GSN Review: The Read House’s 150th Anniversary J.W. Kelly Limited Edition Double Oaked Straight Bourbon Whiskey

J.W. Kelly & Co. and The Read House collaborated this year to celebrate the hotel’s 150th anniversary with the release of a Limited-Edition Single Barrel Double Oaked Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The Cask Strength Whiskey is 114.8 proof and was hand-selected in February at J.W. Kelly’s Rickhouse in Chattanooga. This is not the first partnership for the two companies, J.W. Kelly & Co. and The Read House began working together in 1890, when J.W. Kelly purchased and operated The Read House’s bar and billiards room, and two years later, leased the hotel’s Cigar Stand.

Originally opened on January 1, 1872, The Read House celebrates being the longest continuously operating hotel in the Southeast in 2022. “The J.W. Kelly Distillery was once located across the street from The Read House, so it is fitting that we commemorate our 150th anniversary with a limited-edition single barrel whiskey pick. We look forward to sipping this delicious whiskey with our guests, residents and whiskey fans,” says Jim Bambrey, General Manager of The Read House.

The Read House’s 150th Anniversary J.W. Kelly Limited Edition Double Oaked Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a single barrel select pick from barrels that are five to eight years old, then transferred into a new American oak barrel and aged for another 8 to 12 months. Each bottle number of this single barrel is hand-written on the label. The Read House will also feature the whiskey for guests to enjoy at the hotel’s restaurant, Bridgeman’s Chophouse and at their Bar & Billiards Room. To celebrate the occasion, The Read House has created the One Fifty Cocktail featuring their J.W. Kelly Single Barrel Bourbon, Orange Curacao, Campari, Fresh Lemon Juice and Absinthe Bitters.

The Read House has established itself as the premier historic hotel in downtown Chattanooga and has hosted prominent individuals including Oprah Winfrey, Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ronald Reagan, and Al Capone. The Read House unveiled a $28 million renovation in October 2018, featuring 1920s-inspired design and decor coupled with an experience of grandeur and opulence from the era. Unique experiences such as guests greeted by bellmen in top hats and servers in flapper attire, were intentionally incorporated as the hotel collaborated with historians and architects to recreate a modern version of the property’s 1926 stateliness. 

About J.W. Kelly & Co.

J.W. Kelly’s signature batch distillation process stands the test of time. After his long journey from Ireland in 1863, Kelly created the best American whiskey of his era in 1866 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kelly’s use of old-world pot distillation and custom mixture of corn, malted rye, and barley helped create the brand’s unique blend of five, six and eight-year-old barrels. Today, J.W. Kelly’s whiskeys are distilled in 3,000-gallon pot stills to enrich the characteristics of his whiskey. The company’s portfolio includes Old Milford Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Old Milford Double Oaked Single Barrel Select, Melrose Rye finished in Amarone Italian wine casks, and Golden Age Straight Rye Whiskey. Visit for more information. 

About The Read House

Originally built in 1872 and renovated in 2018, The Read House is a premier historic hotel located in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Operated by Avocet Hospitality, the 241-room hotel is the longest continuously operating hotel in the Southeast, celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2022. The 1920s-inspired gem features Jazz-era interiors with modern tastes and offers accommodation options of a tower room, manor room or penthouse. Dashing event and meeting spaces, plus upscale dining destinations, provide an elevated guest experience. The Read House is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and has received accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, TripAdvisor and ConventionSouth, among others. The hotel has been featured in Forbes and Garden & Gun. To learn more about the hotel, visit

GSN’s Remarks: A rock solid bourbon with an approachable level of char and heat. The entry actually seems light, but full of flavor. The barrels have melded and mellowed the expected heat of a high proof bourbon, and turned it into a fine sipper. Lots of warming spice, but a good range of mellow caramel and a note of French Toast. A slightly sweet presentation makes this a perfect whiskey for cocktails like a Mint Julep, Old Fashoned or a variety of sours. A special relase that will not disappoint. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: J. W. Kelly

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