James E. Pepper Whiskey Established in 1776, at the dawn of the American Revolution, and distilled over 3 family generations through 1958, the Pepper family brand of whiskey is the oldest & most legendary whiskey brand in both Kentucky and American history. Starting with Elijah Pepper (distiller c. 1776-1838) and then Oscar Pepper (distiller 1838-1867), the Colonel James E. Pepper (distiller 1867-1906) was the 3rd generation of that distilling legacy. He was a larger than life bourbon aristocrat and took the family brand to it's highest peak. A KY captain of American industry, he raced thoroughbreds in the Kentucky Derby, traveled in a private rail car & made famous the "Old-Fashioned" cocktail. He nicknamed his whiskey "Old 1776" and proudly proclaimed his continued use of his grandfather's original Revolutionary-era recipes.