Mary Dowling Whiskey Company Launch Honors Namesake Figure

New Kentucky bourbon brand, the Mary Dowling Whiskey Company, recently announced their debut whiskey lineup.

A statement from the brand described the two new expressions as a whiskey finished in tequila barrels, the other finished in second oak barrels.

For a bit of context, in history, Mary Dowling was among the most successful and influential female distillers in the male-dominated world of pre-prohibition bourbon. Her legacy, which led directly to bourbon’s designation as America’s native spirit, earned her the nickname of “Mother of Bourbon.”

Mary Dowling Whiskeys

New Kentucky bourbon brand, the Mary Dowling Whiskey Company, recently announced their debut whiskey lineup. (image via Mary Dowling Whiskey Company)

Her life story is full of twists, as described by the Mary Dowling Whiskey brand, as she persevered through the death of her husband, a distillery fire, the founding of a bank, furious legal battles and shifting production to Juárez, Mexico during prohibition. Many of those stories had been unknown by many and lost for decades … until now.

“Long obscured by the mists of time, Mary Dowling’s story is one of the most motivational and compelling in the annals of whiskey-making,” said Kaveh Zamanian, Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame whiskey maker and co-founder of Mary Dowling Whiskey Company. “We wanted to create a whiskey to honor her extraordinary character, celebrate her legacy and her iconic distillery, Waterfill & Frazier.”

Zamanian, known as well for his founding of the popular Rabbit Hole Kentucky whiskey brand, teamed with Pernod Ricard to launch Mary Dowling.

The whiskeys at launch also commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mary’s triumph over the dry laws and her instrumental role in keeping the Kentucky whiskey industry alive.

The Tequila Barrel finish is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey finished in tequila barrels to honor Mary’s distillery in Juarez. It features a balanced palate of fruit flavors and earthy, smoky tones, completed by a black-peppery finish.

Double Oak Barrel finish is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey at double oak cask strength. It has rich wheated bourbon flavor notes of tobacco, cherry and oak, with lingering short and dry spices.

“I’m thrilled that my great-great-grandmother’s remarkable life story is finally being told,” said Cathy Brown, a direct descendant of Mary Dowling. “Her journey inspires us to embrace challenges, to find solutions where others see obstacles and to celebrate the indomitable spirit within us. Thank you to the entire team behind Mary Dowling Whiskey Company for honoring her through this exciting new brand, with two incredible whiskeys that she would be proud of.”

Bruce Beam Phillips, great grandson of distiller Joseph L. Beam, said at a recent event, “One hundred years ago, here in Lawrenceburg, the Dowlings and the Beams got together and hatched a plan to move her distillery to Juarez … about a hundred years later, we have the Dowlings and the Beams, sitting around a table getting ready to release a Mary Dowling whiskey and we’ll add one more name to that, and that’s Zamanian.”

Mary Dowling Whiskey Company’s new expressions are available for purchase at select retailers in KY, NJ, MD, DC, FL, GA, TX, IL, CO, MI, MO and LA.

The Tequila Barrel clocks in at 93 proof and retails for $75. Double Oak Barrel is 107 proof and retails for $130.

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