Distilleries in Kentucky | Best Western Hotels

  

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Distilleries and Spirit Destinations in Kentucky

From the bluegrass fields and Cumberland Mountains to the large cities of Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky pays tribute to its bourbon, whiskey, and wine legacy.   Here are 10 cherished, and legendary distilleries towns to explore with a stay at over 30 Best Western hotels.

Toast To The Four Roses Distillery

Visit The Four Roses Distillery, settled in the quiet Lawrenceburg countryside in Eastern Kentucky. It’s easy to find – it’s located in a stunning landmark building reminiscent of Spanish Mission-Style architecture, unusual for the Bluegrass State. The grandeur of the place, built in 1910, feels fitting.

Legend reveals that it was the love a Southern Belle that inspired Paul Jones, Jr.’s choice of roses in the brand. But it was the love of fine Bourbon that pushed forward operations in 1922, and it has been creating rich, yet mellow Bourbon ever since.

Tours of the Distillery are available and include a video that examines their history, a presentation and samples of the now famous Four Roses Bourbon. Souvenirs are available at the gift shop.

Taste A Slice of Heaven At Heaven Hill Distillery

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is often referred to as a little slice of heaven, but in Bardstown, you can taste it at the Heaven Hill Distilleries. A creation of the Shapira family and Joe beam, this distillery has been making fine Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (and other spirits) since 1935.

Considered the largest private, family-owned Bourbon producer in the United States, Heaven Hill is still run by the Shapira family. When visiting, take the Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Heaven Hill Distillery Trolley Tour or the Spirit of Bourbon Tour before sampling flagship labels, including Evan Williams and Elijah Craig, in a stunning barrel-shaped tasting room.

The distillery complex also hosts the Bourbon Heritage Center. Here, you can explore historical exhibits and enjoy the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Savor Samples At The Jim Beam Distillery

No trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail would be complete without a stop at Clermont’s Jim Beam Distillery. This famous spot has a reputation for producing the world’s best-selling Bourbon, and it all began back in 1795 when Jacob Beam reportedly sold his first barrel. The business grew, and James B. Beam expanded and rebuilt the current distillery in 1933. The “Jim Beam” label continues to honor him.

Heritage tours of the Jim Beam Distillery are available throughout the week during most of the year. Visitors can explore the T. Jeremiah Beam house, the oldest rackhouse (with more than 20,000 barrels) and an 1880's copper still. The tour concludes with premium samples, including Small Batch Bourbon.

Taste The Wheat At Maker’s Mark Distillery

As you sample the famous distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, make a point of finding the more secluded Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto.

T. William "Bill" Samuels Sr. established Maker's Mark in 1954, after he purchased the "Burks' Distillery," in Loretto. With design input from Samuels Sr.’s wife, the first square bottle of small-batch bourbon whiskey, complete with the red wax seal, was finished in 1958.

Maker's Mark uses red winter wheat instead of rye. The warehouse aging process runs between six and seven-and-a-half years, which contributes to the full-flavored taste. You can learn these tricks, along with other secrets by taking one of the one-hour tours, offered daily. All ages are welcome, but you must be over 21 to join the sampling.

Try Something Wild At The Wild Turkey Distillery

When you want to taste something wild, particularly along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a stop at Lawrenceburg’s Wild Turkey Distillery in Eastern Kentucky is a must.

The Wild Turkey Distillery has been producing Bourbon since 1869, when the Ripy brothers purchased a distillery on this very hill. In 1893, their Bourbon represented Kentucky at the World's Fair. Today, the distillery produces numerous labels including Wild Turkey 81, Wild Turkey American Honey, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Wild Turkey Straight Rye Whiskey and Russell's Reserve 10-Year-Old, among others.

Get a first-hand look at how the master distillers make this famous brand by joining one of the popular distillery tours. Guided tours are held Monday through Saturday throughout the year, and on Sundays from March through December.

Taste The History At Woodford Reserve Distillery

The Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Landmark, is based in Versailles – just west of Lexington. It is here that you can find Kentucky’s oldest distillery and also the smallest.

Established in 1797, this distillery employs the only copper pot still and triple distillation process in existence to create Woodford Reserve Bourbon – also known as the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. Today, their Bourbon is crafted in small batches and known for its clean finish and complex flavor.

The distillery offers two guided tours: “Woodford Reserve Distillery: A National Landmark Tour” and “Woodford Reserve Corn to Cork Tour” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. General admission into the distillery is also available. Tours require reservations and a small fee.

Barrel House Distilling Co.

The Bluegrass State of Kentucky is known to be home of the largest number of turkeys in the country, as well as home to a variety of distilleries. Barrel House Distilling Co., located in Lexington, is one of many fine state distilleries including, Wild Turkey Distillery, Jim Beam Distillery and Heaven Hill Distilleries. Visit Barrel House from nearby Georgetown.

Barrel House Distilling Co. set up shop in an old barreling house of a former bourbon distillery in eastern Kentucky. This is where they produce Oak Rum, Pure Blue Vodka and Devil John Moonshine. Stop by the distillery for a tour, to learn about the distilling process, as well as the history of Lexington's distilleries. After the tour, visit the Tasting Room to sample their work.

Barton 1792 Distillery

Covering 192 acres, the Barton 1792 Distillery was originally known as the Tom Moore Distillery, which was established in 1879. The grounds include 28 aging warehouses – including “Warehouse Z” – perched on a bluff. The “1792” refers to the year Kentucky became a state. Barton 1792 is just one stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Located in the greater Louisville area, complimentary tours are available every hour from 9am-3pm Monday through Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday. Tastings are also included. When you plan your next visit to Kentucky, be sure to explore the Barton 1792 Distillery, a short drive south from Shepherdsville.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

The state of Kentucky is certainly known for many things – bluegrass, horse racing, a popular and successful college basketball team (Wildcats, anyone?), and without a doubt, their bourbon. Plan your next visit to the greater Louisville area and Frankfort, where you'll want to tour the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Built in 1920, the Buffalo Trace Distillery is a landmark in Frankfort. You can find the Buffalo Trace Distillery just north of downtown, along the Kentucky River. Plan your visit and embark on any of the excellent on-site tours. There's the Bourbon Barrel Tour, the Hard Hat Tour, the Trace Tour, and the very popular Ghost Tour.

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Covering 192 acres, the Barton 1792 Distillery was originally known as the Tom Moore Distillery, which was established in 1879. The grounds include 28 aging warehouses – including “Warehouse Z” – perched on a bluff. The “1792” refers to the year Kentucky became a state. Barton 1792 is just one stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Located in the greater Louisville area, complimentary tours are available every hour from 9am-3pm Monday through Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday. Tastings are also included. When you plan your next visit to Kentucky, be sure to explore the Barton 1792 Distillery, a short drive south from Shepherdsville.

Limestone Branch Distillery

Named after the limestone water crucial for distinct Kentucky Bourbon, Limestone Branch Distillery – located near Shepherdsville in greater Louisville – is making and aging bourbon and rye whiskey; however, they’re also distilling moonshine, which is growing again in popularity.

The distillery's Moon Pie Moonshine, including flavors like banana and chocolate, adds a twist to two longtime Kentucky favorites. Tours are available at the top of every hour from 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday and 1pm-5pm on Sundays; they’re free and include several small samples.

New Riff Distillery

The newest distillery to officially join Kentucky’s Bourbon Tour, New Riff is near Florence in eastern Kentucky. It’s a small distillery in an urban setting, having just opened in the spring of 2014. New Riff is working, as time allows for aging, to make new bourbons, spirits, and beers as well.

Tours begin every 90 minutes, starting at 10:30am and ending at 6pm, Monday through Saturday. Sunday tours are available at 12:30pm, 2:00pm, and 3:30pm with complimentary tastings afterwards. Special events take place throughout the year – including evenings with chefs preparing meals designed to complement the bourbon varieties.

Town Branch Bourbon

Plan a trip into Kentucky, and head for the eastern Region. You'll want to explore Town Branch Bourbon, a key part of the Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, which also brews Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Town Branch is named for the body of water that runs under Lexington that has long been used in the production of Kentucky bourbon.

Tours are available every day and reservations are only requested for groups of 15 or more. Hourly tours run Monday through Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sundays noon-5pm – with 4pm tours being the last each day. Cost is $7 per person and includes four tasting tickets. Town Branch is an easy and scenic drive from nearby Georgetown.

Willett Distilling Company

Founded in 1936, the Willett Distillery remains a small, craft distillery in the heart of Bourbon Country. Located along KY 49 in the city of Bardstown in greater Louisville, Willett produces the Willett brands as well as Johnny Drum, Old Bardstown, and several other small batch brands – including Rowan’s Creek and Noah’s Mill. Drive in from nearby Shepherdsville.

Tours last between 45 minutes to an hour. They run from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Saturday year round and 12:30pm to 3:30pm on Sundays, except January and February. Tours cost $7 with military members with valid ID are free. It is recommend to call ahead for Friday or weekend tours. The Willet Distillery is just one stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.