The Early Times Whisky brand production started at Early Times Station, Kentucky. The Kentucky water surrounding the "Station" was used for making the whiskey. The water naturally filtered through limestone springs. Early Times was not popular until 1920 when Congress passed the Volstead Act and Prohibition began. The brand prospered due to its maker having a license to continue production.
The Brown-Forman Company acquired the Early Times brand in 1923, and over the next 30 years made Early Times the best-selling whisky in the country. Today the brand is sold in over 40 countries. It ranks as one of the top four selling bourbons in the world, and in 2005 it became the top selling Kentucky whisky in Japan.
The brand is currently owned by Brown-Forman and is produced at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively, Kentucky. Most of the Early Times which is now sold in the U.S. cannot legally be labeled as a bourbon whiskey within the U.S., so it is labeled as "Kentucky Whisky". Some of the spirits in Early Times are aged in used barrels, while bourbon must be aged in new barrels according to the legal requirements for bourbon sold within the U.S. It is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.