The release of Piney Creek Bourbon Whiskey, crafted by The Bullock Distillery in Charleston, was held at a whiskey tasting event at Beckley’s Historic Black Knight municipal park.
Tickets to the tasting, which will take place from 5-8 p.m., are $35.
A portion of the proceeds will go toward the West Virginia Land Trust, which has partnered with the city of Beckley for outdoor recreation opportunities in the Piney Creek Preserve.
Set for an unveiling in September, the 613-acre Piney Creek Preserve will offer miles of recreational trails along land that was formerly used for coal mining.
Plans for the Piney Creek Preserve are being developed through a partnership with Beckley Outdoors and the land Trust, which will also have informational booths set up at the whiskey tasting.
Bullock Distillery co-owner Tighe Bullock said crafting a bourbon that supports and also features his hometown is a dream come true.
“It sounds cheesy to say this, but it really is,” Bullock said. “It’s kind of like closing the loop in some ways on what I want to do in my professional career path. I’ve always been thinking, ever since I was a kid, like how can I help Beckley and how can I help my areas, my communities. So this really is a dream come true.”
Bullock said the Piney Creek Bourbon is part of a single barrel release, which means they’ve made only 300 bottles. He added that the label for the bottle was also crafted by West Virginia artists.
A limited supply of the Piney Creek Bourbon will be available for purchase at the whiskey tasting in Beckley as well as at the Bullock Distillery in Charleston at 121 Washington St.
Bullock said people can thank his longtime friend, Beckley’s director of outdoor economic development, Corey Lilly, for helping him bring this idea to life.
“There are a lot of folks really pushing Beckley as an outdoor mecca and destination and really, really cool work they’re doing and I started thinking like, how can I help,” he said, “So we kind of came up with this Piney Creek Bourbon Whiskey idea to raise awareness, raise funds, and hopefully we get some good stuff going at the Piney Creek Preserve.”
Bullock said everything made by The Bullock Distillery is tied to West Virginia in more ways than one.
Not only are their products produced and bottled in West Virginia, but their alcohol is also proofed using Karst water from a family farm in Greenbrier County.
In the future, Bullock said he’d like to try to use water from Piney Creek as part of the proofing process.
“In the future I would like to work with the city and with the preserve on taking some water samples and potentially using them in the product,” he said. He added that their other products, which include a rye whiskey, gin, moonshine and vodka, will also be available to sample at the whiskey tasting.
“I think Black Knight has purchased pretty much our entire product line so people will have an opportunity to sample whatever they want,” Bullock said.
Beckley Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Gray Baker said the release of the Piney Creek Bourbon presents a unique opportunity for the city and helps spread the word about the work being done at the preserve.
“We’ve never had this opportunity where we’re going to be able to, with a group of people who are so committed to preservation, work along with them to make sure that the land is preserved,” Baker said.
She added that the Piney Creek Preserve will pair nicely with the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine because both areas give visitors an inside look at West Virginia’s history with coal.
“The history of that gorge is just so interesting and certainly complements what we do here at the exhibition coal mine,” Baker said.
About Bullock Distillery
Dusta Tanner, a founder and Co-Owner of The Bullock Distillery along with John and Tighe Bullock, started their business in 2017. After five years of hard work, the distillery began producing spirits and opened its doors in December 2021. Prior to this, Dusta and the Bullocks redeveloped 11 historic structures in the Elk City District of Charleston, West Virginia and to date have brought 20 new businesses and approximately 80 permanent jobs into Elk City.
For more information about The Bullock Distillery go to bullockdistillery.com.