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Introducing The Whiskey Barons Collection

In Bourbon News by Patrick "Pops" Garrett12 Comments

Just a few hours ago we received a press release from Campari America introducing their new Whiskey Barons Collection. We’ll be gathering more information to share, along with our own tasting notes, but for now, we’re sharing everything that Campari sent to us as part of their announcement.

Below are the full product releases along with bottle photos to give you an idea of what to expect when these initial two bourbons start shipping to the initial release markets on February 1st. We also want to point out that according to Campari, “…this is not a Wild Turkey product. It is being distilled at the Wild Turkey Distillery, but Jimmy and Eddie haven’t been involved.”

That’s all we know for now so read on and let us know if there’s anything specific you’d like us to question Campari about in regards to these new releases.

UPDATE: We now have reviews of both products on the blog. Check them out here: Old Ripy Bourbon Review  | Bond & Lillard Bourbon Review.

UPDATE 2/1/17: We were curious about Jimmy and Eddie’s lack of involvement in these releases, so we asked Campari for some additional information. It looks like the future releases will have Eddie involved. We look forward to seeing what he brings to the collection.

“To bring back to life the Old Ripy and Bond & Lillard blends for the Whiskey Barons collection, Campari America conferred with T.B. Ripy IV and Tom Ripy, great-grandson and great-great-grandson of T.B. Ripy, and employed the talents of Norm Matella, Ph. D. and Campari America North American Technical Center Manager, and Robin Coupar, Campari America Global Whiskies Brand Ambassador. Together they analyzed historical documents, dipped into family archives and experimented with different blends to achieve a final product as close to the original whiskies as possible. The liquid was distilled at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY, which sits upon the same spot where the Ripy distillery once stood. Wild Turkey Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell were not involved with the creation of Old Ripy and Bond & Lillard, as they were fully committed with projects for Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve. However, moving forward, Eddie Russell will be pouring his passion and expertise into the development of future Whiskey Barons products while continuing in his award-winning role as Master Distiller and key product innovator for Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve.

UPDATE 1/25/17:
We received quite a few comments from folks curious if there would be any legal issues regarding the similarities in name between Old Ripy and Old Rip Van Winkle so we were able to get Campari to provide us with their take on the situation.

“The Old Ripy trademark was registered and active from 1941 to 2002.   As bourbon is a key focus for the company,  Campari America revived this great old trademark in order to recreate Old Ripy for its new Whiskey Barons collection and pay proper homage to this historic distilling family – some of whom worked at the Wild Turkey distillery until just recently. A search of the US Patent and Trademark database shows Old Rip Van Winkle was registered as a trademark decades later, in 1968. There were no matters of concern around confusing the names then, nor are there concerns today.  We are very excited to re-introduce folks to this long gone, but never forgotten bourbon.”

The Whiskey Barons Collection is an ambitious undertaking to honor and recreate historically significant Bourbons that were lost after Prohibition. Our mission is to resurrect these remarkable spirits so current and future generations of whiskey lovers can taste history while giving back to the Kentucky community that sparked so much Bourbon lore. Though most of the original recipes and distilling techniques have been lost to the ravages of time, we are painstakingly piecing together these lost gems with the help of living members of these noble distilling families, historic records, tasting notes, and talented distillers. In doing so, we hope to create a living archive of Kentucky’s great whiskey history, giving these Bourbons and the people who made them a chance to live again. In 2017, Campari America will release two new expressions under The Whiskey Barons Collection umbrella – Bond & Lillard and Old Ripy. A portion of the profits from each bottle of Bond & Lillard and Old Ripy sold will be donated towards the restoration of The Ripy Home in Anderson County, Kentucky.


Bond & Lillard was a trusted name in the pre-Prohibition whiskey industry. It was first distilled by John Bond in what was then called, Cedar Run, KY (now known as Anderson County), in 1820. A veteran of the American Revolutionary War, Bond moved his distilling operation closer to Lawrenceburg, KY after the war. In 1842, he left the company to his son and grandson, David and William. William would go on to form a partnership with his brother-in-law, C.C. Lillard in 1869, and they began labeling the product Bond & Lillard. The business stayed in their families until 1899 and was so revered that it won the Grand Prize at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Using the same tasting notes the judges wrote down during the World’s Fair in 1904, we recreated this winning recipe.

Distilled and bottled and at the Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged a minimum of seven years in timber warehouses and is charcoal filtered. This filtration process simulates the aeration process that happens in the barrel, converting more aggressive congeners to esters that end in more elegant top notes. The result is a lighter colored and flavored bourbon with more floral notes. As the judges at the 1904 World’s Fair declared, this recipe represents “real delicacy of flavor, beauty in the sparkle and superiority in strength – it bears no equal”.


Bond & Lillard Tasting Notes

Nose: Creamy vanilla, citrus and stone fruit

Tasting Notes: Fruity and delicate with dry peach and apricot and hints of baking spice

Finish: Slight dryness with lingering fruits and spice

Color: Bright gold

Mash Bill: Corn, malted barley, and rye grains; sourced from the Wild Turkey Distillery

Proof: 50% alc./vol. (100 proof)

Price: Suggested retail price for 375mL: $49.99

Availability: Wild Turkey Visitor Center and in select markets, including California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York City, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Born in Bourbon’s heartland in 1868, Old Ripy was created by Irish immigrant James Ripy and continued to be made in Lawrenceburg, KY, on the site of where the current Wild Turkey Distillery stands today, up until 1950. Back then, the Ripy family was ubiquitous in Anderson County’s bustling distilling community. They had opened several distilleries in the area, which remained in the family for generations. T.B. Ripy IV and Tom Ripy, the great grandson and great great grandson of T.B. Ripy, advised throughout the project on packaging and liquid development – calling upon original bottlings, brochures, and family stories to help us recreate what we can honestly say is the closest representation of the original Old Ripy brand possible.

Old Ripy is a combination of 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon with 12-year-old and younger whiskies for added complexity and oak. It is distilled at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Anderson County, aged in timber warehouses and non-chill filtered to retain congeners, fusil oils, lipid fats and proteins we believe you would find in the original. This results in more natural and complex flavor characteristics, fuller body, and a smooth but “chewier” mouthfeel.

Old Ripy Tasting Notes

Nose: Oak and vanilla with fruits and a hint of banana

Tasting Notes: Big mouth feel of chewy toffee, apple and oak notes

Finish: Oaky tannin gives way to pepper spice and sweet caramel

Color: Deep amber

Mash Bill: Corn, malted barley and rye grains

Proof: 52% alc./vol. (104 proof)

Price: Suggested retail price for 375mL: $49.99

Availability: Wild Turkey Visitor Center and in select markets, including California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York City, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.

  • Ford Bond says:

    William Bond has been described as a thrifty farmer of good standing, and a revolutionary soldier. He was born in St. Martin’s Parish, Hanover County Virginia in 1740. He served in the Virginia line. He was married twice, first to Francis Ballou in Goochland County, Virginia about 1779 and second to Sarah Cranson in Woodford County, Kentucky December 2, 1790. On January 13.1826, William Bond, age 86 states in his pension application that he enlisted September 1777, at the house of Daniel Jones, in Cumberland County, Virginia. By Capt. B. Mosby and was sworn in by Capt. Mays (Mayo) Carrington of the 2nd Regiment of Virginia on Continental Establishment. After we enlisted we rendezvoused at Powhatan Court House and marched to Savannah and then we went against St. Augustine – We landed on Amelia Island, and had a skirmish and failed in the attempt, I was afterwards at the Battle of Savannah and at Stone and also at a skirmish at Briar Creek

    James S Bond, son of revolutionary war soldier William F. Bond Sr. built the first stone distillery on Baileys Run in Franklin Co. now Anderson County, Ky in 1828. The distillery was moved by my Grandfather David Bond 1n 1842 to the Bonds Mill location, near McBrayer, KY. At one time during the nineteenth century the family may have owned 19 distilleries throughout the county.
    Both David Bond and Lt. C. C. Lillard were soldiers during the Civil War. David fought with C Company, 6th Kentucky Infantry and Lt. Christopher C Lillard was commissioned into “I” Co. KY 2nd Infantry . Bond’s Mill became the site of the Bond and Lillard Whiskey distillery starting in 1869 and was run by David’s Son William S Bond after David died in 1869. The family sold the distillery to the Stoll Brothers family Trust in 1898. Bond and Lillard won the Grand Prize at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
    Bond and Lillard is currently being released by Campari America and is a recognized part of their new Whiskey Barons Collection. It is being produced at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Tyrone, Ky. Which coincidentally is on the north side of Bailey’s Run, where William Bond owned 200 acres of land in 1790. He sold part of his revolutionary bounty lands to his son James S Bond where he built his first distillery.

  • Julie Wilson says:

    Ford, you are a cousin of mine. I can let you know what our exact relation is if you can tell me exactly how many generations down you are from the first William F. Bond who came to what is now Anderson County, KY, from Hanover County in Virginia after his service in the Revolutionary War. He was my fourth great grandfather.

    I believe you have been given some inaccurate information. It was the son of this first William F. Bond, our third great grandfather, John Bond, who built the original distillery in 1820 in the Bailey’s Run area. The distillery was soon moved very close to what is now known as downtown Lawrenceburg. It was located behind what is considered the “new” part of the Lawrenceburg Cemetery, just over the railroad tracks and across the creek down Bond Lillard Road. The Bond family plantation home, Forest Hill, is located there and is still standing, but was sold out of the family many years ago. The Bond and Lillard Distillery was never located at Bond’s Mill according to information provided to me by local historians, as well as the historian on site at Four Roses.

    When John Bond died in 1842, your direct ancestor, David, assumed control of the original John Bond distillery along with the aid of his brothers. Shortly thereafter, David purchased the mill at what is now known as Bond’s Mill, where he and my great great grandfather, John Wilkerson Bond, moved and settled their families. (I spent a lot of time in this area as a child since my family still owned Bond property there that had been passed down over several generations).

    The Bond brothers produced grist mill for the area distilleries (including their own) as well as dairy products, all while also distilling bourbon. David sold the home at Forest Hill to his brother, William F, and built a new brick plantation home just past Bond’s Mill up on the hill to the right across Salt River.

    My great grandmother’s scrapbook contains a handwritten promissory note dated 1856 signed by her father, John Wilkerson Bond, for “1818 gallons of good merchantable whiskey of Wm Bond’s make” to be delivered to the buyer the following Spring. Though the Bond and Lillard Distillery was not located at Bond’s Mill, there were several other Bond family related distilleries on both sides of the road there throughout the years, including the one that is now Four Roses.

    When David died in 1869, his brother William Franklin Bond (the third), brought his brother in law, CC Lillard, into the company as partner. His wife, Susan Margaret Bond, was William F’s sister, and one of our great grand aunts. They continued on and expanded the production of the Bond brand, which then was renamed Bond and Lillard, to worldwide acclaim.

    I am assuming since your name is Ford Bond, that you are likely a direct descendant of one David’s children who was named after his sister, Malinda Bond Ford. Also pasted into one of my great grandmother’s scrapbooks is a hand written letter addressed to her from her cousin, Linnie (Linda) Ford, that is dated 1876, when they were both just young teens and she was attending boarding school in an area of Woodford County known as Troy.

    I am curious to know whether you live close by in Central Kentucky or if you live out of state. There are still Bond family reunuions that take place periodically; the most recent one was in the summer of 2010 at the Christian Church on Main Street in Lawrenceburg. There was quite a bit of Bond and Lillard memorabilia on display at this reunion. Our branch of the family would love to connect with you to share info and copies of our own memorabilia. Please reply to We look forward to hearing from you!

    • Jean Ann Tipton Powell says:

      Am so excited reading this history ! William F Bond is my 3 great grandfather . His daughter Annie Bond is my 2 great grandmother

      • Julie Wilson says:

        Jean, our common ancestor is my third (your fourth) great grandfather, John Bond, the original distiller of the Bond brand of bourbon whiskey. You and I are fourth cousins, once removed.

  • William S Johnson says:


    Congratulations to the producers of The Wiskey Barons Collection burbon! I am pleased to share, without dispute, the 20th Century facts of Bonds Mill and Old Joe Distilleries’ heritage.

    My paternal grandfather, Robert Eugene Johnson, Sr., purchasing the distilerries via inheritance, came to own and operate them utilizing his engineering degree from the University of Illinois. As president and on site active operator of the enterprise, he was known for never strolling, but quickly striding everywhere he went. And for genuinely greeting every person he passed, disregarding race, status, or circumstances.

    Some years after returning to Lawrenceburg at the end of WWII, in 1924, he married my grandmother Susan Stout of Glen Lake Farm, Versailles, at Pighah Presbyterian Church. The worlds of a horse farm and a bourbon familiy history blended, as “old Kentucky” is still esteemed worldwide.

    Robert E. Johnson had earlier purchased the distillery on the Salt River via family, from his mother Sallie Elizabeth (Bond) Johnson’s relations. He was William Bond’s great grandson and born in the Johnson family home on 524 South Main St Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. From his thousands of acres of local corn crops, he distilled sour mash to whiskey. Even producing medicinal alcohol during prohibition.

    His life was tragically taken by a stroke while celebrating his hard work and success, as he had returned his family’s burbon to national prominence. It happened at the precise moment that he was slipping his spectacular handmade houseboat down the 3rd St ramp into the Ohio River by Louisville’s Galt House. It was 1946.

    His young son, my father Robert Eugene Johnson, Jr. stood watching his father and hero fall over, paralyzed into silence. Mrs. Johnson’s one and only true love passed three days later
    in the home he was born in. Then laying in a casket in his front parlor. Buried a little further down on Main St. Life was never the same for multitudes of men and women who had known and loved him.

    Mrs. Robert E. Johnson (my NeNa) had stood by his side, assuming equivilant working responsibility to promote Bonds Mill and Old Joe bourbon. As an ambassador for their brands, she utilized her intellect, beauty, political and prominent social connections to astutely sell the business, in a world dominated by men, to Seagrams.

    Yet again fate would again tragically dictate. Her second husband Cortland Francis Pollard passed there too and was buried on December 24th 1977. Soon there after, my father, “Bobby Johnson”, REJ Jr. passed in the family home on December 24th 1978.

    Susan Pollard then continued to create opportunities in KY to lead, love, and serve Lawrenceburg, our state, and her family from her pride and joy, her home in Lawrenceburg. I love the old crystal dacanters she gave me that held the first batches of Bond and Lilliard, Old Joe, and Clearbrook bourbons. My grandfather’s signature brew.

    I’ll certainly pour some of the Whiskey Barons Collection bourbon into them. Then experience myself and those bottles coming back to life again.


    William Stout Johnson
    Louisville Kentucky
    December, 2018

    • Jean Ann Tipton Powell says:

      How lucky you are to have received things from your family. What a treasure ! Thank you so much for sharing your story . Means a lot

  • William S Johnson says:


    Robert Eugene Johnson, Sr. was the great grandson of John Bond, the original distiller and grandson of William F. Bond.

    His Distillery, Bonds Mill, was on the Salt River near what is now Four Roses.

    He owned, at the time of his death the labels Old Joe and Bonds Mill.
    He was half owner of the Clearbrook Distillery.

    The corporate name was Kings Mill Distillers when Mrs. Robert E. (Susan Stout) Johnson sold it to Seagrams of Cincinnati after his passing, before marriage to Courtland Francis Pollard in 1951.

    Thankfully accurate now.

    William S Johnson

    • Jean Ann Tipton Powell says:

      Hello Cousin ! William F Bond is my 3 great grandfather ! I would so love to buy his farm !

      • Julie Wilson says:

        Jean—Forest Hill, the plantation home originally owned by our third great grandfather, John Bond and his sons, David, John Wilkerson (Wix) and eventually their younger brother, William F. Bond, is currently for sale. 1100 Bond Lillard Road in Lawrenceburg…check it out on Zillow!

      • Wm Stout Johnson says:

        Sent a lengthy email response to your message. It may have gone to the Garret gentleman. Let me know and Ill forward the message to you.

  • Faye Wethington says:

    I would love a bottle of old Riply 375 ml for my husband do you have have one for me or can tell me where i can find one ,i am nurse and work all day ,this is suppose to be a thank you from me to him because he walked my daughter down the eile after her father passed on cancer 🥰