Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners | RSHP

Concept designs unveiled for Horse Soldier Bourbon distillery masterplan

19 October 2021

RSHP are proud to announce a new 227-acre distillery masterplan project for Horse Soldier Bourbon, overlooking Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Kentucky.

Located at the heart of the site, the distillery reflects the historic 12 Horse Soldiers story throughout its design including 12 fermentation vats in perfect formation around the column still created with metal from the Statue of Liberty; a recessed water feature and stillhouse that pays homage to the Twin Towers in New York City; and a water garden that includes a replica of the America’s Response Monument located at Ground Zero along with The Everyday Heroes gallery, which honours the heroes of 9/11 and the everyday heroes in our communities.

The site will host events, festivals and concerts while shops, community rooms, a chapel, event centre, equestrian centre, and health and wellness opportunities will be available to residents, visitors, and veterans. Horse Soldier Farms will also include a luxury lodge and serve as a premier culinary destination. Visitors will experience an all-inclusive village that offers both spirits- and non-spirits-based activities.

RSHP is the lead design architect on the project working closely with EOP architects in Kentucky. Along with BRC Imagination Arts (experiential design), Kentucky firms including VITOK (engineering), Brown + Kubican (structural engineering), CRM Companies (facilities management), D.W. Wilburn Inc. (construction) and Carman (landscape and civil engineering), as well as national consulting firm CMTA (engineering).

“It is an honour to be chosen to work with the Horse Soldier Bourbon creators and partners to assist them in realising their vision for Horse Soldier Farms. This will mark a new and exciting event within the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®,” said Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead Architect of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. “We’ve begun to thread the Horse Soldier story into the wider landscape narrative and the emerging distillery design. This essentially will contain important symbolic features fundamental to what will become the Horse Soldier Farm experience. We are encouraged and excited by Horse Soldier’s ambition to create an environmentally conscious bourbon facility that will propel our team, Horse Soldier, and the bourbon industry into a new era of climate-conscious spirit production.”

“We’re honoured to reveal the vision and masterplan for Horse Soldier Farms that will become a vibrant destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail ®,” said Toby Jeavons, Associate Partner and Project architect of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. “Working with the heroic individuals, and many partners who have devoted many hours to making this dream a reality, the design reflects the storied history of the 12 Horse Soldiers.”

“RSHP is proud of the work we’ve done at the Horse Soldier distillery to design a destination for Bourbon lovers to travel from around the world to enjoy,” said John McElgunn, Partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. “Welcoming the community and visitors alike into the bourbon-making process, we created a number of opportunities to experience the Horse Soldier operations at the distillery, adding a modern staple to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and bourbon industry. We are very excited to be a part of this story.”

Speaking at a groundbreaking event for the project celebrated recently, with more than 300 people in attendance, John Koko, Horse Soldier President and CEO said, “We’re average guys. It was just our turn to do something and we are proud to be doing it in a place where our story so naturally fits. I am grateful for this partnership, one that will allow a collection of experiences centered around bourbon and community spirit to rise from the dirt shovelled today.”

Horse Soldier Bourbon will combine the best of new technology with the best of traditional distillation and maturation methods to create its premium bourbon. It will use environmentally sustainable distillation practices, clean energy and water, respecting and enhancing the biodiversity on its site, aiming to give back more than it takes through energy, water, and emissions.