Established in 2022, Hidden Barn is an exciting new addition to the American whiskey landscape founded by four genuine whiskey-loving friends including Neeley Family Distillery’s Royce Neeley and American whiskey icon Jackie Zykan.
For Royce Neeley, owner and Master Distiller of the Neeley Family Distillery, whiskey is in his bloodline—spanning eleven generations. An unbroken lineage of distilling dates back to the mid-1700s when his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, James John Neeley, immigrated to the US from Ireland with copper pot stills and some valuable whiskey know-how.
Known for having one of the most respected palates in American Whiskey, former Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan’s approach to blending focuses on balance, structure, and celebrating the unique nuances of each whiskey blend.
Operating out of different Kentucky distilleries, Hidden Barn derives its name from the bond of the local communities. Though they might not call it by name, the people of Kentucky are all too familiar with Baudoinia compniacensis. This naturally occurring microflora has an appetite for the airborne alcohol produced by distillation, collecting on any nearby surfaces and dotting them with signature black spots. At a time when distilling was a punishable offense, barns stained by these spots were a dead giveaway to anyone looking to bust up a distilling operation.
Kentuckians have been known to stand together, and throughout the state, you’ll see evidence of community members staining their barns black in solidarity, making these distilling barns indistinguishable from any others. This sense of community is the legacy that lives on in Hidden Barn Whiskey, a brand inspired by fellowship and a shared passion for quality whiskey.