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For the fifth consecutive year, Kentucky Bourbon distillers filled more than two million barrels of whiskey, with total production reaching 2.7 million barrels in 2022, a 3 percent increase over 2021. The state also recorded new milestones of 12.6 million barrels of maturing whiskey inventory valued at $6.7 billion, according to data released by the Kentucky Distillers Association.
The data is based on annual reports all distillers file with the Kentucky Department of Revenue detailing their inventories as of January 1. The report also shows the state’s distillers paid a 30 percent increase in barrel taxes to more than $50 million.
The barrel taxes have been a source of controversy for many years. Essentially, it is an inventory tax that funds local schools and government functions. Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed legislation to gradually phase out the tax over 20 years while protecting funding for schools, fire departments, and EMS districts.