Vintage James E Pepper Whiskey Spirit of ’76 Liquor Store Display Figures AP508

A spirited rendering of the familiar historical/patriotic trope that implies you may well be serving your country when you are being served this company’s whiskey.

James E. Pepper is an American manufacturer and distiller of liquors and one of the oldest US brands. The first use of the name “Old Fashioned” for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail was said to have been at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, the bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.

Price on request.

From the present owners of the brand:

Established in 1776, at the dawn of the American Revolution, and distilled over 3 family generations through 1958, the Pepper family brand of whiskey is the oldest & most legendary whiskey brand in both Kentucky and American history. Starting with Elijah Pepper (distiller 1776-1838) and then Oscar Pepper (distiller 1838-1867), the Colonel James E. Pepper (distiller 1867-1906) was the 3rd generation of that distilling legacy. He was a larger than life bourbon aristocrat and took the family brand to its highest peak. A KY captain of American industry, he raced thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby, traveled in a private rail car & made famous the “Old-Fashioned” cocktail. He nicknamed his whiskey “Old 1776” and proudly proclaimed his continued use of his grandfather’s original Revolutionary-era recipes. In more recent years, the folks at the Georgetown Trading Co. (whose family history in trading whiskey also dates back to around the American Revolution) assumed the stewardship of this iconic brand, and set about re-launching it in a proper fashion. They did extensive historical research and spent years collecting and sampling full bottles of original, perfectly preserved, pre, mid, & post Prohibition James E. Pepper whiskey. They even acquired a letter dated 1887 from James E. Pepper himself, detailing his production methods and the exact grain bills. Referencing these materials, they have begun distilling some new James E. Pepper whiskey, as well as hand-picking existing, mature barrels from select distilleries with similar grain bills and flavor profiles that match the “Old Style” of original James E. Pepper whiskey.