Kentucky Bourbon Trail
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail (sometimes informally shortened to "the Bourbon Trail") is the name of a program sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA) to promote the Bourbon whiskey industry in Kentucky. The KDA has registered the phrase "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" as a protected trademark.
The KDA launched the Kentucky Bourbon Trail program in 1999. At the time, it included seven of the eight distilleries in the region. In 2008, an eighth distillery, the Barton 1792 Distillery, joined the Trail program. However, the distillery was purchased by the Sazerac Company the following year, and Sazerac withdrew both the Barton 1792 Distillery and the Buffalo Trace Distillery from the KDA at the beginning of 2010. The two Sazerac distilleries continue to host public tours, and a Sazerac spokesperson stated they still feel they are "very much a part of the Bourbon Trail", but Sazerac wishes to promote its distilleries independent of the KDA.
In August 2012, the Town Branch Distillery was added to the trail, bringing the number of distilleries back to seven. The Heaven Hill Evan Williams distillery in Louisville was added in May 2013, expanding the primary tour program to include eight destinations. In 2014, The Bulleit Experience at Stitzel-Weller Distillery joined the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, raising the number to nine destinations. In June 2018, Old Forester opened an urban distillery in downtown Louisville and became a member of the Bourbon Trail. O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro joined the same month. In July 2018, the KDA announced that Lux Row Distillers would be added to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
In October 2012, the KDA announced that it would expand the Kentucky Bourbon Trail program to include a new "Craft Tour" of seven artisan distilleries. 2012 had the highest-ever rate of completion for participation in the trail. In December 2013, the Craft Tour added Danville's Wilderness Trail Distillery, thereby expanding to eight destinations. Several other distilleries have been added and the Bowling Green branch of Corsair Artisan Distillery closed on August 30, 2018, bringing the current number to 13 destinations on the Craft Tour.
Trail member sites
The program sends free T-shirts to people who mail in a promotional "passport" that has been stamped by all the participating distilleries.
As of 2019, the destinations on the main Bourbon Trail are:
- Angel's Envy Distillery in Louisville
- Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown
- Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville
- Bulleit Frontier Experience at the Stitzel–Weller Distillery in Louisville
- Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in Louisville
- Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg
- Heaven Hill Visitor Center in Bardstown
- Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont
- Lux Row Distillers in Bardstown
- Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto
- Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery in Louisville
- Old Forester Distilling Co. in Louisville
- O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro
- Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville
- Town Branch Distillery in Lexington
- Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg
- Woodford Reserve Distillery near Versailles
- Barrel House Distilling Co. in Lexington
- Bluegrass Distillers in Lexington
- Boone County Distilling Co. in Boone County
- Boundary Oak in Radcliff
- Casey Jones in Hopkinsville
- Dueling Grounds Distillery in Franklin
- Hartfield & Co. in Paris
- James E. Pepper in Lexington
- Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville
- Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood
- Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company in Louisville
- Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon
- MB Roland Distillery, Pembroke (Christian County)
- Neeley Family Distillery in Sparta
- New Riff Distillery in Newport
- Old Pogue Distillery in Maysville
- Preservation Distillery in Bardstown
- Second Sight Spirits in Ludlow
- Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville
- Willett Distillery in Bardstown
- Clark, Jayne (April 29, 2004). "Sun shines bright on Kentucky bourbon". USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- "In search of... Bourbon in Kentucky". The Independent. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- Warren, Jim (August 28, 2008). "Distillery added to Bourbon Trail". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Patton, Janet (February 5, 2010). "Buffalo Trace, Tom Moore leave distillers' group, Bourbon Trail". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
- Snyder, Chris (August 16, 2012). "Alltech's Town Branch Distillery in Lexington added to Kentucky Bourbon Trail". Lexington Ace.
- "Evan Williams Bourbon Experience joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour". Lane Report. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- "Old Forester Makes Triumphant Return to Kentucky Bourbon Trail". Whisky Advocate. June 14, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "O.Z. Tyler Joins the Kentucky Bourbon Trail - Owensboro Living". www.owensboroliving.com. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Lux Row Distillers Joins the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour". Kentucky Bourbon Trail official website. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Bourbon Trail launches new tour of artisan distilleries". Lexington Herald-Leader. October 12, 2012.
- "Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour shatters completion record — with three months left to go". The Lane Report. October 9, 2012.
- "Kentucky's Next Craft Distillery: Wilderness Trace in Danville". Ace. December 5, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- "Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour – Kentucky Bourbon Trail". kybourbontrail.com. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Autry, Lisa. "Bowling Green Distillery Closing After a Decade in Business". Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- "Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center opens at the Frazier History Museum". WDRB. Louisville, KY. August 30, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
- "Map". Kybourbontrail.com. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- Schreiner, Bruce (May 9, 2013). "Kentucky Bourbon Trail Expands to Include Stop in Downtown Louisville". brandonsun.com. Associated Press.[dead link][verification needed]
- "Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour". kybourbontrail.com. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries Tours.|
- Kentucky Bourbon Trail official website from the Kentucky Distillers' Association