My Days at Kinsey Distillery

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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:15 pm

This past Sunday my friends that watch the Kinsey site for the owner got me two good 50 gal whiskey Barrels from there that have rye mash Whiskey on the heads.and the date 1971.
Here are some pictures Fricky took of the barrels and the Old Sign from DSP-Pa12 that they also got for me. I found the sign burried in bricks from when the still was knocked down and I unearthed it so that they could bring it to their house for me to get and have Fricky restore for me. They also trimed off some extra wood and the metal that was nailed on it. It is the most historic sign from the plant as Mr Kinsey Had it put on the still when he built it. Fricky knows how to work with wood and is going to patch up the sign for me and make the two Barrels into original Looking tables for us.
Dave Z
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Kinsey sign after my Friends that watch the place got it and trimed it for me
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Here is the sign after I got it out of the pile of Bricks last year!
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The Barrels I got for me and fricky , He sent me these shots after He got them and my sign home to repair, they are dated 1971 and say Rye Mash Whiskey on their heads
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One of two barrels I had my friends get me for Fricky to restore for us
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:10 pm

I am hoping to be getting together with a man who was a Top person with Publicker Industries in the spring when he comes back to Pa. I am very excited about this as He has many industrial pictures of the Phildelphia plant and some of Kinsey and I think he said of the Cooperage plant that was in Marcus Hook pa!

He first called me from Ca mid way through Last Nov and said he was out in Ca for the Winter but said that we would get together in the Spring. He really liked what I had to say about Publicker / Continental Distilling and I am hoping he may be able to help me do some kind of Book about the Company. I was walking around Kinsey this past Sunday and found two rare Whiskey Boxes one for Glen Flag ler Scotch and one for Pinwinnie Scotch.

I also spoke to my friends that watch the place about getting a Explosion Proof Phone from one of the Warehouses that I found. They said they are going to try and remove it from the wall for me so I can save it for History.

I also was able to get Fricky a liqour Store Display uniit for Inver House Red Plaid that was brand new never used. i put it together and gave it to Fricky I have two of these and they are very rare indeed.
I will try and post some new pictures here one of these days soon. I took the lady who asked about me taking Her & Her Husband and Son through Kinsey on a 4hr tour Sunday Two weeks ago they had a great time and we saved two 100 yr old light bulbs from the Old Kinsey Bottling house out front from being smashed into dust the second floor has fallen down and most likely it will all be gone soon.


So we got two bulbs out of the Explosion Proof light bulb holders in there. These are edison type Bulbs and very cool. I also took them down back to the House by the river where Mr Bill Theodosis lived when He ran the plant.

He died at age 36 or so from a heart attack. Then the House was made into 2 apartments the first floor one being used by Mr ED Zucca and the second floor by My Thomas Holman Bryant who came up to Linfield in 1966 from Dougherty's to run the Bottling House after mr Theodosis died so suddenly.

When i worked on the Yard gang I did the lawns down there and the place was beautiful they even had an above ground swiming pool out back now the place is half fallen down sadly.

I also a few months back found something exciting to enjoy in an old wall where it sat for close to 35 to 40 yrs. I found two in great shape and very drinkable 4/5 Pints of Coldstream Guard Scotch and let me tell you it is a smooth blended Scotch. I said something to Ludy who is 90 and He said who he thought had put them there and thinks he remembers him telling him about it. They were only about 5 feet from outside but out of the light and safe and I have drank about a 1/3 of one so far. That is most likely the last of that kind of find after all these years and I am glad I found them and will keep the bottles for History they have 65 on the bottom so most likely they were filled about that time which was when we first started getting Scotchs from our Inver House plant.. They are marked Bottled in Scotland and that makes them early also as most of the Blends except Pinwinnie were bottled in the USA in the 1966 Bottling house we would bring the barrels over in one of our 10 Ships and bottle Them in Linfield Pa.
Well I will be back to write agian soon!
Kinsey Worker--Dave z
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:32 am

On tuesday I called Ludy to see how he was and he said boy am I glad to hear from you I have something to loan you. Well when I got there he had the only known of Original Auction book from the sale of Kinsey to Continental in Aug of 1940. I brought it home and here are some great shots and pictures from it.

i did the written ones in big format and pictures in small. The most amazing pictures are in it 6 in all, One being inside Old Dsp-pa-12 if you walked to the door at the back you would turn right and be in a hall with our time clock and at the end is the room with all the large Cyprus Wood mash tanks of which There was between 12 or more more. What memories this picture brought to me. Then two amazing shots of the old built fall 1933 Kinsey Bottle House one of the second floor with all kinds of rectifyers and the first floor with Mr Kinsey's Large bottling line 1940.

When Continental got things going again they used the Old Bottle house right up till the very last day they bottled Spirits in 1979 for Liquors. They had 3 bottle lines and each had Philip singer Bottle Machines.
Then there is an amazing shot of the front buildings from the back toward front showing the Still, grain process and drying buildings and silo's and boiler room and Stack.
I hope everyone enjoys these Pictures i took the booklet to a Printer and he for $46. made me 8 exact copies of it same size binding everything except the cover was brown instead of Red.

I already called the Historic Society of Limerick and told them I will give them one this Sunday afternoon. There were many more pages of Trade brands and spirits in the plant far to many to post.
This Book has really been wonderfull and I will return the original to Ludy now that I have 8 copies

One last Note the Book says there are 55,000 barrels of Aging Whiskey in the warehouses!
Kinsey Worker
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Front cover says Bankrupy sale Aug 22nd 1940 Kinsey Distillery
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First page of Auction Book
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List of what each Kinsey Warehouse held in amount of Barrels 1940
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Kinsey Trade brands for sale
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Kinsey trade brands for sale at auction
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I did these in large format so they can be read Whiskeys for sale Aug nd 1940
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Copy of Picture from 1936 Kinsey had made note Warehouse H not done but at thhis time in 1940 it was and held 20,349 barrels of Whiskey says the Book
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First floor of Kinsey Bottling house for booklet for Auction 1940 Kinsey has one big bottle line/ When Continental bought Kinsey they used the old Biottle house to do all their liquors till 1979 using 3 lines
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Second floor of the Old 1933 Kinsey Bottle house note all the rectifyers
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The only known shot inside Dsp-Pa-12. if you walked to the door, at the front, you would turn right and the time clocks we rang out at...would be on the left and then at the end was the room filled with giant Cyprus Wood fermenters.
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rare 1940 Auction book shot of the Plant showuing the Grain drying building the grain process built agianst the Dsp-pa-12 the boiler room and stack and grain silo's
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Old Kinsey Grain drying Building inside 1940
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby mozilla » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:55 am

Those are very interesting. It is impressive to see how bright and clean it was after looking at all the current pics with decay having set in.

Thanks for sharing.

What are we looking at in the DSP 12 picture? The doubler and bottom of the still?
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:06 pm

Here is a picture of the Old Bottle house from last winter first floor. Here are a couple of Pictures today to compare with the new shots of the Old Bottle house from 1940. It makes me sad everytime I see it in ruin.
I remember well walking in there when it operating to clean the floors and see the Old Philip Singer Bottle machines cranking Liquors out.

I was amazed how many trade brands Kinsey had everything from real Peach brandy to a Whiskey Called Pop Corn. Please compare these pictures to the Old ones back earlier this morning. Pictures from the Booklet.
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Old anatonic Tank first floor back and Cathonic tank far right
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An Old Whiskey Blender laying at the far back of the building
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Looking front to the road the old bottle house
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The Old Kinsey bottle house this past fall just before the second floor fell down
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:06 am

Looking through my Copy of the Auction Book from 1940 of Kinsey here is a List of some of the Equipment that was in DSP-Pa.-12
1. Lot # 234 1 Copper Low Wine tank No.1 Covered Capacity 328 gal - 7.81 gal per inch with two visible flow Boxes, 1 valve Box with 9 asst. valves and intermediate Copper Pipe.
2. Lot # 235 1 steel Malt Mixer NO.1 Capacity 1,822 gal equiped with with Agitator driven by Howel 5 HP. Red Band Motor.
3. Lot # 236 1 Copper Redoubling Still NO.1 Capacity 6,750 gal. 2 sections with 3 coils, 2 release valves on top, 3 gate valves on side and 2 outlet valves underneath with
Taylor Thermometer and 2 glass gauges.
4. Lot # 238 1 steel Mash tube NO.1 Capacity 10, 072 gal. covered. 2" copper coils inside equiped with agitator driven by Howell 60 HP. Red Band Self Starting induction Motor.
5. 12 Wood fermenting Tubs 2" wood Staves, Iron Hooped with Iron Coils, inside Capacity each 8,935 1/2 Gal 55 1/2 gal per inch Nos. 1 to 12.

Back when I worked At Kinsey #1 Fermenter was full of fish put there in the water it was filled with by the guys that worked there once it was not used anymore and we would toss loaves of bread into it and watch them jump up to get the fish. We rang out at the time clock which was right beside the fermenter tubs.

This gives you an Idea what Jacob G Kinsey Had going back in the post Prohibition days when he reopended his Distillery in late 1933!

Also Here are some of the brands Trade names up for sale back then that belonged to Mr Kinsey
1. Phil Penn Whiskey
2. Grand Slam Whiskey
3. Spellmans Coronation Whiskey
4. G.O. Blake's Whiskey
5. Beacon Hill Whiskey
6. Marimore Whiskey
7. Georgia Cracker Whiskey
8. Pop Corn Whiskey
9. Belle Of Florida Whiskey
10. Sonora Club Whiskey
11. Royal Dixie Whiskey

And there are Lots more such as Rums, Brandies Wines and Liquors.
Kinsey Worker
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:45 pm

I have been very excited about my Continental Distilling 50 gal whiskey barrel back in late Oct last yr my friends who watch Kinsey got me and Fricky each a Barrel I went with them and picked out the two very best ones both from 1971 the last yr I worked for Kinsey!

Well today Fricky delivered my totally restored 1971 Whiskey from "Rye Mash" barrel and it is so amazing i am posting the pictures Fricky took when we first got them and Pictures I took now that he has restored them it took him many months of Hard work but they are very Beautiful and fixed that they will never fall apart. and Here are the pictures #2 the way they looked when Fricky took a picture of them last fall #1 done at my House.

Well here they are the product of many long hard hours of Fricky's work and they are now safe and preserved. Mine will go to the Limerick Historic Society when I am gone so that it will be around for many people to see for many yrs after I am gone!

It is funny when I got mine home Fricky brought it I sudenly thought these are from early 1971 I may have rolled one these to be racked when it was filled way back then.

When the weeds go down this fall I will be back looking for pieces of History again from Kinsey its memories will be remembered as long as I live.
Kinsey Worker --- Dave
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Barrel sanding at my house
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Last fall the day after Fricky took them home this is how they looked after sitting in Warehouse C for 38 years! They still were strong enough for the guys to bring them out of the plant in a Back Hoe in the bucket!
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Both Barrels finished and sitting at Fricky's yesterday mine is the one on the right
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Closeup of Barrel Head
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Head of Barrel I have thought about this and it hit me being the both barrels are from 1971 I may well have rolled them when they were full
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby mozilla » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:01 am

Dave,
I can't figure out the DSP that is listed on the head? What was the DSP for Phili?

Also, I see on the bottom right of the barrel head it states that it is a 48 gallon barrel. Is that correct?

Nice work on restoring those old barrels.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:16 am

Jeff,
They were 48 gal. My mistake, as we had some 50 gal ones also and 120 gal and even 320 gal at the end! :ohcrap:
The Writting is DSP # 1...then a B. and Phila.

It is so long ago my mind is not sure but that is what it says. Also It says Whisky instead of Whiskey as they did that with different Products and all Scotchs were marked Whisky! And below from Rye Mash.
90% of the barrels that were there were the 48 Gal style and that is what the racks were set for in the Old Warehouses for sure. Sorry about that. :)

They are awesome barrels and it is such a shame for the rest of them rotting there. I will ask Ludy about the B on the stencil.

Old Hickory was always whisky, while Hallers was spelled Whiskey...most likely a marketing thing to make them different. I know that from my collection of Bottles and cases of Labeled Bottles.
Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:29 am

This Morning I was thinking back to something that amazed me in the early Spring this year. The Front Door was sealed on Explosion Proof Warehouse P. So, I went around the back and found the fire escape door open, so, I went up to the second floor fire escape porch and the door into the wall was open.

As soon as I walked in...the strong smell of Whiskey hit me. :D And as I walked across the floor with my flashlight I saw what looked like a puddle so I walked over to it. It was a cool humid day and when I got to the area I found that it was whiskey coming up out of the floor from all the years of it dripping there.

The smell right away took me back in the day when this great smell was an everyday thing; as walking in the warehouses back then was like walking into a Whiskey vaporiser. I well remember the heavy blue clouds when we would go in, around the sealed lights.

Those were happy days and I very much enjoyed working there. I was thinking back to some of the names of people there back then and what they did.
Here are a few:

1. Cal Roberts - Fire Chief in the plant
2. Harry Martin - Ast Fire Chief
3. Francis Kiem ( Ace ) - Worked on the Old Dsp-Pa 12 still till spring 1951then when I worked there was a Leaderman in the warehouse Gangs
4. Dickie Piehfer - plant Maintaince kept all the cars and trucks going in a little space beteewn Old Kinsey Warehouse A/B and The Dsp-pa 10 Rye Still barn
5. Frank Kurtus Plant Maintaince man
6. Harrison Tyson - ( Shorty ) Plant Maintaince
7. Harold Ludolph - ( Ludy ) - Turns 91 in Sept Maintaince man, Copper, Whiskey Blender, Bottling machine repair man and much more. Worke there from 1936 through 1980!
8. Darwin Raysor - ( Jack ) - my best warehouse gang boss - Leaderman
9. John Zuber my first Boss there on the Yard Gang and a great guy!
10.Al Landis and His Son Ken both good friends
11. Bonda Bergy - Plant traffic manager - Loved a good Bourbon or Rye Whiskey!
12. Al Rhoads - My Old friend from warehouse Days
13. Lou Steffy - Plant Maintaince man
14. Charlie Siepler - Kept plant buildings in good shap had an Old Model A Ford Frame with a 100 horse Power Ford Flat head to power it, put in by Dickie, and a wood bed on the back, no hood, fenders or windshield and an old Chair bolted on the floor to sit and drive it. He would light up the tires every morning...it was one of my favorite things to watch Charlie come roaring out of the first floor of the old grain drying Building around the old silo, hitting second gear going sideways then on the road and out of sight...smoke pouring out of his corn cob Pipe. :lol:

And there are many more I will remeber some time in the future...most of the people worked there at least 20 + yrs when I was there!
Kinsey Worker - Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby mozilla » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:21 am

That's sounds like a real friendly place to work.

How long was your work day back then?
How far away was the cities fire dept, in case y'all had trouble that you couldn't handle?
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:02 pm

Back when I worked at Kinsey The Linfield Fire House was not even a half a mile away! And they did fire drills once a month with the fire company mostly at the Old Still and wood and brick Warehouses for the drills.

We worked only first shift in the Plant 8 Hours a day 5 days a week Monday Through Friday! The big Bottling House ran two shifts a day Monday Through Friday 8 hours.

We also had our Union Meetings at the Old Fire House and Walt Harrington our Union Steward was always selling fire house tickets too!
We had a 10 min Break in the morning a half Hour Lunch and a 10 min. break in the afternoon and we caught the truck to the front of the plant about 10 to 15 min before quiting time as it was a long walk if you missed the truck.

Mike Zuno was the driver of the Old 1953 Dodge and we would climb on the bed in the back and ride to the front of the plant to the Old Dsp-Pa 12 still our time clock was in there and also the one fermenter near the time clock was full of Large Fish from the river some of the guys had put in after the tank had been filled with water when they shut the still down for good.

I remember well seeing giant Carp and suckers in there and we would toss loaves of bread in and the Fish would jump high to get the bread it was funny as heck for me when I first worked there seeing that!

I loved the Old Still DSP-Pa 12 Building and wish I would have got back in there a few years sooner so I could have got some great inside shots in there before it was knocked down sadly

During Morning breaks some times we would roll dice for a nickel a shot. On Fridays some of us would go with the Company Man Gus Niarhos who was a former Major League Baseball player for the Yanks, Phils,Boston Sox and other teams back in the day. He worked at Kinsey in the Winter and managed minor League baseball in the Summer then. If we went with him on a Friday for lunch we would drive 6 miles to Spring City to an Irish bar and drink beer and sometimes get back late but if we did Gus took care of it!

Gus was funny as heck and I can still see Him driving an old Desoto around the Plant chewing Tobbaco and drinking from a pint bottle. He told us many a story about the baseball years and I asked him Gus why did you get only a few times to Play and he said because if you have Yogie Berra as number 1 and Elston Howard as Number 2 there is nothing left for you but the bench and then he said Zig I got a sore ass from baseball!
Kinsey worker - Dave
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Here is a picture of my Old Friend Gus Niarhos I never thought to get him to sign the American League ball he gave me but I have fond memories of working for him at Kinsey, He lived in Phoenixville, Pa at that time
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:54 am

Sunday after Noon I went Back to Kinsey and got a couple of Picutres of the black incoming Bottling house tank area below are pictures of the inside area which I crawled through a broken gate to get. I climbed the stair case that goes up to the cat walks a bit and got a shot arcoss the 2 foot ball field long roof.

I want to talk to one of the Engineers at work to find out why these tanks had a tar cover over the stainless as the two big 1/2 million gal tanks mid plant did not or any other outside tanks. The stair case was still very strong but I do not like things to high and did not want to be seen so did not go all the way up to the cat walks.

I hope you all ennjoy these pictures I have some other ones I took Sunday I will post later
Kinsey Worker
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Looking at the Big Black tanks from a distance weeds are taking everything over you can barely see the tops
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Inside the tank piping
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Looking through Tank porthole
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Tank Gauging Meter
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Metal plate on Incoming stainless steel tank says Piersol Pine who was a local company that did work for Continental all through the years. Also dated 1965 the year the bottling house was being built from what was a 2 foot ball field long Warehouse
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Looking through tunnel on bottom of tank platform before I climbed the stair case up to the top end of the tanks
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Sign on Tank with capasity
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Cat walk high above me to tops of black incooming Spirits tanks
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From 3/4 of the way up the staircase to the cat walks looking arcross the roof of the 1966 Bottling house
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looking up at incoming tanks which are stainless Steel coated with tar
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Looking down the stair case from half way up
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Climbing the stairs for the Cat walk for the incoming Tanks for the 1966 Bottling house
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:56 pm

When I was bumped from the Yard Gang at Kinsey I went into the Warehouses, we had gangs of 3 to 4 men plus a Lead Man. There were about 8 gangs and we dumped lots of Whiskey those days Hundreds of Barrels. We also racked Barrels and filled barrels with whiskey shipped in by one of Publickers Tankers! The Two big Tanks in the middle of the Plant could each hold 1/2 a million gals of whiskey ready to be sent to Bottling and in the Big bottle House we had 11 lines running from 7:00-AM till Midnight 5 days a week. The Bottle house was the Biggest of that time 2 football fields long.

Around 500 people worked in two shifts in the Big bottle House and we also used the Old Kinsey Bottle house to make Liqours such as Our Famour Peanut Liqour " Peanut Lolilta " I just wish some one would find a way to Make Peanut Liqour again it is awesome stuff, I still have a couple of Cases of it and drink it all the time! It was made with straight Bourbon and Peanut Flavor.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Leopold » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:13 pm

This is all just TOO MUCH. How was the Peanut Liquor consumed? Straight? On the rocks? Or were there cocktails for it? Was sugar added to the bourbon and peanut flavor? Was it bourbon colored?

Man. You need to write a book about this!
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