The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® is an essential adventure for Bourbon enthusiasts everywhere. Winding through the rolling hills and Bluegrass fields, this tour takes you further into the unrivaled craftsmanship of the Kentucky Bourbon industry than ever before.
This innovative tour is designed for those looking to experience Kentucky Bourbon at its very core. Try new handcrafted brands, sample our spirit and collect stamps from all nine distilleries to earn an exclusive reward through our Passport program–a classic Kentucky julep cup.
We suggest four to five days to complete the full Craft Tour Passport. Like the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® has no beginning or end, it’s probably best to plan your trip based on the charming communities and cities where you’d like to spend the night. There’s something for everyone – big-city nightlife, quaint country towns, Bourbon-themed hotels and historic bed & breakfast accommodations. Travelers along The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® should note that some of the micro-distillers may have limited touring days. The itinerary below outlines just one path to visiting each distillery in four days, but feel free to arrange the trip any way you want.
Need a handheld guide? Click here to purchase the Bourbon Trail Almanac.
Paris is comprised of miles of rolling hills, quiet streams and some of the world’s finest thoroughbred horse farms. Contrary to its name, Bourbon County was not home to an active distillery since prohibition until Hartfield & Co. Distillery opened. Hartfield & Co. pride themselves on using local grains, most of which come from within 10 miles of the distillery.
From Paris, hop on 68 toward Maysville – a picturesque town nestled on the banks of the Ohio River in northeastern Kentucky, just one hour southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. Home of the historic Old Pogue Distillery, Maysville was settled as Limestone Landing by Simon Kenton 1784 and served as Kentucky’s first major shipping port. The Old Pogue Distillery is operated by fifth and sixth generations of the Pogue family whose ancestors began operations in Maysville in 1876. Old Pogue makes only Kentucky bourbon and rye whiskies using their time honored family recipes. Be sure to make an online tour reservation at Old Pogue as walk-ins are not always available.
Northern Kentucky has something for everyone – enjoy a NASCAR race at the Kentucky Speedway or head down to Newport on the Levee for shopping, dining and the incredible Newport Aquarium. You can’t leave Newport without visiting the New Riff Distillery. Discover how New Riff is putting their own modern spin on an age-old tradition, making high quality Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Make sure to stop by the Party Source next door to peruse their Bourbons and hundreds of spirits offerings. Either stay in Northern Kentucky or head south to Lexington for a great night sleep and a fresh start for Day 2.
Next up – the hub of Bourbon, food, shopping and horses. What better place is there to continue your Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experience than Lexington? Stop in the Lexington Visitor’s Center for info on great additions to your trip. Begin your second day of Bourbon tours right down the road at Barrel House Distilling Co. It’s one of the founding members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® and features many unique products to sample. Barrel House, true to its name, is housed in the former barreling house of the James E. Pepper distilling complex, a bourbon distillery which operated from 1879-1958. Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery is less than a mile down the road if you have time for a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® stop. If not, enjoy an elegant Bourbon inspired dinner at Distilled at Gratz Park.
A scenic 30-mile drive south towards historic Danville will bring you to the Wilderness Trail Distillery located on an historic site from the 1850’s. This unique tour highlights the science behind spirit making through the use of local grains and their signature sweet mash fermentation process to create their award winning Blue Heron Vodka, Harvest Rum and traditional Old Wilderness Kentucky Bourbons and Settlers Select Rye Whiskeys. For a quaint meal and unique, intimate lodging be sure to visit Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill to experience the iconic craftsmanship and architecture that defines this Kentucky landmark. Or you might choose the award-winning historic Beaumont Inn bed and breakfast. Enjoy southern cuisine, book a massage at their spa, and make a reservation for a private Bourbon tasting with the innkeeper.
For your last stop of the day, head 30 miles west to Lebanon – the geographic center of the Bluegrass State. Limestone Branch Distillery is rich with family history and tradition. Brother Steve and Paul Beam have revived the historic Yellowstone bourbon brand to revered status, and Limestone is home of the award-winning MoonPie Moonshine, as well as numerous other spirits. At Limestone take a personalized tour and taste samples. Lebanon features Civil War history, and that’s reflected in the town’s atmosphere and architecture. Overnight accommodations include the Hampton Inn, Rosewood Golf and Country Club, and bed and breakfasts like Myrtledene, and the downtown is well known for its emphasis on fine dining. On your way to Bardstown hop on over to the world-famous Maker’s Mark Distillery to get another stamp in your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® passport.
Rest up, you’re halfway there! Find a bed and a meal in Lebanon, Bardstown or Shepherdsville – all beautiful small towns and all Official Trailheads of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.
Start day 3 at the beautiful Willett Distillery, another historic distillery rich in family history. Tour the grounds and don’t leave without stocking up on some Willett Family Estate, Johnny Drum, Rowan’s Creek, Noah’s Mill or any of the other fine brands they produce. On your way north you will also pass the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Jim Beam American Stillhouse and the Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility. If you have time, stop in for three more stamps in your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® passport.
Bardstown is the Bourbon Capital of the World® and the recently voted Most Beautiful Small Town in America. Your trip will not be complete without ordering some fried green tomatoes from the “world’s oldest Bourbon bar” at the Old Talbott Tavern. Or make reservations for upscale southern cuisine and cocktails at the Harrison-Smith House. Don’t forget to adventure into the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History.
In Kentucky’s largest city the problem is never finding things to do while you’re in town; it’s finding the time to do them all. With the help of the Louisville Visitor Center, your time will not go to waste. Your next destination is nestled in the quiet countryside just outside the city. Kentucky Artisan Distillery produces its own label, Whiskey Row Bourbon, a blend of small batch barrels mirroring the recipes that came about during the westward expansion of our nation (Kentucky Artisan is officially joining the KBTCT in August 2016!). Your next stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® is Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. With a rich family history dating back to the 1800’s, Peerless is a full grain-to-bottle Distillery offering one of the most comprehensive bourbon tours in Downtown Louisville. If you’re looking for dinner and a Bourbon flight, look no further than Bourbons Bistro. And don’t forget to stop by Art Eatables for a world famous Bourbon truffle. Grab a cocktail at Charr’d and rest your head after a long day at Louisville’s only Bourbon-themed hotel, the Marriot Louisville East. Make sure to plan a stop at Westport Whiskey & Wine for exclusive bottlings and an extensive tasting menu. Show your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® or Craft Tour passport and receive a 10% discount on the purchase of any bottles of Kentucky Bourbon, and receive 10% off any tastings of Kentucky Bourbon in the tasting room! If time allows stop by these Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries: Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience and the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse.
You’re almost done! From Louisville, take 65 South to the Western Kentucky Parkway and jump on the Pennyrile Parkway to Hopkinsville. Make your way to Pembroke, home of MB Roland Distillery – a complete grain-to-glass distillery. MB Roland uses local grains to produce their line of spirits that include Kentucky Bourbon, Black Patch Whiskey, True Kentucky Shine, and various flavored shines such as Apple Pie & Pink Lemonade. During the summer and fall months they offer their “Pickin’ on the Porch” concert series right on the porch of the distillery.
Hop on 68 and travel east to finish your journey in downtown Bowling Green, home of Corsair Artisan Distillery. The Corsair product line is extensive and has something for everyone. After touring the production facility, guests have an opportunity to taste 4 Corsair innovations. Before leaving town have dinner, grab a drink at the White Squirrel Brewery, see some hot rods at the National Corvette Museum or visit the world’s largest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park.
There is only one authentic home for Bourbon and only one Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®.
Silver Trail Distillery is closed indefinitely and is not a required stamp in your passport.
For more information, contact the Kentucky Distillers’ Association at (502) 875-9351. Please click on individual distillery icons for key information on tour availability and hours of operation as many of our craft distilleries have limited space/hours.
1200 Manchester St. | Lexington, KY 40504
Hours: Wed-Fri 12pm-5:00pm
Sat – Sun 11am-3pm
400 East Main Street #110 | Bowling Green, KY 42101
Hours: Tues – Sat 11am-5pm (CST)
718 Main St | Paris, KY 40361
Hours: Mon 8am – 4pm
Tues – Fri 8am-11pm
Kentucky Artisan Distillery (joining KBTCT August 2016)
6230 Old La Grange Rd | Crestwood, KY 40014
Hours: Tues – Fri 10am – 4pm
Sat 10am – 2pm
120 North 10th St | Louisville, KY 40202
Hours: Wed – Sat 10am-4pm
1280 Veterans Memorial Hwy | Lebanon, KY 40033
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am-5pm
137 Barkers Mill Rd | Pembroke, KY 42266
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10AM – 6PM (CST)
24 Distillery Way | Newport, KY 41073
Hours: Thurs – Sat 12pm-7pm
716 W. 2nd St. | Maysville, KY 41056
Hours: Wed-Sat 10am- 6pm
Sunday 1pm- 5pm
4095 Lebanon Road | Danville, KY 40422
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am-5pm
1869 Loretto Road | Bardstown, KY 40004
Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30am-5:30pm
Sunday 12pm-4:30pm (Mar – Dec)