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Kentucky Bourbon Trail

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Alex Morales


 

 

Bourbon Trail is a program by the Association of Kentucky Distillers' to promote the Industry of Bourbon whiskey in Kentucky. Bourbon is an American Whiskey and its distilling began in the 1700's in Kentucky. It is made from corn and 95% of it is distilled in Kentucky, currently. Kentucky's tourism is blooming rapidly and Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a collection of 18 distilleries attracts thousands of tourists each year.

 

 

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History

The program was launched in 1999 and included seven distilleries of the region out of the eight. A lot of buying and selling of the distilleries took place later then, and finally in October 2012, the Association announced that it would expand the program and add a "craft tour" of the seven distilleries. Later in December 2013, a new distillery was added, making it to expand up to 8 destinations. Several distilleries were added later making a current number of 13 distilleries for the "Craft Tour". The association in August 2018, opened an official welcome center for the trail at Frazier History Museum.

 


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What is this Trail


Kentucky Bourbon tour includes a collection of major bourbon whiskey distilleries in Kentucky. It began in 1999 to attract more and more tourism in Kentucky. This trail allows the visitors to have a closer look at how the bourbon is distilled, the history of bourbon crafting and the art of perfect bourbon tasting. There are 18 bourbon distilleries currently that are a part of this Trail and are spread in the 4 regions across 


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Kentucky. Apart from these 18 distilleries, there are many more to experience and checkout for the best bourbon whiskey but are not a part of this trail.

To take a tour of all the distilleries that are a part of the trail, you'll need a minimum of 5-6 days to sample this iconic Bourbon whiskey. You can book your cheap flights to Kentucky and take this tour that lasts for about an hour giving complete details of the whiskey including its history and ending with the tasting. Even if you are not a person who wants to know everything about it, you are still good to go as some of the distilleries also offer tasting without a tour. You can also get your passport stamped and go shopping in the gift shops of the distilleries where they sell bourbon and related souvenirs.

 

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A guide to the tour

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

This trail includes a visit to the 18 Kentucky Bourbon distilleries where you get to know about the history, crafting and much more regarding the whiskey and ends with the tasting of it. The trail starts by planning your tour to the distilleries. You can go on your own or prefer to go with a group. Planning your itinerary is the first step to begin your tour, preferably from Louisville. The second step is to purchase your Bourbon Trail passport and guide and register yourself for the trail on your first distillery. The guide includes all the distilleries that are a part of the tour and step by step information for completing the tour. 

The next step is to visit all the 18 distilleries that are a part of this trail and collect your stamps as you complete your tour at each distillery. After you complete all your tours at all the 18 distilleries and collect all the 18 stamps, you will be eligible to unlock extra special things and purchase special bottles or you will get access to the special tasting and other tours offered by the distilleries (may vary according to the distillery).


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Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour

The Kentucky Bourbon Tour includes a visit to all the 23 Kentucky Bourbon distilleries across Kentucky covering the 4 regions, the Northern region, the Central region, the Western region and the Bluegrass region. The guide to this tour is the same as the trail. This tour starts with planning your way through the distilleries, region, transportation and dates and the last is to receive all your gifts as you complete your tour of all the 4 regions. You'll receive a Stave Tray to display all your coins collected at each distillery that you visited and an official Kentucky Bourbon Tasting Glass. You will get all the rewards on the last distillery that you'll visit.

 

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Difference between the two trails

The difference between the "Kentucky Bourbon Trail" and the "Kentucky Bourbon Craft Tour" is that the "Bourbon Trail" includes all the 18 distilleries of Kentucky that are a part of the official Bourbon Tour. On the contrary, the "Craft Tour" includes the other 23 distilleries that are not a part of the official tour but are registered with the KDA, Kentucky Distillers' Association.

 

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Conclusion

Instead of experiencing either of them, you can “make it a double” that signifies the completion of both tours. The process of completing this full fledged tool is the same as completing the two individually. Start by planning your trip and purchase your passport and the field guide.

Visit all the 41 distilleries, collect your badges and complete your passport by visiting each of them. After you complete your tour, scan both the QR codes that you'll receive at the last distillery to register yourself as the know who completed the whole tour. Your information will be collected and you'll be receiving a mail at the end of the month asking for your shipping address as you will receive a "SPECIAL BOURBON GIFT" for tackling all the 41 distilleries.

 

 

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