Legacy of ‘The Duke’ coming to O.Z. Tyler Distillery


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) A western Kentucky distillery with a lot of history is adding the history and legacy of one of America’s most well-liked actors.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery will open its new Duke Tasting Room and John Wayne Experience in Owensboro next year. 

He’s known for roles in legendary movies.

“True Grit,” says Jacob Call, Master Distiller for O.Z. Tyler Distillery. “I don’t know. I like his attitude and demeanor, I guess.”

“I love Big Jake. I loved war movies, The Sands of Iwo Jima,” adds Chris Radomski, founder of Duke Spirits. But many didn’t know John Wayne had a bourbon recipe.

“It was discovered by his son, Ethan, about 15 years ago. He shared it with me 12 years ago,” Radomski recalled. “We had the original blended bottles, we had evidence of the mash mills and all this, and what he was doing. So, we sought out to see if we could replicate it.”

It became Duke Spirits, who is partnering with O.Z. Tyler on a new tasting room and John Wayne Experience opening next April. Some of Wayne’s memorabilia will be displayed. 

“It gives people another opportunity to get to see something different at the distillery. There’s not too much John Wayne memorabilia floating around, so this is a great opportunity for people to see some of that legendary history from John Wayne,” says Call.

O.Z. Tyler already partners with duke on some of their products.

“I think he would’ve loved it. I think he would have been super proud,” says Jennifer Wayne, who is a member of the country music act, Runaway June, and John Wayne’s granddaughter.

“I get all the stories from my mom and grandmother. He was a family man, so nice, always made time for everybody, just down to Earth,” she recalled. She says the partnership would add to the brand bearing her grandfather’s nickname, and reflect what he was like off-screen.

“He played a cowboy in movies, but he’d like to dress up and look nice. I think he would’ve been proud,” Jennifer says.

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(This story was originally published on November 20, 2019)

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