Very Olde St Nick brand president, Marci Palatella has been sourcing barrels and bottling them for several decades. She was Julian Van Winkle III’s agent in the Japanese market in the 1980 and 1990s, and devised the Very Olde St Nick brand to capitalize on the Japanese demand for well-aged bourbon, which fortuitously was not popular in the US. Her first bottles were produced for her by Van Winkle at his Old Commonwealth bottling facility in the late 1980s.
At this time however, Van Winkle did not have a wealth of aged stock in his warehouses, and Palatella instead turned to Evan Kulsveen’s Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), who bottled Olde St Nick throughout the 1990s and early 2000s at the then-silent Willett distillery in Bardstown. KBD sourced most of their barrels from neighbours, Heaven Hill, although Kulsveen had joked in the past that their warehouses contained bourbon from every distillery in Kentucky except his own. Van Winkle was not finished with the Very Olde St Nick story however, and put Palatella in touch with representatives at United Distillers who sold InterBev a number of ageing casks that they no longer had any interest in. Much of this was placed into a steel tanks and warehoused in California to prevent any further maturation.
When KBD fired up the still at Willett again in 2012, they began sourcing less casks from elsewhere, reserving the best stock for their own Willett Family Reserve label. Essentially cut off, the production of Very Olde St Nick moved to California where some of the tanked Stitzel-Weller casks were bottled by Frank-Lin Distillers.
In 2018, Palatella opened the Preservation Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. A small craft-distillery operating a pot still, its produces only a few barrels each day. The bottling of Very Olde St Nick now takes places there, and will eventually contain the distillery’s own whiskey.
This 20 year old barrel strength bourbon was bottled by KBD and exported to Japan.