SOMERSET, Ky. – Horse Soldier Bourbon plans to create more than 50 jobs with a new $ 200 million tourism development project that will bring bourbon and tourism dollars to Pulaski County.

Horse Soldier Bourbon is an award-winning, ultra-premium brand of bourbon founded by retired members of the United States Special Forces – the first to enter Afghanistan, on horseback, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The detachment hand-picked The Green Berets later became known as “Horse Soldiers,” and their story was told in the 2018 action drama film “12 Strong”.

Never satisfied, the Horse Soldiers embarked on a new mission in 2014 to make history once again, this time by creating a world-leading ultra-premium bourbon brand.

Since then, Horse Soldier Bourbon has expanded its brand state by state, while developing a long-term investment plan to create a world-class distillery experience in Somerset-Pulaski County. The Horse Soldier team were training on the Cumberland River on September 11, 2001, when the call came to defend our nation in its darkest hours. Today, 20 years later, they are coming home.

Horse Soldier Bourbon is delighted to begin this new phase of work with the local community of Somerset and Pulaski County. We understand both the importance of building a good team and the value of finding a home, ”said John Koko, CEO of Horse Soldier Bourbon. “From the mountains of Afghanistan to the rolling hills of Kentucky, there is one thing we have seen time and time again: You are as good as the company you keep.

Horse Soldier Bourbon is currently distilled in Columbus, Ohio. The company will move its operations to the new distillery campus in Somerset once the project is completed. The distillery will complement Lake Cumberland as a leading off-water attraction in Somerset, adding to the region’s thriving tourism industry which receives nearly 5 million visitors per year.

Horse Soldier Farms will be Southeast Kentucky’s first distillery experience and serve as the southern gateway to Kentucky’s legendary Bourbon Trail. The Somerset-Pulaski County Distillery Project will consist of a 27,585 square foot distillery visitor center; 4,600 square foot activity center; amphitheater with a capacity of 5,000 people; Outdoor event space with a capacity of 500 people; an adventure center; 3,200 square foot wedding chapel; Luxury lodge with 60 keys and 20 cabins; and a trading village.

On the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Horse Soldier Farms LLC has received approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority for incentives totaling more than $ 29.9 million for the new distillery project. Through the Tourism Development Act, eligible Kentucky businesses can receive an annual refund of taxes paid on eligible tourism development projects.

On October 19, Horse Soldier Bourbon will hold a private dedication ceremony in Somerset to mark the 20e anniversary of the team’s integration in Afghanistan.

For more information on Horse Soldier Bourbon, visit

Click here for more information on Bourbon Flight.