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18 Best Distilleries On the Bourbon Trail: Must Visit (2023)

Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Kentucky is home to many of the best bourbons, and one of the best ways to learn more about the spirit is by taking a tour of the best distilleries on the bourbon trail. 

To help you with your Kentucky bourbon trail itinerary, we curated a list of the must-visit distillery tours, their tour prices, and what you can expect in these Kentucky distilleries. 

18 Popular Distilleries On The Bourbon Trail 

Four Roses Distillery

Four Roses Distillery

Location: 1224 Bonds Mill Road, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342 

Tour Price: Around $16 – $45 

Why We Like It:

Four Roses Distillery expanded their Visitor Center to cater to every Four Roses bourbon fan in their signature tour and bourbon tasting. 

The Four Roses bourbon tour taught us about the brand’s history and distinctive bourbon-making approach. 

We enjoyed their bourbon tasting in their state-of-the-art Bar 1888. In addition, they gave us a chance to sample the ten different recipes of their Kentucky bourbon

Stitzel-Weller Distillery

Stitzel-Weller Distillery

Location: 3860 Fitzgerald Road, Louisville, KY 40216

Tour Price: Around $25 – $65

Why We Like It:

Stitzel-Weller Distillery was established in 1935 and reopened in 2014 when it was acquired by Diageo [1].

It is a historic distillery that served as a monument to the bourbon fathers. 

It was the first distillery of Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience and is now home to the Blade and Bow, Orphan Barrel, and I.W. Harper. 

The guided distillery tour is impressive because they offer a discovery tour and separate tasting tours at reasonable prices.

Also, we are fond of their mixology class that other distilleries do not offer. 

Wild Turkey Distillery

Wild Turkey Distillery

Location: 1525 Tyrone Road, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Tour Price: Check On-Site Pricing

Why We Like It:

Wild Turkey Distillery pulls the curtain for bourbon heads to know their whiskey production, from selecting grains and distilling process to aging in charred oak barrels. 

We walked through the halls while they unveiled their time-honored traditions and memorabilia before Prohibition [2].  

It is one of the must-try tours in Kentucky’s bourbon trail, with a nice view of the Kentucky river. Also, you can enjoy the Wild Turkey bourbon whiskeys tasting flight. 

Castle & Key Distillery

Castle & Key Distillery

Location: 4445 McCracken Pike, Frankfort, KY 40601

Tour Price: Around $20-$30 

Why We Like It:

Aside from visiting their gift shop, Castle & Key offers a bourbon trail tour and scheduled cocktail class. 

Get to know more about their Kentucky bourbon with their Distillery Experience that is offered year-round.

Also, they offer a Winter Distillery Experience that you can enjoy from January to February. 

You can walk to their Botanical Trail and garden and explore their Boiler Room and Springhouse for free.

Lastly, you can taste their flagship bourbons at Taylorton Station. 

Maker’s Mark Distillery

Maker's Mark DistilleryMaker's Mark Distillery

Location: 3350 Burks Spring Rd, Loretto, KY 40037

Tour Price: Around $22 – $75 

Why We Like It:

Maker’s Mark Distillery is one of the bourbon distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail that offers tastings and guided tours at a reasonable price. 

Please wear a weather-appropriate dress because their signature tour is mostly outdoors.

Aside from visiting their gift shop, you can attend their cocktail workshop and learn about the new twists in classic Kentucky bourbon cocktails. 

The whole tour is fun and engaging because you’ll get to know beyond the Kentucky bourbon basics.

It is a more technical and detailed barrel tour that finishes in their tasting room. 

Old Forester Distillery

Old Forester Distillery

Location: 119 West Main St in Louisville, Kentucky

Tour Price: Around $32 – $100 

Why We Like It:

Get an exclusive tour of the Old Forester Distillery and experience a VIP tasting with their Market Tour/Tasting. 

It would be ideal to book an Old Forester tour three months in advance, as the downtown Louisville distillery only accepts 16 guests per tour. 

This Kentucky bourbon trail tour is fun and engaging because we learned a lot-from fermentation, barrel making, distillation, maturation, and bottling. 

There’s a tasting of their top-selling bourbon whiskeys that you should not miss.

Old Forester is the only bourbon that managed to sell whiskey before, during, and after prohibition. 

Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

Michter's Fort Nelson Distillery

Location: 801 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

Tour Price: Around $20 – $100 

Why We Like It:

Mitcher’s Fort Nelson Distillery in downtown Louisville offers three tours: (1) Legacy Tour, (2) Founders Tour, and (3) Discovery Tour. 

The Frazier History Museum (near the distillery) is the official starting point of the bourbon trail, so after your museum visit, you can head over to Michter’s Fort for a guided tour. 

Their guided tour was informative, and we enjoyed the drink at their world-class bar at Fort Nelson.

We made online reservations, but they accept walk-ins on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Wilderness Trail Distillery

Wilderness Trail Distillery

Location: 4095 Lebanon Rd, Danville, KY 40422

Tour Price: Around $15 

Why We Like It:

Wilderness Trail Distillery offers one of the most affordable Kentucky bourbon trail tours, plus they give a souvenir shot glass at the end of the tour. 

The distillery highlights the science of making Kentucky bourbon using their local grains and sour mash fermentation.

They offer tastings at the end of the tour so you can enjoy their bourbon. 

Jim Beam American Stillhouse

Jim Beam Distillery

Location: 568 Happy Hollow Rd, Clermont, KY 40110

Tour Price: Around $12 – $25 

Why We Like It:

Jim Beam American Stillhouse is one of the best distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail that you should not miss out on. 

“The global demand for the authentic Kentucky Bourbon experience is as high as it’s ever been.”

-Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers Association 

You can take an interactive tour of their distillery and discover the legacy of Kentucky’s largest bourbon producer for over two centuries for 90 minutes. 

If you want a shorter tour, we did try their guided tasting for 20 minutes, where we tasted Jim Beam, Basil Hayden, and other family favorites from Jim Beam Distillery. 

Bulleit Distilling Company

Bulleit Distilling Company

Location: 3464 Benson Pike, Shelbyville, KY 40065

Tour Price: Around $18 – $40 

Why We Like It:

Bulleit Distilling Company is one of the distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail that allows all ages to join the tour, but you have to be 21 years old with a valid ID to do sample tasting. 

You will enjoy their tour of the Grounds, Visitor Experience, and Distillery if you love Kentucky bourbon. 

We spent 40 minutes on the guided tour portion and then had a 15-minute sensory tasting in their tasting rooms.  

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Location: 528 West Main St Louisville, KY 40202

Tour Price: Around $12 -$18  

Why We Like It:

If you plan to visit distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail, you should add Evan Williams Bourbon Experience to your list. 

Evan Williams Bourbon is the first distillery on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville, overlooking the Ohio River.

The tour was informative as we learned about Heaven Hill’s bourbon production. 

With their traditional tour and tasting, you’ll get a chance to meet Evan Williams, Kentucky’s early license distiller [3]. The tour comes with 4 product tastings too. 

Also, you can try their Ideal Bartender Experience, where you can watch a 45-minute presentation, taste three premium whiskeys, and bring home a commemorative rocks glass and special recipe.

Town Branch Distillery

Town Branch Distillery

Location: 401 Cross St, Lexington, KY 40508

Tour Price: Around $12.72 (Discount available for US Military and below 18 years old) 

Why We Like It:

Town Branch Distillery is one of the must-visit distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail because they offer two tours in one. 

Every guest (21 years old and over) can receive four tasting tokens for the samples in their brewery and distillery. 

Town Branch is one of the award-winning craft distilleries that is included on the Kentucky bourbon trail. 

You can explore the brewery and distillery on this trail and be more knowledgeable about the production process of the spirits. 

Bardstown Bourbon Distillery

Bardstown Bourbon Distillery

Location: 1500 Parkway Dr, Bardstown, KY 40004

Tour Price: Around $15 

Why We Like It:

Bardstown Bourbon Company offers one-of-a-kind barrel sampling and unique tasting, so you should go here to have a complete experience of the Kentucky bourbon trail. 

We are amazed by their all-glass classroom overlooking active farmland. We learned a lot from their production process, from grains to bottles. 

You will be guided by certified bourbon stewards the entire tour and will do a tasting on their rickhouse, straight from the barrel. 

Aside from the tour and tastings, you can have an exclusive fill-your-own-bottle VIP experience in their Vintage LIbrary and then exclusive rickhouse lounge. 

Rabbit Hole Distillery

Rabbit Hole Distillery

Location: 711 E Jefferson St, Louisville, KY 40202

Tour Price: Around $18 – $25 

Why We Like It:

We made an online reservation for the Rabbit Hole Distillery, which was worthwhile because the tour was very informative. 

In the immersive one-hour tour, we learn how grains are transformed into whiskey.

The tour began with a dram of Cavehimm and finished with a tasting of their four award-winning spirits. 

The tour is strictly for a reservation because there are only 10 participants per tour, so before heading to the location, make sure to place reservations.  

Green River (O.Z. Tyler)

Green River Distilling Company

Location: 10 Distillery Road, Owensboro, KY 42301

Tour Price: Around $20 

Why We Like It:

Green River Distillery is part of the Kentucky bourbon trail, and their tour is affordable because it includes three whiskey samples. 

It is one of the best distilleries that covers every aspect of bourbon makings, from grain to barrels. 

After the informative tour, you’ll head over to their tasting rooms with their resident experts for tasting. 

You can also drop by their gift stall, which features branded shirts, glassware, and hats for bourbon and rye whiskey lovers. 

Angel’s Envy Distillery

Angel's Envy Distillery

Location: 500 E Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

Tour Price: Around $25 – $149.99  

Why We Like It:

If you want to know how Angel’s Envy is made, you better head to the Angel’s Envy Distillery for a distillery tour in downtown Louisville [4]. 

Angel’s Envy’s bourbon is finished in port wine barrels, so you’ll enjoy the bourbon experience. For as low as $25, you can experience the distillation process of bourbon first-hand.

The distillery also offers a Cask Strength Signature Tour and a Bottle-Your-Own-Single Barrel for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

The Old Heaven Hill Springs Distillery

Heaven Hill Distillery

Location: 1311 Gilkey Run Rd. Bardstown, KY 40004

Tour Price: Around $18 – $40

Why We Like It:

If you are looking forward to a traditional, interactive, and elevated bourbon experience, the Heaven Hill Distillery will not disappoint you. 

It is one of the best distilleries that is part of the Kentucky bourbon that boasts three iconic tasting rooms with interactive exhibit galleries. 

Learn Kentucky’s history and discover the brand’s heritage. We enjoyed their unique tasting experience because we tasted, bottled, and personalized the bottle we took home.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Location: 7785 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383

Tour Price: Around $25 – $500 

Why We Like It:

Woodford Reserve has the most impressive and wide selection of distillery tours. It is the only distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with a National Historic Landmark designation.  

We had our online reservation, and we highly suggest you do the same because they do not offer waitlist options.

The Flavor Tour is a guided experience that explores the unique sources of the flavor of the bourbon, its history, and many more.  

If you don’t have time for a full tour, you can try The Senses Tasting, where you will have a thirty-minute guided tasting. 

For ultimate Woodford Reserve fans, they offer a VIP Tour Experience.

The Master Distiller will join you for a two-hour-behind-the-scenes tour of the Warehouse, Lab, and Distillery. 

FAQs

Should you get a Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport?

Yes, it will be best to get a Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport. It is an interactive passport that can be your go-to planning resource for your Kentucky bourbon trail. 

After every tour of the participating distilleries of Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you’ll get your passport stamped and have rewards unlocked by completing it. 

How many days do you need for the Bourbon Trail?

You may need at least seven days or a week for the Bourbon Trail. 

There are 18 participating distilleries, and it can be monotonous to do plain tours the whole day, so we recommend breaking it apart.  

Why is Buffalo Trace Distillery not on the Bourbon Trail?

Buffalo Trace Distillery is not on the Bourbon Trail because Sazerac withdrew from the KDA in late 2009 due to copyright and trademark issues. 

While the company ended its official association with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Buffalo Trace tastings and tours are complimentary, so you can drop by anytime. 

Final Verdict

Almost 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, so all the distilleries offer excellent bourbon experience, from history and bourbon making to tastings.  

Make your trip to Kentucky worthwhile by visiting the best distilleries on the bourbon trail.

Plan your days and make online reservations for a hassle-free bourbon trail experience. 

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2018/06/03/tasting-the-passage-of-time-5-years-of-orphan-barrels-rhetoric/ 
  2. https://www.britannica.com/event/Prohibition-United-States-history-1920-1933 
  3. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/food/spirits/bourbon/2022/06/06/charlie-downs-has-worked-at-all-heaven-hills-distilleries/9749916002/ 
  4. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/angels-envy-bourbon-club-to-open-in-cardinal-stadium-301620738.html