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The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a tourist attraction for visitors to Kentucky from around the world. The trail consists of eight distilleries:

  • bourbontrailKirin Brewery Company’s Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg
  • Heaven Hill’s visitor’s center in Bardstown
  • Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams distillery in Louisville
  • Beam Inc.’s Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont
  • Beam Inc.’s Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto
  • Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company in Lexington
  • Campari Group’s Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg
  • Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve Distillery near Versailles

History of the Tour

The Bourbon Trial was launced in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to promote the bourbon industry in Kentucky as a tourism attraction but also as an education of the rich history and proud tradition of our signature spirit.

The Bourbon industry began in the 1700s with the first settlers of Kentucky with it’s farmers and frontiersmen.  Since then, generations of Kentuckians have continued the heritage and time-honored tradition of making fine Bourbon, unchanged from the process used by their ancestors centuries before.

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In 1964, Congress officially recognized Bourbon’s place in our history — and our future — by declaring it a distinctive product of the United States. Or, as we like to say, “America’s Official Native Spirit.”

In Kentucky, we take pride that 95 percent of this corn-based, caramel colored sipping icon is distilled, aged and bottled right here in the state. It’s big business for the Bluegrass State. Today, Bourbon is a signature industry that helps create 9,000 jobs, generates more than $125 million in tax revenue each year and is a growing international symbol of Kentucky craftsmanship and tradition.  Not to mention on local tourism, with nearly 2.5 million visitors from all 50 states and 25 countries to the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in the last five years alone.

Recommendations & Restrictions:

bourbon-trail2It’s recommended you allow at least three days to visit all eight of the historic distilleries, so you can spend at least an hour and half at each stop.  Check the official KY Bourbon Trail website for the map, download the passport so you can earn a free tee shirt once you’ve completed your tour. [See site:  http://kybourbontrail.com/]

You must be 21 and over to take the tour.  Groups of ten and more should call ahead for reservations.  Its recommended you have either a designated driver for your tour or hire professional limousine service to escort you.  (University Inn Hotel staff can recommended several companies that offer this service).


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