Corky Taylor – 4th Generation Chairman and CEO


Corky Taylor

4th Generation

Chairman and CEO, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.


Roy M. “Corky” Taylor III was born into a military family where he spent his early childhood surfing the shores of Hawaii. His father, Lieutenant Colonel Roy Taylor Jr., also known as “Ace,” was stationed there. After Ace’s retirement, the Taylors moved back to their hometown, Henderson, Kentucky. Corky’s Great-Grandfataher and Founder of the original KY Peerless Distillery, Henry Kraver, first planted roots there. Not long after, Corky attended Castle Heights Military Academy where he roomed with two boys who would come to be known as the Allman brothers.

After completing his college degree at Murray State University on a golf scholarship and marrying his wife Jamia, they had three children: Shane, Kendi and Carson. He took on diverse roles in businesses such as car dealerships, restaurants and insurance, but Corky was notably the Founder, President and CEO of BENCOR Inc., a financial services company that specialized in pension plans. BENCOR was “the definition of an industry leader,” stated Mark Skinner, U.S. Retirement Partners President and CEO upon the business’ sale in 2009.

Retirement, though, was not in the cards for Corky. His character would not allow it. After an already accomplished career, Corky and his son Carson set out to resurrect their family legacy: they started from the ground up and revived the Kentucky Peerless brand. They spent countless hours poring over family history to bring their heritage back in a strong, respectful way.

Corky’s great-grandfather was an innovator in the bourbon world, and Corky did not take the responsibility of reviving Peerless’ name lightly. When the family-owned brand was reestablished, he patiently waited for the Peerless whiskey to age, knowing he wanted to produce his own whiskey under his own roof. Peerless Rye Whiskey was the first to be introduced in 2017 and was immediately recognized nationwide. Then, as the Peerless Bourbon was released for the first time in over 100 years in 2019, it was named Best Kentucky Bourbon in the World Whiskies Awards. Since then, Corky has never let quality suffer to quantity. The purpose of Peerless was to live up to the standards his great-grandfather set in 1889.

Defined by integrity and honest work, Corky’s accomplishments are awarded to a deserving man – one that has worked and struggled and strived and succeeded. His incredible success does not overshadow his character. He continues his goodwill in supporting his local community in both Louisville and Henderson, Kentucky. His personality shines as he happily and excitedly greets customers visiting the distillery. When you meet Corky Taylor, you make a friend for life.