Neeley Family Distillery master distiller on using family recipes to create award-winning spirits

Neeley Family Distillery was 11 generations in the making. The family intersected with distilling history in 1740 when Irish immigrant James Neeley started making whiskey in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. Centuries later, his eleventh great-grandson continues the legacy using the same recipes — this time legally.

Located in Sparta, Kentucky, just 200 yards from the Kentucky Speedway, Royce and his father, Roy, hand-built the distillery from the ground up. Royce, the lead distiller, says he and…

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