I'd like to... ah... go go on a whiskey tour, help!
November 16, 2010 7:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an exhaustive list of Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries that are open to the public. Are there more out there than the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?

I've got emails in to the Kentucky Tourism Board, and the Kentucky Distillers Association. But, I was hoping that someone knew of a list, or had some experience with some of the smaller distilleries (if they exist).
posted by pipco to Travel & Transportation around Kentucky (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: So weird. I was just yesterday trawling Wikipedia reading about bourbon.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:23 AM on November 16, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, wikipedia is a possible source of info, but I fear it's not exhaustive. I mean, is that all of the distilleries? Just ten?
posted by pipco at 7:25 AM on November 16, 2010

Many of the distilleries in Kentucky actually bottle more than one brand, which is why you see so few of them listed. The only glaring omissions from that list is the Buffalo Trace distillery, which is worth the trip to Frankfort.
posted by evoque at 7:34 AM on November 16, 2010

Best answer: I don't know where there is an exhaustive list, but I bet the people at the Straight Bourbon forums do. There is distillery tours subforum.
posted by enn at 7:45 AM on November 16, 2010

I live in Kentucky, and have often toured the distilleries. Evoque is correct. Most of the open to the public spots distill multiple brands, so they consolidate tours. And, evoque is also right that the Buffalo Trace distillery is certainly worth visiting.

Some of the others are, in my opinion, not really worth the trip. Makers Mark, for example, is not amazing. The buildings are cool, and the area is gorgeous, but the tour has a really heavy commercial feel (although the storage facility there is amazing). Do a little reading, and pick the two or three brands you would most like to get more acquainted with and go to their distilleries. Honestly, I can not imagine wanting to go to more than two of these places in a months time. The basic rundown is almost always the same, with the real variable being the natural scenery where they are located.
posted by broadway bill at 9:06 AM on November 16, 2010

I have to respectfully disagree with broadway bill. I took the Makers Mark tour about a year ago and had a great time when compared to other distillery tours I have taken. The comparison of the bread and the bourbon was really cool, and they let you try the white dog!
posted by alextprice at 9:42 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree with broadway bill; unless you're looking for Foursquare-style "I went to all of the distilleries in Kentucky!" affirmation, you're better off spending the time to go on the more in-depth experiences, like Woodford Reserve's "Corn to Cork" and Buffalo Trace's "Hard Hat" tours.

If you really like bourbon, go to The Horse and Barrel in downtown Lexington and join the Bluegrass Bourbon Club. You do have to drink all 53 different bourbons available to become a full member (and get your name on a plaque in the process), but I had a hell of a good time doing it.
posted by evoque at 9:45 AM on November 16, 2010

Response by poster: If anyone has more insight into the specific tours, that kind of information is still appreciated. But as for my original question, it looks like the eight distilleries on the bourbon trail are pretty much it. Thanks to you all for the info!
posted by pipco at 11:15 AM on November 16, 2010

Jim Beam's tour is meh, although I always enjoy walking around the grounds.

I don't find the Maker's Mark tour quite as commercial as broadway bill does, but it's been about 3 years since I've been - perhaps things have changed. The grounds are beautiful, and you can dip your own bottle, if you're into souvenirs.

I've got to recommend Four Roses, but that's because Four Roses and Bulleit are my favorite bourbons.

I enjoyed the Buffalo Trace tour, and you definitely can't miss Woodford. You can also try the "Urban Bourban Trail" that goes through downtown Louisville if you're more into tasting & less into tours & scenery.
posted by pecanpies at 5:28 PM on November 16, 2010

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