Hidden Barn

Hidden Barn

Established in 2022, independent bottler Hidden Barn is an exciting new addition to the American whiskey landscape founded by genuine whiskey-lovers and friends Nate Winegar, Neeley Family Distillery’s Royce Neeley, and American whiskey icon Jackie Zykan. By sourcing and blending exceptional casks from independent American distilleries, Hidden Barn showcases the wide breadth of the contemporary whiskey landscape, offering small batch releases that embrace the unique nuances of each barrel in the blend.

For Royce Neeley, owner and Master Distiller of the Neeley Family Distillery, whiskey is in his bloodline—spanning eleven unbroken generations of distilling lineage dating back to the mid-1700s, when his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather immigrated to the US from Ireland with copper pot stills in tow. On the flip side of that coin, Hidden Barn’s Master Blender, Jackie Zykan, has worked with many of the country’s largest and most successful whiskey brands, most recently as former Old Forester Master Taster, earning a reputation for possessing one of the most respected palates in American whiskey for her balanced, structured approach to blending.

When Jackie first tasted Royce’s bourbon she was blown away, first noting its rich texture before realizing she could taste every step of the production process—every day spent fermenting, every day spent aging. Having worked with larger whiskey brands, she was acutely aware how the nuances of small batch production and blending are lost the larger a blend becomes, and conversely, Hidden Barn aims to celebrate how diverse the American whiskey category can be.

Each series from Hidden Barn is a collaboration with a different distillery and each series sees multiple small-batch–blend releases. Each batch consists of a small vatting of barrels—sometimes as few as three—to ensure each batch retains the character of its barrel composition.

As Hidden Barn focuses on finding the best flavors rather than blending for consistency, every batch—even those within the same series from the same distillery—will vary. Different flavor profiles encourage consumers—from the whiskey-curious to the aficionado—to explore styles and profiles of American whiskey outside of what they have come to expect from the category. Additionally, by prioritizing transparency and sharing production details, it’s easier to understand the differences between each bottle, series to series, batch to batch.

The name “Hidden Barn” nods to the bond of local communities who historically stained their barns black in solidarity with distillers during prohibition, making the illicit distilleries marked by the infamous whiskey fungus, Baudoinia compniacensis, indistinguishable from other barns. This sense of community is the legacy that lives on in Hidden Barn, a brand inspired by fellowship and a shared passion for quality whiskey.