Dylan’s distillery to sell local honey

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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By Randy Patrick

WinCity Voices

This piece initially ran on WinCity Voices.

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Keith Green hopes pairing his honey with Bob Dylan’s bourbon will bring sweet success.

The local beekeeper and his partner, Richard Sturgill, are collaborating with the music icon’s Heaven’s Door Distillery to age their Double Barrel Honey in its charred oak bourbon barrels, then bottle and sell it under the Heaven’s Door label.

The Winchester brand’s name will also be on the label in smaller print.

“They had talked with a girl who was helping us, and they tasted our honey and thought they could sell it,” Green said when asked how the deal came about.

Green and Sturgill have been selling Double Barrel Honey since the 2018 Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival. That was also the same year Heaven’s Door began producing small batches of bourbon at its distillery on land that was once owned by Squire Boone, Daniel’s brother.

Dylan and Spirits Investment Partnership bought the former Six Mile Creek Distillery and its 160 acres in Henry County in 2015. Its public opening is planned for this spring.

Double Barrel Honey is made at Keith and Jane Green’s home in The Ridings.

Green has other kinds of honey that he sells locally, but Double Barrel, which is aged in bourbon barrels from the Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve distilleries, is by far their biggest seller.

Green said it was Sturgill’s idea to put the honey in used bourbon barrels to flavor it.

“We’ve been aging honey in barrels for Buffalo Trace for three years now, and this will be the fourth year that we’ve been doing it for Woodford,” Green said.

“We’ve got it in over a hundred stores in Central Kentucky, but we’re expanding into Nashville, and we even have a distributor in Alabama,” he said.

“It’s kept me busy,” he said. “When we started out, I just expected to sell one barrel a year, but in the past year, we’ve sold over 20 barrels of honey.”

Green said they haven’t done any advertising other than having a Facebook page and an Instagram account. It’s all been by “word of mouth.”

“I’ve just always thought that if you had a good product at a good price, it would sell, but it’s gone way beyond my expectations,” he said.

Green said that initially, Heaven’s Door wants to age two barrels of honey, one for four months and the other for eight.

The oak barrels, which Green said will soak up to 10 pounds of honey in the aging process, will be returned to Heaven’s Door and used to age honey-flavored whiskey, which the apiarist described as a “hot item” in the spirits market.