Are you touring Kentucky's Bourbon Trail? Here's what to expect from a visit to the distillery at Lux Row in Bardstown.
By: Alisha Trenalone
Kentucky's Bourbon Trail is a dream destination for whiskey aficionados, but it's also a fun experience for newbies!
The official trail has 18 distilleries (at last count!), with tours for a variety of budgets and interest levels.
But the recent additions to the trail are well worth a visit! They've poured a lot of thought and resources into making the visitor experience the best it can be.
One of the newer distilleries to be added, Lux Row in Bardstown, is a great choice for a relaxed, educational visit, as well as the chance to purchase affordable bourbons.
Here's what to expect if you go!
How Much Does a Tour at Lux Row Cost?
As of fall 2022, the basic production tour and tasting at Lux Row is $15. You can add a premium pour to your tasting for an extra charge.
A higher-end bourbon tasting or a cocktails course are also available.
Whichever tour or tasting you want, you should book online in advance.
What Will I Get to See on the Tour?
First of all, take a moment to appreciate the idyllic setting. Lux Row is in some truly gorgeous countryside, complete with a tree-lined approach and a wide-open feel.
Inside the visitor center, you'll check in for your tour and be issued your actual ticket, if you already booked online.
I arrived early for my tour and spent some time on the patio, which is set up perfectly for small groups or individuals to take in a beautiful Kentucky day.
The tour begins inside the visitor center. Your group will first be shepherded into a room with a huge monitor, where you'll get a quick introduction to Lux Row products and the bourbon making process.
Interested in reading up on bourbon for yourself? Try the book Bourbon Curious by Fred Minnick.
Then it's time to move onto the distillery itself. You'll first see huge cookers and fermenting vats.
Our guide even invited us to swipe a little of the fermented mash to see what it tastes like before it's distilled. (Not bad – if you like a sourdough-ish flavor!)
Over by the stills, our guide also offered a taste of the distillate (completely unaged alcohol straight from the still) to anyone who wanted to try it.
Having already experienced the strength of the distillate over at Bardstown Bourbon Company, I decided to skip this particular offer, but most people in the group did sample it!
After a glimpse of the barreling operations, it's time for a stroll over to one of the rickhouses.
This particular rickhouse is designed to give you a wow moment, with its stacks of barrels visible from the floor all the way to the ceiling.
Lux Row also stores barrels for their partner, Limestone Branch Distillery.
After marveling at the barrels and learning a little about how they're marked and aged, you'll cap off the tour with a tasting back inside the visitor center.
How Many Bourbons Will I Get to Sample?
The Lux Row website says you will get to taste four bourbons.
But on the day I toured, we were served an additional, fifth sample. (And a few people had purchased an additional premium pour, bringing their sample size to a whopping six bourbons.)
And – in a brilliant twist – three of the bourbons were paired with gourmet chocolates.
Our guide talked us through the differences between the bourbons, and how drinking them alongside various flavors of chocolate created yet another new taste for the palate.
The Gift Shop at Lux Row
The Lux Row gift shop and visitor center bar occupy the same space, back where the tour began.
Lux Row's products are comparatively affordable, and their gift shop caters to all different budgets.
They even sell a bourbon cream liqueur – which, if you haven't tried it, is amazing on ice cream or in coffee.
Overall, the tour was a friendly, casual experience with plenty of interesting tidbits, whether you're a bourbon drinker or not.
Searching for a bite to eat after your tour? For something a bit high-end, don't miss the restaurant at Bardstown Bourbon Company or the reservations-only bar and tapas place at Willett Distillery. For something more casual, Bardstown Burger hits the spot!
Lux Row would make a fun add-on to any central Kentucky getaway! Have you ever visited? Let us know what you enjoyed in the comments.
About Alisha Trenalone
I’m Alisha and I live in eastern Kentucky. Discovering good food is one of my joys in life, but you will also find me doing lots of reading and dreaming of travel. Having worked at a local newspaper for several years, I’m avidly interested in the written word and the art of sharing stories. Now I help Sarah out in various ways here at Champagne Tastes!