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Looking to win over your future father-in-law this holiday season? Gift shopping for the person who has everything? Look no further. We have the winning idea for you. Think big, think bourbon: buy a barrel!

We have the inside scoop on a couple of unique experiences for the ultimate bourbon lover. Here at Mint Julep Experiences, we can do all the planning for your private barrel selection at a handful of distilleries. We plan your ultimate experience and provide VIP transportation (because you don’t need to sample barrel-proof bourbon and be driving yourself around Bourbon Country).

mint julep passenger van in front of Buffalo Trace distillery

Buying a Barrel of Bourbon

One distillery that you could choose to buy a barrel from is Buffalo Trace Distillery. Located in Frankfort, Ky., it offers bourbon enthusiasts the unique opportunity to hand-select their very own barrel of premium bourbon. Visit the Trace to experience an amazing day of southern hospitality and leave with the ultimate souvenir!

The road to buying a barrel begins with selecting one of the brands available at Buffalo Trace such as Eagle Rare Single Barrel, Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, or Blanton’s Single Barrel.

At the Trace, the barrel-buying experience begins upon arrival. Guests are greeted by the Buffalo Trace staff one of the distillery’s expert tour guides will then lead a behind-the-scenes tour to educate guests on the finer points of bourbon distillation and the rich history surrounding the bourbon industry.

The barrel selection takes place in the legendary Warehouse H. Warehouse H is the only metal-clad warehouse at Buffalo Trace and it houses all of the Blanton’s Bourbon. Blanton’s is the original single-barrel bourbon, first released in 1984. The bourbon samples are taken directly from the barrel. Tasting is done at barrel strength and then again cut to 60 proof. This allows the products’ natural aromas and flavors to come through.

After a barrel is selected, it is pulled aside and prepared for bottling. Each bottle of bourbon will have a custom sticker or tag, letting everyone know it was specially selected. Once the bourbon is bottled it will go to the distributor and then to a local liquor store for pickup. It can take upwards of two months to get your private selection bottles to your house.

A bonus: you get to keep the barrel too!

Prices and quantities of barrels vary depending upon the brand and how much the barrel yields.  All bourbon is paid for the at the consumer’s local retail outlet. The entire barrel yields close to 200 bottles. Most distilleries start their buy-the-barrel programs around $8000.

Some of our other favorite distilleries for barrel select are Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, and Old Forester. If whiskey is more your style, Jack Daniel’s offers barrel select experiences. 


flight of bourbon tasting at Old Forester

Alternative Private Selections

As a part of our Four Roses experience, Four Roses invited folks out to the Cox’s Creek bottling and aging facility to begin the tasting process. There you can sample all TEN Four Roses exclusive formulas directly from their respective barrels. Some selections are under the guidance of Hall of Fame Master Distiller Jim Rutledge.

Find Single Barrel Bourbon

Buying a whole barrel not in the budget? Talk to your Mint Julep Tours experience coordinator or tour leader about the best bars, restaurants and liquor stores in Louisville or around Kentucky to find hand-selected single barrel bourbons. Many local spots, like Doc Crow’s, Haymarket Whiskey Bar and Liquor Barn, frequently do their own selections to serve or sell.

bourbon barrels at Woodford Reserve

Many distilleries offer these exclusive experiences for barrel picking. Working with a Mint Julep Experience Coordinator takes the challenges out of planning a barrel-select! If you want to learn more about how to buy bourbon by the barrel or what is a barrel pick exactly, check out the Mint Julep blog!

Single Barrel Select with Mint Julep Experiences – Let Us Take Care of the Planning

Experience the ultimate barrel pick journey with Mint Julep! Tour the barrel house, sample and select four barrels, engage in nosing and tasting, and embark on a blind-tasting adventure to find the perfect barrel. Enjoy the privilege of hand-labeling your bottles for that extra special touch. Plus, benefit from VIP transportation and seamless coordination by the Mint Julep team. Take your bottles home on the spot or opt for convenient shipping. Start planning your extraordinary experience now with a Mint Julep Experience Coordinator!


private barrel select from Louisville
private barrel select from nashville