Booking the Perfect Custom Adventure with Mint Julep Tours – We Do It All Y’all!

Booking the Perfect Custom Adventure with Mint Julep Tours – We Do It All Y’all!

A Mint Julep Tours group visits Maker's Mark distillery where they dipped their own bourbon bottlesRecently, a guest suggested that our buses could benefit from a giant sign that reads: “We Do It All Y’All!” And while we prefer to keep our buses just the way they are, the passenger made a good point. When you spot a Mint Julep Tours bus crisscrossing the state, you may not realize that those onboard are often guests who have embarked on a made-to-order adventure. Did you know that Mint Julep Tours offers custom tours every day of the week and nearly every single day of the year? And that all of our custom tours are as unique as different batches of a tasty single-barrel bourbon? Maybe you’re interested in experiencing a bourbon tasting in the middle of a dimly-lit warehouse surrounded by thousands of barrels. Or perhaps a day that involves braving the zip lines at Louisville’s Mega Cavern and then traveling south to the Maker’s Mark distillery to tour, taste and dip a bottle in that signature red wax is more your speed. Or you might prefer an outing that combines a visit to a beautiful Kentucky thoroughbred horse farm, a leisurely upscale lunch in the town of Midway and then a stop to shop at the famed Zappos Shoe Outlet. In short, if you can imagine a specific, custom touring experience in Kentucky, Mint Julep Tours can make it happen! We are proud to be one of the top full service destination management companies in Kentucky. And the fun all begins with a phone call.

Midway was home to Kentucky's first railroadMany of the calls to Mint Julep Tours start out the same way. An excited voice on the other end of the line makes an enthusiastic yet cautious and curious declaration: “I want do the Bourbon Trail!” Each and every custom tour booking starts with a detailed conversation with one of our coordinators. Many first-time visitors to the area have endless questions based on bits of information they’ve read, a detailed inspection of our Trip Advisor reviews or second-hand stories from friends who have taken similar treks to The Kentucky Bourbon Trail ® , Horse Farms, Louisville and beyond. Our staff’s first priority is to fill in those knowledge gaps and better understand the precise type of outing our guests want to experience. From bachelor/bachelorette parties to corporate outings and everything in between, Mint Julep Tours can accommodate groups of all sizes by creating a tour with the right itinerary, length, style and tone.

Photo of a Mint Julep Tours bus at a distilleryOne common pitfall among visitors is learning the hard way that Kentucky’s geography and state routes can be a touch confusing (just ask anyone who has attempted to travel to Loretto, KY without a quality map), and the perceived distances between major distilleries are sometimes much greater than anticipated. When you book a custom tour with Mint Julep Tours, we make sure that you don’t end up spending more time in the bus than you do at the distilleries. We also work to ensure that your planned stops are the best fit for your crew. With nearly two dozen top-notch bourbon distilleries scattered throughout the state, it can be a daunting process to choose the best options for you. Those who have a soft spot in their heart for Booker’s bourbon may be surprised to learn that the product is distilled at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse. Or maybe you want to up your dinner game and enjoy a private dinner in the Stone Room at Captain’s Quarters located smack dab on the Ohio River. We can even set up private bourbon tastings for groups ranging in size from 5 to 500! But custom tours with Mint Julep Tours are so much more than just bourbon.

Over the last eight years, our buses have logged more miles on Kentucky interstates, highways and back roads than we can count. We’ve created experiences for guests at the iconic Keeneland Racecourse just outside of Lexington, sessions at The Knob Creek Gun Range and scheduled visits to both the Independent Stave Cooperage in Lebanon, KY and the Brown-Forman Cooperage next door to the Louisville International Airport. Kentucky is home to everything from Mammoth Cave to the National Corvette Museum to Abe Lincoln’s Childhood Home – all places you can visit on a Mint Julep Tours excursion as part of a custom tour.

Statue at Falls of the OhioIn 2015, Louisville was named among the “Friendliest Cities in America” by Travel + Leisure Magazine and we’ve helped guests experience that first hand. We’ve booked reservations at iconic Churchill Down’s Turf Club and set up tours at new attractions making waves like brandy distillery Copper & Kings. Mint Julep Tours can take you to the Falls of The Ohio State Park, Schimpff’s Confectionery, Bourbon Barrel Foods or we can even take you bowling at Vernon Lanes! If you want to go even further off the beaten path, we’ve set up Segway Races (complete with obstacle course, of course) and scavenger hunts that will have your group scurrying madly across town. Our staff can suggest the perfect restaurants and hotel as well as book reservations when needed. If you’re more interested in exploring some of the best Louisville has to offer, you’ll be hard pressed to find a staff that knows Derby City better.

A custom adventure with Mint Julep Tours is so much more than just bus a ride around Kentucky. Combine the strength of a custom tour with our professional, knowledgeable and award-winning Mint Julep Tours guides and drivers, and you’ve got the recipe for one amazing day…or maybe more! We may book tours, but we specialize in creating custom experiences and one-of-a-kind memories. And that’s why we believe “the purpose of fun is to have some.” Want to get started? The fun starts with a phone call to Mint Julep Tours today.

As one of Kentucky’s top destination management company, Mint Julep Tours can create an itinerary for the perfect custom. Call 502-583-1433 or visit us online today to begin planning your adventure.

Mint Julep Tours Announces Office Relocation, Expansion

Mint Julep Tours Announces Office Relocation, Expansion

Louisville, Kentucky – Mint Julep Tours, a local business that is a recognized leader in tours, transportation, and special events throughout Kentucky, is excited to announce it will be moving its offices and vehicle garage to a new larger property located at 1631 Mellwood Ave. Eyedia, a local furniture and home décor consignment store previously occupied the space. In addition to the 7,000 square ft. building, Mint Julep Tours will also be constructing a new garage on the property to house it’s rapidly expanding fleet of buses and vehicles.

According to Mint Julep Tours co-founder and owner, Sean Higgins, the move was necessary due to the significant growth the company has seen since its inception. “As the bourbon and tourism industries in Kentucky have grown, so have we. It was time that we made a move that allowed us to continue to expand and grow. We’re extremely excited about this new space and can’t wait for the opportunities that will come along with it.”

The new location sits near the intersection of Mellwood and Frankfort Ave., right off the I-64 exit ramp and directly across from Apocalypse Brewery. Higgins said the new location is exactly what they were looking for. “We’re thrilled to have been able to find a location that both serves our needs as a business and also keeps us close to the downtown core. There is so much going on in that area and along Frankfort Ave., which makes this move all that much more exciting.”

Map to Mint Julep Tours OfficeMint Julep Tours was able to secure a Louisville Metropolitan Business Development Corp., (METCO) loan to assist in the expansion costs. These loans are focused on small businesses in the Louisville economy that are looking to expand and grow their business. WorK Architecture + Design is the lead design firm that will handle the project. The new space is projected to be complete by Spring-2016.

Tours will continue to depart from the MJT Gift Shop, located in the Galt House Hotel (Rivue Tower), 140 N. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky 40202.

Mint Julep Tours is a recognized leader in Bourbon and Kentucky adventures as well as the only dedicated tour company focused on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.  Based in Louisville, Kentucky they offer Custom and Public Bourbon Distillery Tours as well as unique Exclusive Experiences, Horse Farm Tours, Culinary Tours, and Louisville City Tours. As a truly one-of-a-kind tour company, Mint Julep Tours also offers transportation and event planning services with a focus on Special Events, Corporate Outings and Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties. Specialty horse and bourbon-related gifts are available at the Mint Julep Tours retail store inside the Galt House on the third floor of the Rivue Tower at 140 North 4th Street Suite 326, Louisville, KY 40202.

For more information: visit, call 502-583-1433, or email

Kentucky Road

Welcoming American Pharoah To His Permanent Kentucky Home

Earlier this month, just as the New Year was starting, American Pharoah blissfully celebrated his fourth birthday. American Pharoah wasn’t alone in celebrating since every Thoroughbred horse in the Northern Hemisphere shares the same birthday regardless on when they were actually born: January 1st. But while all thoroughbreds age on the same day, absolutely none of them came close to having the year that American Pharoah did in 2015.

Halloween Day of 2015 is one that most Kentuckians are likely going to remember for a very, very long time. It was just after 6:00 PM during the final event of the 13 separate races that make up the legendary Breeder’s Cup, when 50,155 spectators watched American Pharoah soar across the finish line. As jockey Victor Espinoza turned to give the finish line camera a knowing smile, history had been written in horse racing. American Pharoah became the very first stallion ever in history to…well, you know the rest. But the most interesting part of American Pharoah’s story is what the next chapter of his life has in store for the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

In early November, Bob Baffert, who has earned his place on the Mt. Rushmore of horse trainers, walked American Pharoah one last time. Baffert slowly led the horse to the barn at the Ashford Stud Horse Farm with promises of frequent trips to visit this once in a life time thoroughbred. And, ever the amiable horse, Pharoah was eager to pose for photos next to his new home. After all, these are some nice digs and a fantastic set up! His days of traveling across the country, endless rigorous training, and more are now all behind him. Instead, he’s currently enjoying acres and acres of fenced in Bluegrass beauty. For the last two months, American Pharoah has been settling into his new, permanent Kentucky home.

Ashford Stud FarmThe Ashford Stud farm, like many in the region, has extensive ties to both politics and bourbon. The farm, which has grown exponentially in size over the years, was first established as a cattle farm by Colonel Edmund Taylor. Taylor was the grandnephew of 12th President Zachary Taylor and mayor of nearby Frankfort, Kentucky for 16 years. But Taylor is probably most well-known for opening the nearby Old Taylor Distillery in the 1880’s and his likeness adorns a brand of bourbon today. Over the last 40 years, some of the finest stallions in the world have called Ashford Stud home. Pharoah certainly won’t be lonely in his comfortable surroundings. There are over 400 horse farms throughout the state and nearly 150 in nearby Fayette County. And if American Pharoah wants to take a day trip to visit his sire, 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, dear old dad lives just less than 15 minutes away. At his new home, he’ll join 12 other legendary and beautiful stallions that are currently studding. American Pharoah can trade glory stories about the first Saturday in May as he chews the hay with fellow Kentucky Derby Winners Fusaichi Pegasus (2000) and Thunder Gulch (1995).

The farm is a relatively easy destination to reach. Situated just a few miles south of I-64 and located smack dab between the towns of Versailles and Frankfort makes it in an ideal location for tourists. In fact, the backside of the farm is just a stone’s throw from the iconic Labrot and Graham Distillery, which has been home to Woodford Reserve bourbon since the mid 1990’s.

So, how do admirers from coast to coast go about getting up close and personal with the first grand slam champion? Opportunity to visit is limited and time is short before American Pharoah scheduled set to begin his breeding season in Mid-February. Mint Julep Tours has partnered with our friends at The Kentucky Derby Museum for “American Pharoah – A Champions Tour.” The day-long guided tour includes a trip to Churchill Downs where guests experience “The Greatest Race,” enjoy a Historic Walking Tour of the Churchill Downs racetrack, and a stop in The Finish Line Gift Shop featuring American Pharoah merchandise. Then it’s off to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud Farm for a day with horse racing legends past and present, including American Pharoah. Many dates are sold out, but tickets remain for tours on January 21st, 25th, and 28th. More information and online booking here.

Churchill Downs StatueChurchill Downs Tour with Twin SpiresAmerican Pharoah at Coolmore Ashford Stud FarmAshford Stud Farm

If you chose to embark on a tour out to Woodford County, there are a few things to keep in mind when touring Ashford Stud or any working horse farm. First, you should know that very few of the horse farms have opened their front gates to visitors in the same way that the Bourbon Distilleries have in recent years. A handful of farms offer regularly scheduled, public tours, but most tours are private and need to be set up well in advance. When visiting, photos are almost always welcome, but keep those hands to yourself. A horse’s temperament can vary wildly from stallion to stallion. Nothing ruins a nice day in horse country liked being kicked or bitten. And don’t expect to saddle up, hop on and go for a ride; remember that it’s a working farm not the county fair. Another good rule of thumb is to dress for a day at the farm. Opt for comfy clothes and sturdy shoes; leave fashionable Derby day outfits behind. Finally, while the view is often worth the visit alone, many farms don’t exactly have state-of-the-art restrooms or much less a gift shop.

American Pharoah Tour2016 marks the beginning of the next chapter of American Pharoah’s life. It is absolutely thrilling that this amazing horse is going to be right in our own Kentucky back yard welcoming visitors for years to come. American Pharoah has earned the mantle of an once-in-a-lifetime horse on the track and Mint Julep Tours is delighted for the opportunity to bring guests from around the country to show up and say, “Thanks for everything.”

Mint Julep Tour’s “American Pharoah- A Champion’s Tour” includes a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum for two floors of interactive exhibits, newly updated 360° immersive sound and visual experience “The Greatest Race”, Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack and a stop in The Finish Line Gift Shop featuring American Pharoah merchandise. Then it’s off to Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud Farm for a day with horse racing legends past and present, including grand slam champion American Pharoah. Note that Ashford Stud does their best to let fans see American Pharoah and other champions, however, no guarantees can be made for any particular tour- shows are pending the health and welfare of the animals.

Call 502-583-1433 or visit to book your spot today!

Top Ten Reasons To Hit The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

For those who haven’t yet visited, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a truly unique experience that will leave you with a new appreciation for Kentucky Bourbon.  Whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or need a little extra motivation to get the barrel rolling, we’ve compiled a list of ten great reasons why you should book your trip today.

10.   After completing all stops on the trail you get a SWEET t-shirt.  Almost every time I wear mine, someone asks me where he or she can buy one… they aren’t for sale, you’ve got to earn it.

9.   Seeing rural Kentucky.  Some of the distilleries are located off the main road, which allows for some exploring of the beautiful Kentucky countryside. You’ll pass through miles of pastures filled with horses, fields of corn, tobacco, soy, and sorghum.

8.   Miles of fencing that surround thoroughbred horse farms.  While some might not think of fences as anything worth noting, in Kentucky we use a traditional four rail wooden fence to keep our horses from danger. These fences cost around $18/foot and there is one farm near Versailles that has over 55 miles of fence!  You’ve got to see it to believe it.

7.   Buy or sample products that are only available at the distillery.   Maker’s Mark barrel strength (Makers Mark), William Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig 12yr. barrel strength, Evan Williams 23yr. (Heaven Hill), Bourbon Ball Crème Liqueur (Barton 1792), Wheatley Vodka (Buffalo Trace), Four Roses Single Barrel at barrel strength (Four Roses), Jim Beam Stillhouse limited edition (Beam).  There are products you won’t find on the shelf at your local liquor store.

6.   The opportunity for totally unique experiences such as a tastings straight from the barrel, pouring ingredients into the next batch and possibly even meeting a master distiller.

5.   See the bourbon distillation process up close and personal.   Take a distillery tour and see how our distillers turn grain, limestone branch water, and yeast into Bourbon.  Dip your fingers into a 10,000-gallon vat of distiller’s beer and smell the fermentation but don’t get too close.   A guest once leaned way in for a photo and dropped her iPhone in the tub.  Oops!

4.   Learn the fascinating history of Kentucky bourbon and explore bourbon’s farmer/distiller origins. Find out why Kentucky became the state that produces 95% of the world’s bourbon and how the industry continues to grow.

3.   Explore a bourbon warehouse.  The angle’s share (evaporation) from over 50,000 barrels in a single building is something to experience.  Hint:  It smells like freedom!!

2.   There are about 4.5 million residents in Kentucky and over 5 million barrels aging in warehouses. Those are good odds and there’s always enough bourbon to go around.

1. Because it’s fun, and as we say… the purpose of fun is to have some, so come join us!

Hot tips on Bourbon, Mint Julep’s, and the Kentucky Derby!

2014 Logo - KD140_Primary_Date_PMS_WBG (web)

There are only 9 days left till the 140th running of The Kentucky Derby.  We thought we would cover a few tips to get you off an running.

Plan out your Derby week with some hot tips below:

I’m in town for the Kentucky Derby, and I want to see the beautiful countryside and take a bourbon tour.  

What are my options? 

Funny you ask, as we are the #1 Activity in Louisville providing Bourbon Tours, Horse Farm Tours, and other exciting custom experiences.  We have a special line up for Derby week.  Check out our list of tours here.  We do have a few spots left, so call today 502-583-1433 Ext. 101 and speak with Chasta or you can book online here.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 10.59.16 AM

 What’s a unique derby week activity? 

Dawn at the Downs  7:00 a.m – 9:00 a.m.

Dawn at the Downs is a popular Louisville tradition giving visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast inMillionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.  From Millionaires Row 4, a host will announce the horses on the track, discuss the contenders’ past performances and provide insight to the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby races.  Morning workouts will show on the television monitors and the announcements will be heard throughout the track. The Dawn at the Downs buffet will be served from 7:00 AM through 8:30 AM.

For reservations & information for seating in Millionaires Row 4, please call 502-636-4893 or 502-636-4892 for availability, or purchase tickets here.

Dawn at the Downs will take place on Tuesday, April 29th; Wednesday, April 30th and Thursday, May 1st.

Click Here to View the Dawn at the Downs Buffet Menu

 What horses are racing?

Meet the list of contenders for the 140th Kentucky Derby here.

What to wear?

Not only should you be getting your Derby attire lined up with suits, bow ties, colorful socks, and of course for all the ladies, a spectacular hat.  Ladies, check out what to wear here!  Gents here!

 What can I take into the track?

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, Churchill Downs officials are battening down the hatches. See their What To Know page for the latest, but worth noting:

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 10.50.31 AM


Where do I park?

Parking is at premium around the track.  If you want to park close, regulars park in and around the yards of homes around the track.

If you want to park away from the track, and ride in on a public TARC bus, there are also options to do that as well.  Check out the parking tips here.