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Bardstown Designated “Official Gateway” To The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Tour

By:Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Posted: March 27, 2019

By:Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Posted: March 27, 2019

Known far and wide as the Bourbon Capital of the World®, Bardstown is the newest Official Gateway sponsor to the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today.

With its robust mix of iconic brand destinations and smaller craft distilleries, Bardstown is a bustling hub for thousands of Bourbon visitors looking to sample the Commonwealth’s signature spirit, said Adam Johnson, Senior Director of the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences.

This makes Bardstown a perfect choice as an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®.

“Bourbon is in the bedrock of Bardstown, and this community showcases the vibrant, small-town charm of Kentucky Bourbon culture that’s unique to our Commonwealth,” Johnson said. “This partnership will enhance the spirit and traditions of this historically significant Bourbon region.”

There are currently eight KBT® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® participating distilleries in the Bardstown area including, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Heaven Hill, Lux Row Distillers, Preservation Distillery, Willett Distillery, Jim Beam (Clermont), Four Roses (Cox’s Creek), and Maker’s Mark (Loretto). The KDA also has a satellite office in town.

Bardstown also features many popular venues like the storied Old Talbott Tavern, which has provided shelter, food and drink to travelers since the 1700s. Visitors also can tour the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, a rich and colorful archive of Kentucky’s distilling past.

Mike Mangeot, Executive Director of the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourism Commission, said Bourbon is ingrained in the community’s heritage.

“Once guests visit our historic distilleries, taste some of our legendary Bourbons and experience our true Southern hospitality they begin to understand why we say ‘Bourbon Comes from Bardstown,’” Mangeot said.

“We are excited to be an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour.”

“We are honored to receive the designation for Bardstown as an Official Gateway Sponsor to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour,” Bardstown Mayor Richard Heaton said. “This will enhance our presence in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail attraction in collaboration with our local distilleries and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.”

As an “Official Gateway” sponsor, Bardstown will receive prominent placement on the KBT® website and marketing materials, including recommended itineraries, signage and more. Bardstown joins Louisville and Northern Kentucky as “Official Gateway” level sponsors.

“Nelson County has a rich history of Bourbon experiences,” Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts said. “We are proud to be an ‘Official Gateway Sponsor of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience.”

For more information about Bardstown, Kentucky, go to

Bourbon tourists made a record 1.4 million distillery stops in 2018 – a 370 percent increase over the last 10 years. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour alone logged one million visits for the first time since its creation by the KDA in 1999.

The KBT Craft Tour® tallied 340,000 distillery stops, the most since its founding in 2012.

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a thriving $8.6 billion economic engine that generates more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion, and pours more than $235 million into state and local coffers each year.

Bourbon production has increased 115 percent over the last 10 years, and there are now 7.5 million barrels of Bourbon gently resting in warehouses across the state, the highest inventory level since 1972.

In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $2.3 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.

Distillers also paid a record $23 million last year in barrel taxes that fund critical local programs such as education, public safety and health.

KDA President Eric Gregory said Bardstown’s small-town traditions, rich history and growing group of heritage and craft distilleries give it a distinguished role as the Bourbon Capital of the World®.

“Bardstown showcases the both the tradition and evolution of Kentucky Bourbon,” Gregory said. “From family owned distilleries passed down through generations to innovative new facilities, this area offers an authentic Kentucky Bourbon experience that makes it a true bucket list destination.

“We look forward to working with Bardstown as an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour to elevate and preserve Kentucky’s heritage as the one true, authentic home for Bourbon.”

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For more information, contact Mike Mangeot at (502) 348-4877 or Adam Johnson at (502) 875-9351.

Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the historic voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Its diverse and growing membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the

Commonwealth’s timeless craft and treasured economic engine. Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. Learn more at

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIRTM, KBT®, and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please savor our Bourbon and distilled spirits like a true Kentuckian – Responsibly.