The bourbon industry is constantly growing and new distilleries are popping up all the time. It’s hard to navigate the multitude of options and decide where to visit this year. Here are some distilleries I currently recommend. You will see some brand new distilleries and some old favorites.
Four Roses- Lawrenceburg, KY
Four Roses has upgraded their facilities and their modified tour is no longer. The past year or so they have had their fermenting room off limits as they expanded, but it is in full operation now. Their upgrades stayed true to their architectural style and they most certainly did not cut corners. Most of the time, advanced tickets are not needed, but on rare occasions a tour could be full, so book early just in case.
Second Sight Spirits– Ludlow, Ky
Sometimes you see upstarts and wonder how they came about. These guys have made their bourbon exactly how they’ve wanted to. Second Sight Spirits have not sourced any bourbon and embody the American dream. They do not have a backstory like many other distilleries, but what they lack in history they make up for in passion and determination. They are unlike any other distillery you will encounter, but about as pure as they come. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Castle and Key– Frankfort, KY
No other distillery has raised up a landmark from the rubble like Castle and Key. The grounds are completely unique. Their bourbon is not ready yet, but a drive to Frankfort to visit the grounds is well worth the trip. Their attention to detail and renovation is breathtaking. Don’t leave your camera at home. As of now, an early reservation is not needed most of the time, but that is sure to change quickly.
Buffalo Trace– Frankfort, KY
You may be questioning why Buffalo Trace is on the list. While their basic distillery tour is a must, they also offer one tour that is new that you will not want to miss. It’s the Bourbon Pompeii tour. This is one of the more impressive tours you can take if you are into history even the slightest. This tour takes you on the newly discovered unearthed EH Taylor still and fermenting tank room. It was buried and recently dug up on an unrelated excavation. You get to see exactly what a still house looked like over 100 years ago. A truly one of a kind tour. This one fills up very quickly so you will need to make your reservation months in advance.
Wilderness Trial– Danville, KY
Most distilleries grow at a very slow pace. Wilderness Trail is the exception to the rule. They have more than doubled their capacity most every year since they started less than 6 years ago. They are pushing the boundaries of what a craft distillery is, as they are producing almost 120 barrels a day at full production. Their mixture of science and craftsmanship creates an incredible bourbon. Their story is fantastic and unlike others. The weekday tours are easy to get into, but I would recommend scheduling ahead for a tour on the weekends.
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