They’ve been making whiskey in Anderson County for centuries, and two historic distilleries are waiting to share their timeless secrets. Lawrenceburg is just off the Bluegrass Parkway, where you can jump on a tour at the Four Roses Distillery. You’re sure to fall in love with the romantic story behind this iconic brand and the unique Spanish Mission style architecture. Stop and smell the roses – literally – that are abundant on the grounds, or chill out for your own “mellow moment” in the gazebo and barrel swing.
(You may choose to get your passport stamped at the Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility in Cox’s Creek. This Four Roses tour focuses on its warehouse and bottling operations. Save on admission fees if you tour both within 60 days.)
Just 8 short miles away is where the Wild Turkey Distillery sits atop the Kentucky River. Come take a wonderful tour of their new state-of-the-art distillery and look for legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell roaming the grounds. Jimmy’s been crafting Bourbon for over 60 years and is always willing to sign a bottle or pose for a picture. Before leaving town, swing by Sweet Mash Southern Goods & Spirits for unique Bourbon gifts, trendy accessories, southern staples and a curated cocktail collection of Kentucky spirits, wines, and bar must-haves. If you find yourself just up the road in Frankfort, set sail on the Bourbon Boat to learn about the area’s history along the river.
The scenery doesn’t get much better than that of Woodford County, home to several Kentucky Derby winners, dozens of beautiful thoroughbred farms and even a genuine castle! A breathtaking drive past some of the world’s fastest horses will bring you to the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery. Book your tours online and make sure to peruse their special events offered throughout the year. While at Woodford Reserve, make time to enjoy a handmade cocktail on the patio, or continue down McCracken Pike to Millville where you will find the area’s best kept secret – The Stave Restaurant. Enjoy Kentucky-inspired dishes and handmade while listening to local performers (as scheduled).
This distillery is a true gem. The newly renovated Castle & Key Distillery is a site to behold. Don’t have time for a tour? Grab a cocktail and a snack from Taylorton Station and walk around their beautifully manicured grounds designed by famous landscape architect Jon Carloftis.
At Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. in Franklin County you will enjoy an informative and casual Bourbon experience, sampling from several barrels of uncut and unfiltered Bourbon, and can even bottle your favorite to take home. The back patio and cocktail bar, surrounded by the corn grown and used in the Bourbon, allows guests to relax and enjoy the scenic Kentucky landscape.
Lexington has long been known for its legendary race horses and also its great Bourbon. Named after the river that flows under the city’s streets, Town Branch is a small distillery that is making a big name for itself. The only “brew-distillery” on our tour, sample their Bourbon, rye, or beer and make sure to take home a 4-pack of their signature Bourbon Barrel Ale.
Welcome to Lexington’s historic Distillery District! Barrel House Distillery true to its name, is housed in the former barreling house of the James E. Pepper distilling complex which operated from 1879-1958. Grab a drink at the adjoining Elkhorn Tavern and explore the district – also home to the James E. Pepper Distillery located just next door. After a multi-year construction effort, the historic distillery—which after fifty years of neglect had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair—has been completely restored and is now tour and tasting ready. NEW! Now there’s even more to love in Lexington’s bustling distillery district with the addition of RD1 Spirits. This beautiful craft distillery, tasting room and lounge was co-founded by UK Football Coach Mark Stoops. You can expect special events and signings with UK’s greatest athletes, or just drop in to hangout and watch the game and enjoy a cocktail or Bourbon slushy.
NEW! Fresh Bourbon aims to deliver a luxury Bourbon experience right in the heart of Lexington. Take a tour and make sure to book their Mixology Cocktail Experience.
Located in a newly renovated complex that was formerly an old bakery and colloquially known as “the bread box”, there’s plenty to do when visiting Bluegrass Distillers. Find out how organic and locally sourced grains make all the difference in this unique Bourbon.
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 in 2013. Hartfield & Co. pride themselves on using local grains, most of which come from within 10 miles of the distillery.
With great Bourbon, cuisine, shopping and horses, there’s no better place to hang your hat than Lexington. Touted Horse Capital of the World®, it’s the perfect place to recharge for your next day of Bourbon adventures. Speaking of horses, if you want to check out some thoroughbred farms, our friends at Horse Country have a VIP seat with your name on it.
Make reservations at a historic Lexington icon, the The Campbell House, Curio Collection by Hilton – a horse farm turned award-winning hotel. Visit their newly built Rackhouse Tavern and choose from over 300 Bourbons and whiskeys. For an “artful” escape, book a room at the 21c Museum Hotel – part boutique hotel, part contemporary art museum, and part restaurant in the heart of downtown Lexington. Dine at the on-site Lockbox restaurant for cuisine highlighting the region’s best ingredients, then hit the bar to sample over 60 fine Bourbons and ryes. Click here for discounts and special offers through their Bourbon Passport Club!
Enjoy some branch with your Bourbon? Old Limestone Mixing Water is bottled at the source 130 ft below ground in Central Kentucky. This unique limestone aquifer produces a rich, velvety smooth water with hints of calcium and magnesium (which amplify flavors) yet with no iron at all (which would turn a Bourbon mash black). You can get your own Old Limestone Mixing Water delivered to your door directly from the source–because your Bourbon deserves the absolute best. Add Old Limestone to your home bar today (available for purchase on Amazon).
Distilled Living is Kentucky’s original independent professional Bourbon education, experiences, and events company. Elevate your trip with VIP and unique behind-the-scenes access to the distinctive places, people, and products that define the Kentucky Bourbon industry, and enhance any gathering with their premium Bourbon tastings and mixology classes.
You can’t leave Kentucky without popping the top on an Ale-8-One, Kentucky’s oldest surviving soft drink with a kick of spicy ginger. Kentuckians love to drink it straight or mix it up in a cocktail. What do you get the Bourbon lover (or yourself!) who has everything? The Barrel Market in the Summit at Fritz Farm is a must-stop for gift ideas, unique furniture, hard to find bottles, and Bourbon tastings. Owner and Executive Bourbon Steward Brian Dickens works directly with local artisans and Amish furniture makers to craft some of the most unique, custom pieces out of barrel wood that you’ve got to see to believe.