There’s a part of the United States, where blue grass grows and the hills go on forever. Driving down the winding roads can make you feel nostalgic for days past and can certainly work up a thirst as well as a curiosity for the history of America. In Kentucky, you can quench both of these thirsts.
Located from Owensboro all the way to Lexington is the Bourbon Trail. You can find distilleries like Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Bulleit tucked into the hills, on sprawling seas of grass. Campuses that somehow seem modern and historic, offer tours of their facilities where they’ll walk you through the entire process, from distillation to fermentation to how they char the inside of their brand new, American white oak barrels. And the best part? At the end of practically every tour, you’ll get to be taught the proper way to enjoy America’s spirit.
There’s a lot to choose from, but we’re going to make it easy for you and tell you our top three must visit distilleries.
Basic tours start are $14/person, this is a relatively new distillery, being built in 1953. The campus is filled with beautiful buildings sporting red shutters. Most of the tour is inside so this is a must even during the hottest summer months. You’ll see where they still use an old school press to print all of their labels (about 80,000 a day), you can witness the employees hand dipping every bottle in wax to seal it and give it that signature Maker’s Mark (in their gift shop you can hand dip your own bottle). They’re tasting room features beautiful art and you’ll get to try some of their signature blends. This is a must see for the history but also for the Instagram appeal.
For the person that likes their whiskey with a little heat, visiting Bulleit Bourbon’s industrial campus will offer some insight. They use a high rye mash build, which gives it its distinctive taste. Tours start at $20 and they boast a totally interactive experience. This is a new distillery, being built in the last few years but it’s inspired by the founder’s great-great-great grandfather’s bourbon recipe from the 1800’s. Bulleit has aimed to change the way people experience whiskey and sport a state of the art tour that includes areas to design custom labels, scent and sounds to accompany the tasting, and a bar to taste Bulleit inside of signature cocktails created by bartenders around the country.
Tours start at $10, and will walk you through the history of this bourbon, amidst beautiful Spanish mission style buildings. You’ll even get to keep your signature tasting glass!
If this has gotten your mouth watering for adventure (and whiskey), we can help! Let us know about your interest and we can do all the logistics for you, so that you can keep daydreaming about bourbon.