Grab your passport! We’re checking out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!
Okay, you obviously don’t need a passport to travel down to Kentucky (if you really want one, the kybourbontrail.com can hook you up), but that doesn’t mean that your experience won’t be something to remember! The Kentucky Bourbon Trail spans from Louisville to Lexington, and was first created in 1999 as a way to give visitors a firsthand look at the science and art of bourbon, as well as to help educate them about the history of bourbon in America.
Bourbon County, Kentucky has become very popular over the years for the production of bourbon, and in 1964, the United States Congress officially declared bourbon to be “a distinctive product of the United States.” As you can imagine, bourbon’s popularity has continued to grow since the sixties. In fact, nearly 2.5 million visitors visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in the last five years, helping to fuel a booming American industry.
If you are interested in checking out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, here are just a few of the must-see stops along the way!
Four Roses Distillery:
The Four Roses distillery is unique because it features a unique Spanish Mission-Style architecture that is not commonly seen in Kentucky. The distillery was constructed in 1910, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While visiting, be sure to tour the distillery’s warehouse and bottling facility to see firsthand how Four Roses stores and bottles their bourbon (fourrosesbourbon.com).
Maker’s Mark Distillery:
You know Maker’s Mark by the bottle… and the red wax. The distillery has been giving their bourbon the waxy look since 1958 after a period of very messy trial and error. If you’ve made it all the way down to Kentucky, you won’t want to leave Maker’s Mark without dipping your own bottle. For more information, visit www.makersmark.com.
Wild Turkey Distillery:
Each rickhouse at Wild Turkey is seven stories tall, and the elevation of each barrel greatly influences the flavor of the bourbon. Anyone who has visited the distillery has been wowed by their visitor center. From the award winning architecture to the original copper still housed in their tasting room, it is not a site to be missed. Not to mention, if you have a valid military ID, you’ll get a free tour! For more information, check them out online at wildturkeybourbon.com.
Jim Beam Distillery:
The folks at Jim Beam have been using the same recipe for their bourbon since 1795. That’s seven generations and over 200 years! On a tour with them, you will be able to experience the “full bourbon production process—from mixing grains to even bottling your own Jim Beam product” (www.jimbeam.com).
If you are unable to make it down to Kentucky (but really, you should!), come by Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA. We’ve got a great selection of all of the bourbons you’ve read about here, and even our own whisk(e)y society! The Loch & Key Whisk(e)y Society meets every Wednesday evening. For a full list of our upcoming events, visit us online at www.juliosliquors.com, or check out the Loch & K(e)y Society Facebook page!