Dueling Grounds Distillery making bourbon in Simpson County

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- On Sunday, Dueling Grounds Distillery in Simpson County brought in a packed house for their weekly cocktail party.

Owner and operator, Marc Dottore, tells 13 News, "I was looking for a business to run in Franklin, something that I could do locally, and that would create a local product -- something that was a physical product that people would buy and buy again."

So, he opened Dueling Grounds Distillery making moonshine and bourbon.

"We moved in the building in 2013," he says, "and started actually making stuff in 2015."

"Right now, we have two products available: Kentucky Clear and Kentucky Apple Pie. So the Kentucky Clear -- some people would make it, say it's kin to kind of like a moonshine, but it's our White Dog Whiskey. It's the same whiskey that we're putting into barrels. Most of what we make goes in barrels and gets stored for future use. We have a tasting room here and we sell our Kentucky Clear and our Apple Pie, and then we'll also have a line of fruit liquors that will be coming out in another couple weeks: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach, and raspberry," says Dottore.

Almost every part of the process has "Kentucky" written all over it.

"All of our grains come local, which makes our bourbon," adds Dottore. He also says, "Our fruit liquors are all made using local fruit."

He mentioned several local farms for where Dueling Grounds gets its berries, and says the peaches will come from Jackson's Orchard.

Even the barrels used are from Louisville.

The bourbon isn't ready just yet.

"As far as things getting bottled -- getting things out into the stores for more mass consumption -- it'll probably be 2020."

But the distillery was packed on Sunday, regardless.

"We have a cocktail party every Sunday. We have a bartender up front who creates a different cocktail list for each week. We have a full house just about every Sunday. Three quarters of the people are locals, people come back week after week."

Local customers are bringing friends from states away to come try it out.

"I'm from central Arkansas," says Julann Carney, who came to Dueling Grounds on Sunday night with friends to celebrate Father's Day, tour the distillery, and listen to the live music. "I think that the more local people buy, that it benefits the economy more," she told 13 News, after learning about the local grains and fruits used at Dueling Grounds.

"So, those kinds of things help us stand out," says Dottore, "And it's literally hand made. I mean, this is as high tech as it gets," he says, pointing to equipment in the distillery. "Everything else is by our backs, you know," he adds, laughing.

Right now, you can buy Dueling Grounds products at the distillery and at the exit two liquor store in Franklin. They hope to start a wider range of distribution after the bourbon is ready to sell.



 
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