The distillers at Terressentia have a plan to employ secret technology to whiskey and cut years off the aging process. However, it was not molecular science, but basic physics that came into play on Sunday (6.16) night when a rickhouse at their O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky collapsed spilling barrels and bourbon.
A little after midnight, the northwest corner of Rickhouse H gave way according to the company.
“No employees were in the vicinity and no additional damage occurred to either the distillery or neighboring properties,” detailed a statement from Tyler. “No one was injured.”
The warehouse held 19,400 barrels and about 4500 were affected in the initial spill according to the company.
Jacob Call, Master Distiller at the facility arrived the scene immediately after the spill and coordinated containment efforts with local agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Authorities reported that the initial assessment determined that very few barrels burst nd the environmental risk was minimal. Alas, the assessment also determined that the structural risk was great.
“After consultations, and on the advice of experts, we have determined the best course of action is a deliberate deconstruction of Rick House H, beginning today,”stated Tyler’s reps in a statement issued on Wednesday (6.19) evening.
In 1885, a distillery was built on the current Tyler site. 33 years later, that distillery was destroyed in a fire and then rebuilt as Medley Distilling Co. in 1936. Medley closed in 1992.
With the help of $1.3m from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, Terressentia purchased the distillery in 2014 and reopened the doors in 2017.
Terressentia is a South Carolina based outfit that specializes in contract brewing. Although the company uses traditional aging methods as well (hence the rickhouse), Terressentia is noted for their TerrePURE method. The science heavy process claims to deliver the effects of four years of aging in just eight hours. (So far, the expert reaction is understandably mixed.)
The last 12 months have been a hard time for rickhouses in Kentucky. Last June, a Barton building in Bardstown also collapsed.