Love bourbon? Come with me on my Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour, and then off-trail to one of my favorite distilleries! The Bourbon Trail is easy to navigate, and a fantastic getaway for bourbon lovers!
What is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?
Fellow foodies, if you, like me, enjoy tours of vineyards, distilleries, and breweries– listen up!
I’m sure you’ve heard of famous wine-tasting regions, such as California’s wine country, Italy’s Tuscan vineyards, and France’s Loire Valley.
These areas are special because, while there are other fantastic vineyards scattered across the world, these are in clusters, and make for spectacular vineyard-hopping getaways.
Did you realize that several major bourbon distilleries in Kentucky are also clustered together?
These distilleries make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!
Kentucky’s native limestone rock makes bourbon production easier, and 95% of all bourbon is made in Kentucky.
My Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour Tips will help you plan your visit!
The Bourbon Trail runs from Lexington to Louisville, and as of March 2019 has SIXTEEN official stops.
We’ll also visit one off-trail distillery!
What else is nearby? While you’re visiting Kentucky, make sure to check go hiking at Natural Bridge near Lexington!
Bourbon Trail Tours Cost: Is it Expensive?
When I began visiting the bourbon trail, the average tour was $10 a person.
Over the past few years, the price has been steadily creeping up, and tours are often closer to $14 or $15 per person. So more, but still not super expensive.
A lot of distilleries offer specialty tours that cost more.
If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend visiting Buffalo Trace. They’re off the official trail, but had a fantastic tour.
How Long Do The Bourbon Trail Tours Take?
Most of the tours are about an hour long.
Tours tend to run on a set schedule (depending on the distillery), and can fill up quickly on busy weekends.
Plan ahead, and if the distillery allows pre-booking, do it.
If you end up waiting an hour for a tour to start, there are usually grounds to wander around or a gift shop to visit.
How Many Distilleries Can I Tour in One Day?
Plan on doing 1-3 distilleries per day.
The distilleries aren’t within walking distance of each other. They’re mostly scattered across the Kentucky countryside.
What’s the Best Time + Day for a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour?
Our weekday trips have been more enjoyable, with smaller crowds and less waiting for booked-up tours.
If you go on a weekend, make sure to book online for any spot that will let you.
In fact, the best bourbon tours I’ve had have been the first tour of the day on a weekday.
Whatever you do– remember that the first weekend in May is Derby Weekend.
If you plan your trip that weekend, be prepared for major crowds.
There are extra events and a lot more to do– just don’t forget what a magnet the Derby is.
Book your hotel FAR in advance, and call the distilleries ahead to find out what their touring schedule is for that weekend.
You should also keep in mind that most distilleries ARE NOT IN PRODUCTION during July and August because it’s simply too hot for the distilling process.
That means that you’ll still have a tour, but you might not get to see as much of the bourbon-making process.
How Much Bourbon Will I Get to Taste on a Tour?
It depends on the distillery, but somewhere from 2 – 4 tastings.
Don’t blame the distillery if you want more– they can’t hand out more because of Kentucky law.
Some of the tours give you loot in addition to the tastings.
You might get a bourbon ball candy, a souvenir glass, or even a bourbon bottle label.
Do I Have to Be 21 to Go on a Bourbon Trail Tour?
U.S. law says you have to be 21 to drink alcohol, so any tastings obviously require you to be old enough to drink.
That said, if you have someone younger with you, they should still be able to go on the tour (they just aren’t allowed to drink anything!)
Some distilleries even offer cheaper tours for anyone under 21.
Underage? Call ahead at each distillery and make sure you’re allowed to tour.
NEW BOURBON DISTILLERIES ON THE KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL
Guys, I thought I’d completed the trail.
I HAD completed the trail.
But (excitingly)– SEVEN new distilleries were added within the past year.
That’s right– in just a few months, the trail went from nine distilleries to sixteen!Here are the new guys on the trail– I’ll go visit them ASAP!
What about you? Have you been on a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
*Note: Obviously, the breweries can change the prices of their bourbon trail tours without giving me a heads-up. If you need to know exact numbers before you leave, double check on their websites.
Want to see EVEN MORE bourbon? Click here to see all of my bourbon recipes!