Kentucky takes its bourbon distilleries pretty seriously. We have more than 70 distilleries, so it is hard to narrow down which experience is better than the other. By having the biggest bourbon brands in the world, you expect a world-class experience and these ten distilleries will satisfy that expectation.

 

The state does make it easy with The Bourbon Trail guide and around every corner, there is a tour company willing to shuttle you to all your favorite spots.

Remember, not all tours are the same. Some tours offer food, while others only provide whiskey samples. Most, if not all, last at least 30 minutes, but I have been told you can pay for a more expensive tour that can last up to two hours or more. What is excellent about Kentucky bourbon tours is that you can drive yourself, pay for a shuttle, take a boat, or soon ride a train.

Remember; however you visit, please visit responsibly. Take it from a pro and let someone else drive you around to experience all the incredible bourbon the state offers.  

Bulleit Distilling Co., Shelbyville
  • A newly built visitors center in 2017, Bulleit has been around since the 1800s. Close to Louisville but far enough way to feel the authentic Kentucky countryside. Full tours are available, but the true hidden gem is the “anatomy of a single barrel, where you have your own private tasting room to sip on three single barrel samples.”  
Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg
  • A 60-minute barrel-to-bottle experience, it is home to the longest-tenured master distiller Jimmy Russell. A true legend in the industry, he has been known to interrupt tours to talk and answer questions.  
Jim Beam, Clermont
  • Aptly named the “birthplace of bourbon.” eight generations of Beam family members continue the tradition. Visit the American Outpost for rare bottles and eat at The Kitchen. The restaurant serves family recipes with perfect bourbon pairings. You can book many tours, from “meet the family to coming soon thief your own.” Becoming a thief allows the visitor to become the distiller.  
Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto
  • Red waxed dip bottles, a beautiful farm and multiple rickhouses. Of course, we are talking about the iconic Maker’s Mark distillery. As a National Historic Landmark, tours take you through years of history and bourbon creation. This is your distillery if you ever wanted your own red wax-dipped bottle. Also, try the fried chicken at Star Hill Provisions. It is the best in Kentucky.  
Four Roses Distillery, Lawrenceburg
  • A unique Spanish-Mission style distillery was built in the early 1900s and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The tour winds through a lush Kentucky landscape, visiting vats of mash and finishing at a tasting room where you can sample and learn about what makes Four Roses so good. The stories are great but not as good as the bourbon.   
Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown
  • An award-winning experience, the revamped tour offers tastings, bottling, and exploring. Heaven Hill should be on any bourbon lover’s bucket list for the history alone. In June 2022, the company broke ground on a new $133 million in Bardstown. It will have seven new rickhouses that can house up to 100,000 barrels of whiskey.    
Wilderness Trail, Danville
  • In gorgeous Danville, Kentucky, sets Wilderness Trail Distillery. Tours consist of tastings, a brief history of the company and a lovely gift shop. New to the Bourbon Trail, and a bit off the beaten path, it is well worth the extra miles. Danville has been voted the most beautiful small city in the state by MSN.   
Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort
  • History, History, History, is all you need to know about Buffalo Trace. Home to the world’s most famous bourbons, such as Pappy Van Winkle, George T Stagg, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor and so many more. Set on the Kentucky River, Buffalo Trace has many options for tours. Two hundred years does not come easy and to truly experience everything the distillery has to offer, you may want to stay for a couple of days.  
Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles
  • Small in overall space but high in overall value. Targeting all five sources of flavor, this tour is typically booked out three months in advance. More money than other tours, Woodford Reverse offers a whole bourbon experience with a conversation with the master distiller, lab tours and a family brand tasting. If you pick the right tour, you also receive a limited edition bottle to add to the experience. 
Log Still Distillery, New Haven
  • Music and bourbon, no better combination. This distillery comes with live concerts at the Amp and a tour allowing you to taste and experience bourbon at its finest. FYI, ask to see the picture of the still made out of a log. It is wild. Log Still wants you to take everything from the past to the future.

Click here for more Original Pours. 
Click here to join The Flight Club.

COO/CFO | + posts