Long way to go to overhaul the historic Old Taylor Distillery outside Frankfort. | Photo courtesy of Castle & Key

Castle & Key Distillery announced in a YouTube video today that it’s pushing the opening of the tourism component at the overhauled Old Taylor Distillery into early 2017.

The delay isn’t much of a surprise to anyone who’s seen the derelict building, which when constructed by Col. E.H. Taylor in 1887, was arguably the grandest Kentucky distillery ever. Since the castle-like structure and elegant grounds located outside Frankfort were abandoned some four decades ago, the startling whole has fallen into disrepair, including much of its massive distilling equipment.

“We want to make the first impression something you guys won’t forget, so we’re working diligently to make that happen,” Caroline Blackwood, C&K’s director of guest experience and retail, said in the video. “(W)e want to push back our timeline to until early 2017, which will really be worth the wait.”

In the video, Blackwood shows some difficult-to-see drawings of the visitors center, while describing some high-end appointments done by Maynard Studios in Lawrenceburg. Included in the new design will be two of the original boiler relics.

Lexington businessmen Will Arvin and Wesley Murry made headlines in 2015 when they announced their purchase of the building and its 113-acre grounds. Marianne Barnes, then master taster at Brown-Forman, was chosen as its master distiller. The move was an especially bold one for Barnes, who was the unnamed but certain heir apparent to the master distiller’s post held by Chris Morris.

In another video released today, Barnes gave an update of gin the distillery will produce from its white corn bourbon mashbill. She said the gin will be a traditional London Dry style, which is very juniper forward and infused with ginger root, coriander and angelica root. All will be 100 proof and be bottled in seasonal releases. She said to expect barrel-aged gins down the road.

“We’re making the bourbon drinker’s gin,” Barnes said of the barrel aged options. “It could potentially have some of that grainy character, though subtle, and balanced with herbs and botanicals that give you some familiar flavors.”

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Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.