top of page

History in a Bottle

the story of 1861 distillery began with a train and descendants of bootleg whiskey makers.

Since its beginning, 1861 Distillery has produced a bourbon as distinct as its story—one founded in legacy, steeped in history and flavored by a slower pace of life. Our bourbon celebrates friendship and the founding of a railroad that brought luxury to one of the South’s most distinct settings.


Pre- and Post-Civil War physicians often recommended the natural pine air of Thomasville, Georgia for its restorative properties. The construction of a railroad with Thomasville as its terminus brought a new life to this distinct town. With the railroad’s opening and the end of the war, farms became exclusive family hunting plantations and the downtown became a bustling core surrounded by resorts and Victorian architecture.

Today, the tradition continues.


A new generation has discovered the incredible shops, dining and excursions centered around Thomasville’s historic corridor while many of the same families that purchased plantations in the 1860’s still return annually for hunting. It is this valuing of the finer things in life, together with an appreciation for nature, that first inspired our founders.


Thomasville is situated above one of the world’s most pristine limestone aquifers. The sweet, pure water it creates provides the basis for a bourbon that we distill through the slowest process possible. Though it takes longer, we believe the quality is worth it.


Our founders began their distilling process as friends, gathered around a fire at the end of a long day, accompanied by a smooth bourbon and long conversation. The luxury of pausing to appreciate their surroundings was as valuable to our process as the luxury of distilling a finer bourbon.


Today, our commitment to a slow distilling process and true ingredients sets 1861 Distillery’s family of bourbons apart. It is this commitment that we believe made Thomasville worth visiting just as much today as it was in 1861.

Slow down. Enjoy. Experience 1861.


The Process

We believe there is beauty in inefficiency—finding perfection in the imperfect.

Our spirits are distilled slowly, resonating with the flavors of our region and our slower pace of life.


A story that began with two friends gathering around a fire to enjoy whiskey has grown into a family of spirits that draws on our region, our collective story and the purest ingredients to create unforgettable flavors.


Our spirits take longer to produce, but we believe they are worth the wait.


Cocktails & Food

A handcrafted spirit is something to be appreciated slowly, discerning its flavors, enjoying the company of friends and family. Our spirits celebrate friendship and the opening of a railroad that brought luxury to one of the South’s most distinct settings. Our tasting room embraces life in the slow lane. We invite you to slow down. Enjoy. Experience 1861. 



Our award winning spirits are made to be enjoyed.

smoked cherry malt bourbon

Tasting Notes Here:


shine shed bourbon

Tasting Notes Here:


Slow down. Enjoy. Experience 1861.
bottom of page