KENTUCKY - Kentucky offers some of the finest distilleries for those seeking classic bourbon, aged rye, or even an unblended American whiskey. Kentucky's distilleries are evolving, offering more modern and creative spirits. These bourbon distilleries are revolutionizing the industry and taking it to new heights.
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort is home to various spirits, such as bourbon whiskey. This company produces various spirits, such as rye whiskey, bourbon, and vodka. With an annual production capacity of more than two million gallons of spirits, they are a leader in the spirit industry. As a National Historic Landmark and longtime leader in the American whiskey industry, this distillery continues to set standards for excellence.
At the distillery, guests have three tour options: Trace Tour, Hard Hat Tour, and National Historic Landmark Tour. After your tour, why not stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby the distillery and sample some Kentucky Hot Browns?
Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg, KY
Since 1869, Wild Turkey Bourbon has become one of the world's most iconic brands. Crafted at Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, KY in Lawrenceburg, KY, it remains a family-owned and operated business today. At first, Austin Nichols operated as a wholesale grocer and procured his bourbon from various distilleries.
Wild Turkey currently has 700,000 barrels aging in their warehouse. Their whiskey can be found in all major markets worldwide, and sales have seen an annual growth rate of 14.6% since 2016. While in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, be sure to visit Wild Turkey Distillery and gain an insider's view into the process of crafting some of America's finest whiskey. You'll have the opportunity to tour their facility and purchase bottles to take home for later enjoyment.
Jim Beam Bourbon in Clermont, KY
Jim Beam bourbon has been one of the world's best-selling brands since 1795 and was produced in Clermont, Kentucky, until Prohibition interrupted production in 1939. Suntory owns the distillery now, a Japanese conglomerate that manufactures several types of spirits. It's considered a premium brand and one of the oldest bourbon brands in America.
Tour the stillhouse at this distillery to learn about bourbon production and the family's history. A restaurant on site serves traditional Jim Beam cuisine with an extra Jim Beam flair, plus you can take part in a guided tasting of Jim Beam, Knob Creek, and Basil Hayden's spirits!
Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville KY
In 2017, The Bulleit Distilling Company unveiled its brand-new distillery and visitor experience in Shelbyville, KY. This facility combines cutting-edge technology on Kentucky farmland with a welcoming atmosphere.
The Visitor Experience features a retail area, cocktail bar, three tasting rooms/event space, and ample seating around the double-sided fireplace. Furthermore, it provides educational experiences and tastings so visitors can learn more about distillation processes, sustainability initiatives, etc. Bulleit bourbons are made with limestone-filtered water and aged in charred American oak barrels for a distinctive smoky taste. Their high rye content adds bold, spicy notes to the final product.
Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, KY
Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, is home to one of America's most esteemed whiskey brands. Since 1996, this super-premium "small batch" bourbon has won a loyal following for its superior quality and taste.
Nestled amidst picturesque horse farms, this distillery has operated since 1812. As one of America's smallest and oldest distilleries, it takes great pride in producing traditional Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey using copper pot stills and aging it in limestone warehouses. The distillery also offers a tasting room with sample bottles and a gift shop. Owned by Brown-Forman, which also owns Jack Daniel's and Old Forester brands, the tour includes an informative short film about the distillery's history.
Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY
Maker's Mark, located in Loretto, KY, is one of the world's most iconic bourbon brands. As a pioneer of American Craft Bourbon culture, it helped introduce enthusiasts to this category both within America and abroad. The distillery's bourbon is made with soft red winter wheat instead of hard white corn, creating the signature mellow flavor profile that has become synonymous with this iconic brand. Furthermore, its nuanced maturing processes add to its more delicate palate.
Visitors to this historic distillery can explore its visitor center, which houses furniture from the Samuels family collections and other interesting artifacts. You can take a free Maker's Mark distillery tour any day (excluding major holidays and half an hour on weekends). All tours include an accompanying tasting of Maker's Mark bourbon.
Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY
Four Roses Distillery, located near Lawrenceburg on the banks of the Salt River, is an ideal stop for bourbon connoisseurs. Built-in 1910 with unique Spanish Mission-style architecture, it's one of Kentucky's few remaining examples. The distillery offers an inviting tasting room and gift shop. Tours cost a nominal fee, with your souvenir being an etched rock glass!
Four Roses boast 21 warehouses, each holding around 24 000 barrels. As all levels are single stories, Four Roses can maintain different temperatures on lower and upper levels. Additionally, it makes it simpler for employees to transport and store casks without compromising their quality. The company plans on building 17 additional warehouses totaling over 776,000 square feet in Bullitt County.
Angel's Envy Distillery in Louisville, KY
Angel's Envy Distillery, situated in an abandoned tool manufacturing plant, is an active distillery showcasing bourbon-making. The facility also has its gift shop, visitor center, and tours and cocktail classes available to visitors.
Angel's Envy distillery tours provide an informative look into the whiskey-making process and allow you to sample their finished product. They offer tours such as Inside the Barrel, Finishing Roundtable Experience, and Signature Tour for those interested in discovering more. Tours are conducted in small groups, each led by a guide who takes participants through the distilling process. If you're visiting Louisville, KY, don't miss this captivating experience!