Louisville is a great place to start your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure – after all, their official drink is the Old Fashioned! Begin your journey at the official starting point, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center at the Frazier Museum. Make time to peruse their Spirit of Kentucky® Bourbon exhibition, shop for Bourbon-y gifts, take a selfie in the bottle hall, and look for the secret speakeasy entrance. The Frazier staff is also an excellent resource for mapping out your trip, so use them as your ‘concierge’ for all things Bourbon.
Bust out the tennies, Whiskey Row is calling! When you walk out of the Frazier Museum and turn left, there are four KBT distilleries within a one mile stretch of Main Street – Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Old Forester Distilling Co., and Angel’s Envy Distillery. These experiences are super walkable, but if you choose to drive, make sure to reverse course as Main Street is one-way. If you would like to leave the driving to someone else, there are plenty of transportation options like Bourbon City Cruisers or free busing – click here.
Start your distillery tours at the home of the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery. See the pot stills from the original Michter’s Pennsylvania Distillery, which traces its history back to 1753. Test your senses in the lab, ask about the self-fill bottle station, and head upstairs for something delicious. The Bar at Fort Nelson features classic cocktails curated by cocktail historian and author David Wondrich as well as modern creations by Bar Manager Carrie Casler and Bartenders David Tuney and Aron Queen.
Head two blocks down to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, located just a stones-throw from the port where Evan himself used to send barrels down the river. ON3 is an urban-chic loft space that is open and airy, with exposed brick and floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll find barrel staves and bottle chandeliers at the bar, and plenty of space to sit and mingle. Enjoy flights of Bourbon or a specially prepared cocktail.
Get your shades ready for your next stop! The Old Forester Distilling Co. is four floors of Bourbon education like you’ve never seen before. You will see barrels being assembled and charred (hence the shades) in their on-site cooperage and end your tour in their state of the art cocktail lounge, George’s Bar. If visiting on Fridays and Saturdays, have your camera ready as the Old Forester Whisky Drummer drums up business on Whiskey Row! Watch as the barrels built and filled in the cooperage are rolled out onto Main Street and into their vintage-style barrel truck.
End your day with a different take on Bourbon. At Angel’s Envy, they age their Bourbon in ruby port wine casks giving it a subtle depth of flavor. After your tour, grab a hand-crafted cocktail in their gorgeous, second story bar overlooking the Ohio River (Angel’s Envy is a reservation-only distillery and is closed on Tuesdays).
Rest your tired feet and recharge with some great food and drinks. Grab an Urban Bourbon Trail® passport and start dining your way around town and discover what “Bourbonism” means to us. Make reservations at the Rooftop Bar & Restaurant at Copper & Kings for a casual yet unforgettable meal and libations overlooking the city.
Need a place to stay? We have options! When booking at the Marriott Louisville East, ask about the Bourbon suite complete with Bourbon-barrel decor. Enjoy a “Bourbon of the day” and other nightly drink specials at Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen & Lounge. For a downtown option check into the storied Seelbach Hotel, order a famed “Seelbach” cocktail, and ask about Al Capone’s getaway tunnels! If you’re looking for luxurious, southern accommodations a little off the beaten path, make reservations at the Chateau Bourbon B&B for a great night’s sleep and a Bourbon-inspired breakfast.