Our 26-foot continuous copper still was handmade by Vendome Copper and Brass, the largest still manufacturer in the world, headquartered right here in Louisville, Kentucky.
As one of the largest producers of copper stills, fermenters, cookers, condensers, and other distillation machinery, Vendome Copper and Brass Works remains a household name within the bourbon industry since about 1910. The company proved to be a success under the ownership of Elmore Sherman, manufacturing for many of the largest distilleries in Kentucky, the United States, and companies worldwide.
Though Prohibition halted the majority of the production for the company during the 1920s, Vendome found ways to work with the market. Elmore Sherman Jr. took over the business in the 1950s, followed later by his sons Thomas and Richard Sherman in 1974. In the 1980s, Vendome became an international name. They were inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2005 and recently began focusing on the growth of craft distilling and molding with the changing market.
Kentucky Peerless is said to have a shared history with the roots of Vendome. As Peerless founder Henry Kraver closed his distillery due to the impending Prohibition, he searched for the best welder and stumbled upon Elmore Sherman. Sherman brought his wife and kids to Henderson in 1917. He hired a team and dismantled Kraver’s equipment, sending it on a train to Vancouver, British Columbia. Sherman was paid a sum large enough that he was able to open Vendome with Kraver’s payment and other saved funds.
Vendome remains in close proximity to Peerless, only a mile and a half from the distillery’s front door. Vendome constructed the 18-tray column still within the distillery, a 26-foot copper structure, 14 inches in diameter with an 18-inch base. They also manufactured the high-low wine tank, cooker, fermenters, beer well, gauging tank, mingling tank, and much of the process piping.