9,000 Bourbon Barrels Come Crashing Down As Kentucky Storage Facility Collapses

John Sommers IIGetty Images

It was a bourbon lover’s worst nightmare.

Discovering what happened at the Barton 1792 Distillery is something that would bring down any guzzler’s spirits — so to speak.

According to Fox News, a portion of a bourbon storage facility collapsed suddenly near Louisville in Kentucky on Friday morning, leaving the other portion in danger of buckling with little support. What’s worse, as noted by Bardstown Fire Chief Bill Mattingly, more than 9,000 barrels of bourbon whiskey came crashing down.

In fact, Mattingly believes that up to 20,000 barrels might actually have collapsed as a result of the sudden mishap, but whatever the exact estimates may be, it is clear that a lot of alcohol has been lost. Fortunately, no one except the bourbon was injured in the accident.

It is not exactly known what caused the accident in the first place, but Mattingly is worried because of storm forecasts in the area. The fire chief is hoping that the bourbon can be taken care of before the storms cause a fire concern.

Moreover, there are now concerns that the bourbon whiskey might have contaminated a tributary located 250 feet downhill from the storage facility. Environmental officials have inspected the tributary for possible contamination, but have refrained from giving out their verdict. Nelson County Emergency Management spokesman Milt Spalding said the initial signs looked positive.

“We want to make sure no alcohol got into the ground or water, streams in that area. They are checking that at this time. Right now, everything looks good,” he said.

Officials were also trying to figure out the age of the warehouse and whether proper checks were carried out on its concrete foundation. Whiskey warehouses are usually wooden buildings with aluminum siding. Aerial photographs of the collapsed facility suggest that the wooden building was decades old.

Unsurprisingly, the mishap caused some hilarity on Twitter, with bourbon lovers bemoaning the waste of so many barrels of perfectly good bourbon, with some even volunteering to assist in the clearance of the mess.

“I volunteer to go help clean up the mess,” said renowned political reporter Michael Mathes.

“An unspeakable tragedy,” another person quipped.