Whiskey Thief in Frankfort, Kentucky, is an extra-small distillery that lets you "thieve" your own bourbon from the barrel to the bottle.
Whiskey Thief is an extra small craft distillery located on Three Brothers Farm in Frankfort, Kentucky.
As of April 2023, they don’t distribute their bourbon or rye. That means it can only be purchased at the distillery. We love the exclusive feel of a tiny distillery!
We've spent a lot of time at the big facilities (see my post on touring the original nine distillers of the Bourbon Trail, as well as the newer Lux Row and Bardstown Bourbon Company).
And we've gone for a slightly more personalized visit with the Maker's Mark Ambassador Program.
But when friends visited recently, we decided to stray off the original Bourbon Trail and onto the Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, which takes in dozens more facilities throughout the state. Besides Whiskey Thief, on that day we also visited James E. Pepper in Lexington.
Here's what a visit to Whiskey Thief is like!
Booking a Tour
Tours (with tastings) were $35 per person when we visited. The fee included a small tasting glass.
You can book online. The tour takes 30 to 45 minutes, and concludes with up to five samples.
Is there a minor in your group, or someone else who won't be doing a tasting? They can take the tour for free.
Tasting + Bottling Bourbon at Whiskey Thief
As mentioned above, this is an extra small operation, with just a few distilling tanks. We had a quick tour of the distillery barn.
Interested in learning more about the process? We recommend the book Bourbon Curious by Fred Minnick.
The tastings were all barrel-strength bourbon pulled straight from the barrel with a whiskey thief (a tube used for pulling liquid out of the barrel).
These barrel-strength bourbons are also unfiltered, meaning you might have tiny pieces of charred oak in your drink. (I thought that was kind of neat.)
The tastings are high-proof, so feel free to bring a snack and take your time! There were seats both inside and out. On Fridays and Saturdays, you might even find a food truck on site.
If you opt to purchase a bottle, you can use a whiskey thief to bottle your own bourbon (or rye). This was one of the more fun things we’ve done on a distillery tour!
After the main tour, you’ve got the option to visit the gift shop and sample a few more items, such as bourbon and moonshine that aren’t made on-site. You can also order a cocktail if you like.
This was a fun stop on the craft bourbon tour and definitely one of the more unique spots we’ve visited!