RD1 Spirits Celebrates Year of New Bourbons, Awards, and Distribution Growth

At the end of 2023, Lexington, Kentucky-based RD1 Spirits celebrated a year of tremendous growth, including portfolio expansion, 66 product awards, distribution across 15 states, and an invitation to join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

As a brand founded to celebrate meaningful firsts, RD1 – which stands for Registered Distillery One – was founded in 2020 to honor Lexington’s bourbon’s history and help write the next chapter. 

“We are an entrepreneurial brand founded on the principles of honoring the mavericks from our past, and layering in modern-day innovation to evolve the story,” said RD1 chief executive officer Mike Tetterton. “Contributing to the Kentucky bourbon industry is an opportunity we take seriously, and our accomplishments in 2023 speak to our teamwork, creativity, and resolve.” 

New Releases and Top Awards

RD1 kicked off the year by adding two, unique, wood-finished bourbons to its portfolio. RD1’s 110-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Brazilian Amburana Wood and its 99.9-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Double Finished In Oak and Maple Barrels joined the two RD1 expressions released in October 2022 (98-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and 101-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished With French Oak).

The entire RD1 portfolio was met with incredible reception from beverage wholesalers, retailers, restaurant owners, and consumers – earning 66 awards in 2023 – 42 representing gold, double gold, platinum, double platinum, and century awards.

“As a young, craft bourbon brand, to consistently take home this many top competition awards – awards across all four of our bourbons – is extremely powerful in gaining credibility among our distributor and buying network, but most of all, in earning the trust of discerning consumers,” Tetterton said.

Top recognitions from 2023 include:

  • RD1 Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 98 proof 
    • Double Gold in 2023 Sip Awards
    • 95 points and Gold in 2023 New York International Spirits Competition
  • RD1 Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished With French Oak, 101 proof
    • 96 points from The Tasting Panel
    • Double Platinum from Fred Minnick’s 2023 Ascot Awards
  • RD1 Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Brazilian Amburana Wood, 110 proof
    • 100 points from the 2023 Pr%f Awards
    • 95 points from the 2023 Ultimate Spirits Competition
  • RD1 Straight Bourbon Whiskey Double Finished In Oak and Maple Barrels, 99.9 proof
    • 100 points from the 2023 Pr%f Awards
    • 100 points in 2023 MLSA Competition

Multi-State Expansion

RD1 Spirits also reached milestones in its market distribution. At the beginning of the year, RD1 was available for purchase in its home state of Kentucky. Today, the brand is available across 15 states: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. RD1 participated in more than 45 bourbon events from coast to coast in 2023, tasting consumers on its award-winning bourbon portfolio.

KY Distillation Home

In addition, RD1 signed a significant contract in 2023 with Western Kentucky Distilling (WKD) – a $30-million, new production house in Beaver Dam, Kentucky – where 8th generation Master Distiller Jacob Call continues to handcraft RD1’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey. RD1 team members handle the wood finishing of its barrels across bourbon warehouses in Central Kentucky. 

RD1’s five-year agreement – for production of up to 15,000 barrels a year – gives RD1 a strategic home with Call at the helm. WKD features a 40-foot tall, 36-inch copper still, complemented by copper condensers, a copper doubler, and 15 state-of-the-art fermenters.  

“RD1 owners are also part owners of Western Kentucky Distilling, and we have the utmost respect for Jacob Call and the fantastic team he has built,” said Tetterton. “Our partnership is built on shared business values of Kentucky owned and operated.”

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour

RD1’s Tasting Room and Gift Shop in Lexington was named to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour in July 2023, giving the brand national and international attention. When visiting RD1 in Lexington’s Distillery District, guests hear stories of the Ashland and Old William Tarr Distilleries from the late 1800s. Guests then explore their palate, learning more about wood’s powerful yet delicate influence on bourbon.

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