (Then Warehouse D) on fire Slide 49: A crowd soon gathered to watch the flames. Slide 50: The U.S. Government lost over $8 Million in tax revenue as a result of the fire which destroyed 22,000 barrels of bourbon. Slide 51: The warehouse was a total loss, but unlike past fires, it did not spread Slide 52: A large pile of the Medley signature tiles and one wall is all that remain of the warehouse Slide 53: The burned warehouse was rebuilt the following year using the same techniques and styles as the original. Here it is seen today after the latest renovation. Slide 54: Quality was key to the process. Here Yeast growth is being inspected in the Quality Lab Slide 55: Wyman Pierce, Roy Payne (Still Manager) and Thomas Payne (Yeast Specialist) review the days production totals Slide 56: Samples of the days production await testing in the Quality Lab Slide 57: In 1969, Charles Medley was named the Master Distiller at the plant his Grandfather founded. He was the 7th Generation of Master Distiller in the Medley Family. The plant now bears his name in honor of this distinguished family history. Slide 58: Water used in the distilling process comes from wells on site drawing Limestone filtered water from a deep aquifer under the site. Operator Paul McCarty monitors the well control panel in the 1970’s. Slide 59: Originally the Bourbon was fermented in cypress tanks Slide 60: Roy Payne setting a fermenter Slide 61: Thomas Payne taking a sample from fermenter for Quality testing Slide 62: The cypress tanks were replaced by the stainless steel tanks used today Slide 63: The Column still and Doubler are used to distill the Bourbon to the proper proof for barreling Slide 64: Ricking a Barrel in the aging warehouse Slide 68: In 1992 the Medley Distilling Company stopped operations. Charles Medley purchased the facility, renamed it and continued to bottle there for several years Slide 69: In October 2007 the Distillery was purchased by Angostura Limited. Slide 70: Renovation of the plant began in November 2008 with the goal of once again producing a traditional Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Slide 71: Renovations include turning the old Bottling House into a visitors center and gift shop that includes event space for 300 people Slide 72: Visitors Center now available for Events. Space for 300+ people, ample parking, security. Site of - Rotary’s Bourbon Heritage Celebration - Wedding Receptions Slide 73: Other upgrades include refurbishment and testing of the on-site deep wells, security fencing, and road improvements Next Steps include new boilers, improved control systems, enhanced pumps, etc. Operations expected to begin in early 2010. Slide 74: Future plans: Product to be ready for bottling not sooner that 5 years (Label to be decided later) Expanded Visitors Center Guided Tours Bourbon Tastings A gift shop Museum

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