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Explore Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail

by Erich Martin

Mar 17, 2020

Photo: Kelly Vandellen | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Adult Children

As one of the origins for bourbon’s name, Kentucky boasts some great distilleries to explore and drinks to taste. Take your adult kids to Kentucky and enjoy exploring while drinking some of the world’s best bourbon.


The best starting point for your bourbon adventure should be Louisville. One-third of bourbon produced in the United States is produced within Louisville’s city limits. One of the easiest ways to sample a variety of bourbons produced here is to follow the bourbon trail itinerary.


If your schedule is pretty tight and you can’t visit enough sites to get a free t-shirt, these are the first bars you should look into visiting. These bars and restaurants boast “significant” bourbon cultures, but if you want to tour some distilleries, you need to look elsewhere.


Bourbon fans will not want to miss the opportunity to visit one of the biggest distilleries in the country, Jim Beam. With two distilleries, one in Clermont and one in Louisville, only Jim Beam’s Clermont still house offers tours, so keep that in mind when booking.


In Bardstown, travelers can visit  Heaven Hill Distillery Bourbon Heritage Center. The distillery offers affordable tours and tastings, with two distinct tour options catering to different bourbon audiences.


Another big brand, Maker’s Mark, resides in Kentucky. The Loretto-based distillery tours start at $9, making it a great value for people looking for a quick and informative tour. You can also visit the gift shop and pick up some Maker’s Mark merchandise.


If you don’t care about tasting actual bourbon, but want to explore some true history, check out T.W. Samuels & Son. This defunct Deatsville distillery dates back to the 1840s and, while no longer in use as the distillery buildings collapsed, it is still used as a warehouse for other distilleries, including Maker’s Mark.


If your travel to Kentucky includes a lot of different stops, consider the state’s official bourbon trail. You can follow a map online to see which distilleries are in your area.


Whether you’re a fan of tastings, history or just getting a sense of local culture, there is something for everyone in Kentucky’s bourbon scene. It is the perfect destination for grown families looking to explore the roots of the true American spirit.


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