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Our History

Explore Our History

The Bullock Distillery was organized in 2017 by Dusta Tanner, John Bullock, and Tighe Bullock when the trio remodeled the historic building at 121 Washington Street, West, Charleston, West Virginia.

First Settlers

Dusta and the Tanner family have a long history of making moonshine in Roane County, West Virginia.  In 1812, Samuel Tanner, settled his family under the rock cliff that can still be seen today below the Spencer Middle School.  He was the first settler of Spencer, West Virginia and donated land for the County Courthouse.

Moonshine Under the Rock

Family tradition tells of him making Moonshine under the rock shelter and selling to travelers moving westward to settle new lands. Through the generations, the Tanners have continued their interest in the distillation of spirits.

Tanner’s Select Bourbon

Dusta Tanner, a founder and Co-Owner of The Bullock Distillery along with John and Tighe Bullock, started their business in 2017. After five years of hard work, the distillery began producing spirits and opened its doors in December 2021. Prior to this, Dusta and the Bullocks redeveloped 11 historic structures in the Elk City District of Charleston, West Virginia and to date have brought 20 new businesses and approximately 80 permanent jobs into Elk City. 
This 6-Year bourbon is named in honor of the Tanner family of Roane County, West Virginia. Born and raised in Roane County, Co-Owner Dusta Tanner is an eighth-generation descendant of Samuel Tanner, the first settler in Spencer, West Virginia in 1812. Samuel established a home for himself and his family in a cave, under the cliffs where Spencer Middle School now stands and where the State of West Virginia has placed a historical marker. This cave is memorialized on the back label of the Tanner’s Select Bourbon.
His large family has prospered in Roane County and has spread to Kanawha, Jackson, and other surrounding counties. Mr. Tanner would be very pleased knowing that he was being honored with the Tanner’s Select Bourbon. If you know that you are a descendant of Samuel Tanner, raise your glass to him in honor of the risk he took in settling his family in the new frontier of America.
Tanner's Select Bourbon Whiskey

During the barrel selection of our Bourbon Batch #2, one barrel was determined to be superior to all others. Dusta secured that barrel for the bottling of Tanner’s Select.

Dusta and The Bullock Distillery are pleased to bring you this outstanding 6-Year Single Barrel Bourbon – Tanner’s Select. Tanner’s Select was released for sale by The Bullock Distillery on Friday, November 10th, 2023.

The label was designed by Royce Tanner – also an eighth-generation descendant of Samuel Tanner. Royce, a very talented artist, is also Dusta’s sister, as well as the Sales Manager at The Bullock Distillery.

Additional Tasting Notes include caramel and rye-forward flavors with hints of pepper and oak.  There’s a beautiful nutty and baking spice finish with hazelnut, walnut, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

 

Tanner’s Select TS-2 – $75.00 plus tax

Family History

Father and Son team, John and Tighe Bullock, also have a long family history of spirits making.  Their story begins in Robeson County, North Carolina, where their ancestor, tobacco farmer and Revolutionary War Captain Charles Bullock, operated his still.

Written family records show that this still was passed from father to son through numerous generations.  Moonshine and Brandy made from the still were sold locally as a source of cash for Mother Bullock to be spent at Christmas.

Production and sales from the still became secretive in the period of Prohibition.  But the tradition of making Moonshine in southeast North Carolina remains very strong.

Gaspar Leblanc (pictured to the right), great-grandfather of Tighe Bullock, was a French Canadian soldier. Gaspar was known to distill in his basement, much to the chagrin of his wife who tossed firecrackers in ire over her lack of invitation. Gaspar is the inspiration behind The Bullock Distillery’s Leblanc Vodka, a French-inspired vodka distilled from grapes.

Bullock Distillery founder

The Bullock Distillery’s
French Inspired                                                                                         Leblanc Vodka

Arborfield Farm, Greenbrier County, WV

The Bullock Distillery sources its Karst Water from Bullock Spring in Greenbrier County, WV, located at the base of Falling Spring Mountain. This Karst Water is used in The Bullock Distillery’s mash, as well as in the proofing of the final spirits. It is estimated that up to 25% of the world’s population derives water from Karst sources.

This Karst Water originates by percolating through the calcium carbonate (CaCo3) limestone. At the Bullock Spring, the limestone purifies the water and contributes unique minerals. Testing shows that water from the Bullock Spring is among the cleanest, naturally occurring water in North America.

In Greenbrier County, calcium carbonate was formed in the Mississippi Epoch (358.9 MYA to 323.2 MYA), part of the Carboniferous Period (358.9 MYA to 298.8 MYA).

During the Mississippian Epoch, shallow seas covered North America and life flourished – fish, mollusks, crinoids (fossils of which are in the shadow box nearby) and others. As these animals died, their bones and shells fell to the bottom of the shallow seas and consolidated to form what would become calcium carbonate limestone.

Karst Water is what gives our spirits their unique clean, mellow taste.