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Famous brands and craft makers of bourbon and whiskey call Kentucky home. Scattered across the state, bourbon distilleries old and new create some of the world’s favorite spirits. Most distilleries offer tours with tasting experiences. For that reason, ‘bourbonism’ and tourism to Kentucky to experience Bourbon Country is booming.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® consists of 10 member distilleries (Angel’s Envy, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Maker’s Mark, Town Branch, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve). Explorers who complete a passport collecting stamps at all ten get a t-shirt.
Other popular bourbon destinations include Buffalo Trace, Barton 1792, the 13 micro-distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Craft Tour (like Willett, Limestone Branch, Barrel House, Peerless and Kentucky Artisan) and up-and-comers Three Boys Farm, Castle & Key, and Jeptha Creed.
Louisville is also the home to Copper & Kings, a brandy, gin and absinthe distiller. Other urban distillery experiences for Old Forester, Michter’s and Rabbit Hole plan to open soon.
To maximize your day, make Louisville your home-base, then choose near each other distilleries east or south of the city. Most guests can visit three or four bourbon distilleries per day. Keep in mind that most distillery tour times are from 9 and 10 a.m. to 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Admission price and availability varies.
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Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, travelers visit a pre-set schedule of three Kentucky bourbon distilleries on our public tours. Destinations and times vary. All-inclusive tickets include guided transportation, admissions and lunch. Create two-day or three-day tour packages by pairing trips to your favorite locations.
While you tour, you’ll learn the heritage of America’s native spirit and bourbon facts to impress your friends like the difference between single barrel and small batch. One of our enthusiastic tour leaders will ride on the bus with you sharing insight and filling in the gaps between stops. The 9 to 10-hour, full-day public tours depart from downtown Louisville’s Galt House Hotel.
($129 per person):
Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Heaven Hill
($149 per person):
Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey
Maker’s Mark, Limestone Branch and Barton 1792
($149 per person):
Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Barton 1792
Bulleit, Town Branch and Three Boys Farm
The best way to maximize your Kentucky adventure is by customizing a tour. Groups of all sizes choose Mint Julep Tours to plan one-day and multi-day Bourbon Country bus trips. By working with one of our experience coordinators, you can pick your favorite distilleries to visit or take our expert advice to craft a perfect day.
Customized tours are a great option for special events, corporate outings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, anniversaries and client appreciation gifts. Several bourbon distilleries offer exclusive tastings or private tours only available to Mint Julep Tours customers. Behind-the-scenes access, straight-from-the-barrel tastings, cocktail mixology classes, elevated and rare bourbon flights, and chats with master distillers can all be arranged.
Tours of Brown-Forman cooperage and Independent Stave Co. where bourbon barrels are made and Vendome Copper where stills are crafted are also options for customized tours. Want to buy a bourbon barrel or purchased signed or engraved bottles? Just ask.