Lambert Willet was the superintendent of the newly renovated Max Selliger & Co. Distillery, and his son A.L. Thompson Willett was assistant superintendent. Shortly after, Thompson Willett left to build the Willett Distilling Company and on 17th March, 1936 produced its first batch of 300 bushels (~30 barrels). The whiskey was stored in one of the eight warehouses each capable of holding between 5,000–6,000 barrels (total capacity 48,623 barrels). The warehouses were built on some of the highest ground in the county, assuring that a fresh breeze would aid in the maturation of the whiskey. The Willett Distilling Company continued to operate and on 1st July 1984, Even G. Kulsveen, son-in-law to Thompson Willett, purchased the property and formed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., which Even’s family runs today. By law, Bourbon must be made up of at least 51% corn and be aged a minimum of two years in a new charred white oak barrel, standards that were pioneered by early Bourbon makers such as Evan Williams and Rev. Elijah Craig. The name derives from the creek which runs through the distillery grounds. The creek itself is named after John Rowan, a 19th century politician and jurist from Kentucky.
Initially, the bouquet is sweet with a hint of peach and fresh poached pears. All in all, there is a slight woody character to the aroma but not overbearing and the oak scents are not prevalent, but a faint minty scent underlies the entire experience. The palate shows a clove-like spiciness starts at the middle and soon gives way to the delicious aged caramel and oak flavours as the bourbon then finally shines through and the initial bite subsides, nutty savoury notes on the finish.