Make It a Double – Itinerary2022-09-20T10:45:13-04:00



This is it, guys. This is the big one.

A week-plus minimum, 950 mile, 41 distillery, 2 time zone, ultimate Bourbon excursion. You will see, taste and smell some of the most legendary distilleries our Commonwealth has to offer. You will eat amazing cuisine designed to complement our whiskeys. You will sip on cocktails prepared by true artists. And you will see some of the most beautiful countryside short of Ireland itself. Kentucky produces 95% of America’s native spirit in that old-fashioned, time-honored tradition. Take your time and enjoy it our way.

BIG NEWS! We have overhauled the passport you know and love and turned it into a beautiful, 150+ page booklet that will help you on your journey! The new Bourbon Trail™ Passport & Field Guide includes all 18 KBT® distilleries as well as all 23 KBT Craft Tour distilleries. Books can be purchased at all participating distilleries or in advance here (all proceeds go towards furthering responsibility and sustainability efforts across the Commonwealth). Click here to learn more about the Bourbon Trail Passport & Field Guide.

There are so many ways to plan your route, but here is what we suggest.

Want to leave the driving and planning to someone else? We support planning ahead and staying safe on the KBT tours. Book today with one of our trusted Transportation partners like Mint Julep Experiences or Pegasus Distillery Experiences.

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Louisville is a great place to begin your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures – after all, their official drink is the Old Fashioned! When you’re not touring one of Louisville’s legendary distilleries, you can dine, shop, relax, and discover what “Bourbonism” means to us. We are also pleased to announce that the Frazier Museum is the home of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center! 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.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Bust out the tennies, Whiskey Row is calling! When you walk out of the Frazier Museum, there are four KBT distilleries and one KBTCT distillery within a one mile stretch of Main Street – Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Old Forester Distilling Co., Angel’s Envy Distillery, and Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. 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 – click here.

To start your KBT Craft Tour passport, stop by the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Learn how the Taylors are preserving their family’s 130-year distilling tradition as you tour their beautiful facility. Take home some of their rye whiskey or their newly released Bourbon and ask about the family distilling history that dates back almost 100 years.

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.

Continue your journey 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).

Continue your Louisville experience in the beloved NuLu district at Rabbit Hole Distillery. Step into this ultra-modern facility to learn how the owner fell in love with Bourbon as he fell in love with a girl, and what drives him to make what he considers to be the best Bourbons and ryes. Finish your tour with a cocktail in their Overlook bar curated by Death + Co.

NEW! Make plans to stop into the Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery where they carefully craft brandy for Bourbon lovers. Make reservations at their Rooftop Bar & Restaurant for a casual yet unforgettable meal and libations overlooking the city.

Make your way back to West Louisville to tour the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery This site originally opened in 1935 has been closed to the public for years. Walk around for a few minutes and you’ll see just how much whiskey history has occurred on these hallowed grounds. Bring your appetite to the new Garden & Gun Club where southern fare is on full display. (Stitzel-Weller is closed on Tuesdays.)

Your next destination is nestled in the quiet countryside just outside Louisville. 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 the United States.

Now that you’ve left the city limits, make your way to nearby Shelbyville to peruse the new home of Bulleit Distilling Co. Tour their state-of-the-art distillery, grab a cocktail from their bar, and take home a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon with your own customized label. (Bulleit is closed on Mondays.)

When you visit Jeptha Creed Distillery, you feel like family. The Netherys use an heirloom variety of “bloody butcher” corn to make their Bourbon, and raise their own produce they use to infuse their spirits with. After your tour, grab a cocktail and gaze over the rolling hills and rickhouses.

The Butchertown Grocery Bakery is the only bakery in the state that also sells Bourbon! Not only will you enjoy fresh-baked European style breakfast and lunch treats, but you will also be able to purchase unique single barrel selections handpicked by Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Johnson. Just check out their IG page and try not to drool!

Kentucky Derby Museum is the place where Derby legends, horses and Bourbon come together to create unforgettable experiences. The Derby Café & Bourbon Bar has more than 100 Bourbons on the menu, making it the perfect spot to stop after one of the Museum’s exclusive tours of Churchill Downs. Guests who go on the Bourbon & Bridles Experience learn why Kentucky’s most iconic treasures – Bourbon & Thoroughbreds – make the perfect pair. The Museum is a quick ten-minute drive from Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Did someone say horses? For an extra special adventure, head to the scenic outskirts of Louisville to the Hermitage Farm where you can take a tour of their working horse farm, stroll through their art walk, peruse their culinary garden, enjoy a Bourbon tasting or cocktail class in a horse barn with some equine friends (hide your peppermints!), and dine at the worldclass Barn 8 Restaurant.

Time to stock up! Grab some old favorites and maybe some hard to find gems at Westport Whiskey & Wine. Show your Bourbon Trail™ Passport & Field Guide and ask about their discounts and special offers. Need to take a walk on the sweet side? Indulge in delectable Bourbon truffles and other divine confections at Art Eatables. Get your belly full and enjoy a well-crafted Bourbon flight at Bourbons Bistro, Louisville’s foremost Bourbon bar, located in the historic Clifton district. With a selection of more than 130 Bourbons, including an exclusive barrel selection program, Bourbons Bistro has a seasonal menu that is Bourbon inspired and locally sourced.

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.

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 some downtown options check into the storied Seelbach Hotel, order a famed “Seelbach” cocktail,  and ask about Al Capone’s getaway tunnels! Nestled in downtown Louisville on historic West Main Street, along Museum Row, 21c Museum Hotel Louisville is a contemporary art museum, an award-winning 91-room boutique hotel, and home to acclaimed Proof on Main restaurant. 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.

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Get ready folks. This next stop extends your journey, but it is so worth the drive. Occupying the revived Charles Medley Distillery site, Green River Distilling Co. has resurrected the legendary Green River brand at its former home.  Enjoy a historic tour and a tasting in this beautifully restored distilling landmark in Owensboro.

Next, head south and 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 on what used to be an amish farm.

And just up the road is Casey Jones Distillery, a beautiful property that is perfect for some porch-sipping of their fine spirits. Makers of traditional moonshine and other spirits, Casey Jones’ scenic setting and fantastic hospitality will leave you an expert on how to create the world famous Moonarita.

Heading back toward central Kentucky, make your way to the charming Dueling Grounds Distillery to sample their newly released Linkumpinch Bourbon or their delicious fruit liqueurs.

NEW! Let us take you back to Muhlenberg County to see The Bard Distillery! Kim and Thomas Bard – 4th great grandson of William Bard for whom “Bardstown” got its name – have breathed life into the property that was once home to Thomas’s own elementary school. You’ve got to see what they’ve done with the place.

On your way to Bardstown, stop into Boundary Oak Distillery and try their small batch offerings such as their Lincoln Straight Bourbon, Patton Armored Diesel, and Kentucky Amber.

Keep in mind that Green River, MB Roland, Casey Jones, Dueling Grounds and The Bard are in the central time zone.
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On your way to Bardstown, make a pit stop in Shepherdsville – a perfect and convenient place to go shopping, dine or lay your head after so much Bourbon education. Don’t miss the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest across from Jim Beam.

Just north of Bardstown lies the home of one of the world’s most noted whiskeys – the James B. Beam Distilling Co. After seeing every step of the process, you’ll have the chance to dip your own bottle of Knob Creek right off the bottling line. After the interactive, multi-sensory tour, make sure to grab some delicious food and sip a cocktail at The Kitchen Table Restaurant. Come as friends, leave as family!

No Bourbon journey is complete without a stop in historic Bardstown – the Bourbon Capital of the World® and an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail™. Heaven Hill is the nation’s largest family-owned spirits producer making brands such as Elijah Craig, Larceny, Henry McKenna and many others. The Shapira’s have been operating in Bardstown since 1935, and they love having visitors. At the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience, you can choose from their tour options, bottle your own Bourbon, and enjoy a delicious cocktail at the Five Brothers Bar.

Continue your quest for stamps in your KBTCT passport at another historic distillery rich in family history. Tour the grounds at Willett Distillery and make reservations at The Bar at Willett for an unforgettable cocktail and dining experience (I bet you didn’t know you liked egg salad until you try this!).

With a perfect blend of timeless craft and innovation, Lux Row Distillers calls home some of Kentucky’s most iconic Bourbon brands such as Ezra Brooks and Rebel.  Enjoy their chocolate and whiskey tastings and try to see their famous peacocks roaming the grounds.

Take a distillery tour, book a cocktail class, eat your heart out…you can do it all at Bardstown Bourbon Company. Don’t miss a chance to dine at their onsite Kitchen & Bar. Enjoy a delicious meal and cocktail in this gorgeous ultra-modern distillery, and make sure to peek at the vintage whiskey offerings in their extended menu (don’t forget to order a boozy milkshake). Click here for reservations.

Less than 2 miles from the center of enchanting Bardstown on an old tobacco farm you’ll find Preservation Distillery + Farms, a small operating farm and distillery making 100% pot distilled Bourbon and whiskey in 1-3 barrel batches. Longhorn cattle roam the property, and with itty bitty releases of their Olde St Nick, Wattie Boone, Cowboy Little Barrel and Preservation you’re sure to have a worthwhile visit.

Head south of Bardstown to Lebanon which is literally the “heart” of Kentucky — it’s the geographic center of the Bluegrass State. There’s a lot of history in this small town with the Civil War Trail, the John Hunt Morgan Trail, and our favorite, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® (we might be biased). Grab a snack downtown and then stop by the beautiful Limestone Branch Distillery, a founding member of the KBT Craft Tour®. 7th generation Beams – Steve & Paul – will let you sample some of their award-winning products including the Yellowstone Bourbon and Minor Case Rye.

You’ve seen how the whiskey is made. You’ve learned how to mix it in a cocktail. But have you ever seen the skilled craftsmen bending the staves to make the barrels, hammering on the rings, and charring the insides with a big burst of flame? Now you can! Book a Kentucky Cooperage Tour at the Independent Stave Company and leave smelling like our favorite perfume – charred oak (close-toed shoes required).

One of Kentucky’s most remote and charming distillery properties is well-worth the trek. While at Maker’s Mark see the barrels aging sweetly beneath the Chihuly blown-glass installment, and don’t forget to dip your own bottle in the gift shop. Settle in for a delicious, southern meal at Star Hill Provisions, and get a cocktail or alcoholic Ale-8-One slushy – trust us.

Head out to the county for this stunner of a destination, Log Still Distillery. Founded by three members of the Joseph Washington Dant family, these are distillery grounds like you’ve never seen before. Complete with an amphitheatre that draws artists like the Gin Blossoms and Little Big Town, The Legacy a gorgeous wedding and events venue inspired by rickhouses, a full-service farm to table restaurant, working train depot and beautiful onsite lodging, you’ll never want to leave.

Wind down in Bardstown as you peruse the shops and start planning your nightcap destination. Take a stroll through the past at the newly renovated Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. Don’t miss an opportunity to dine on classic Kentucky fare in the Old Talbott Tavern (try the fried green tomatoes), have a nightcap in the “world’s oldest Bourbon bar”, and even spend the night if you feel so inclined. Need another unique and storied lodging option? Immerse yourself in Bourbon and American history when you stay at The Samuels House. This 250 year old home to eight generations of the family behind the iconic Maker’s Mark brand is packed with their personal collection of amazing whiskey memorabilia and is just waiting for you.

(When planning your trip, keep in mind that Bardstown is more rural than Louisville and Lexington, and on-demand ride services may not be available. Click here to see your transportation options in and around Bardstown…planning ahead is key!)

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Next destination – Danville: the birthplace of Kentucky. Enjoy the beauty of the Bluegrass as you stroll through the vibrant downtown while taking in the historic, small-town charm. Follow the storied trail carved by Daniel Boone to Wilderness Trail Distillery where local grains are used with their signature distillation process to produce its spirits right in Danville. Learn the science behind fermentation and sample their small batch and single barrel Bourbons, and single barrel rye whiskey. And catch Cooper (the cat) if you can! (Note: Wilderness Trail Distillery moved from the KBT Craft Tour onto the KBT in early 2020. You may still get your Craft Tour book stamped here, but it is no longer required for completion). Make reservations at The Still at AMBRAbev for Brazilian-inspired fare and cocktails.

Settle in to the historic Beaumont Inn for dining, drinks and relaxation in Kentucky’s first settlement. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Beaumont has 31 guest rooms and offers delicious Southern cuisine. Don’t miss the adjoining Old Owl Tavern and their generous selection of Bourbon brands. Call to setup your own Innkeeper’s Bourbon Tasting with house Bourbon specialist, Dixon Dedman.

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).

NEW! 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.

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.

(You may choose to visit the Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery in Pikeville to receive your stamp for Town Branch.)

Lexington’s 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 old distillery district – also now the 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. That was an easy way to get two Craft Tour stamps!

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.

Want to taste more of Lexington? Located in the historic distillery district, RD1 Spirits is a beautiful craft distillery, tasting room and lounge. 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. Walk in or book now for an Advanced Sensory Tasting. (RD1 is not currently on our passport but is a great stop!)

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 Tours 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! 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. 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).

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Northern Kentucky has played an important role in the movement and production of whiskey throughout our country’s history. Today visitors can explore their booming craft distillery scene, catch a ballgame, shop at Newport on the Levee, and enjoy a delicious meal and cocktails at any of the top-notch NKY establishments. Need another challenge? While you’re at it, drop in to at least 2 distilleries, 2 bars and 2 restaurants listed on your B-Line passport for a full Northern Kentucky experience.

Continue the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® section of your passport at New Riff Distilling. Discover how New Riff is putting their own modern spin on an age-old tradition, making high quality Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and rye. Grab a drink at their Aquifer Bar, and make sure to stop by the Party Source next door to peruse their Bourbons and hundreds of spirits offerings.

Just a few miles away you will find Second Sight Spirits, a small distillery with a huge entertainment factor. Founded by two industrial designers that left the Vegas strip for the thriving metropolis of Ludlow, Kentucky, Second Sight makes a variety of spirits on a self-engineered, one-of-a-kind still that has to be seen to be believed. Good fortune awaits next door at their tasting and events room, so check their calendar often for offerings only Carus and Rick could imagine.

From Second Sight, following the river to Maysville – a picturesque town nestled on the banks of the Ohio River in northeastern Kentucky, just one hour southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. 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.

Make your way back west to the home of the Boone County Distilling Co. Boone County has taken up the tradition of a distillery that once was located only miles from the facility. Stop in to see why their spirits are “made by ghosts” and sample their Kentucky Bourbon, Bourbon Cream and their White Whiskey, Tanner’s Curse.

The last stop in the Northern Region is the Neeley Family Distillery. To see what 11 generations of distilling heritage looks like, and how they transitioned their focus from moonshine to Kentucky Bourbon, drop in for a tasting, a cocktail and an amazing history lesson.

Located in Covington, KY, on the northern end of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and B-Line, Hotel Covington is the perfect place for a night out or night away. With vintage touches and modern tailoring, along with 114 guestrooms, Coppin’s Restaurant and Bar (stocked with popular and rare Bourbons), intimate lounge spaces and outdoor courtyards, Hotel Covington sings in style, character and comfort.


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