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Explore the birthplace of Bourbon with Lexington as your home base!
While we don't claim that Bourbon was invented in Lexington, we do claim the first registered distillery in Central Kentucky, the Ashland Distillery (R.D. #1) later known as "Old Tarr." Built in the mid-1800s on Manchester Street, one of its warehouses still stands and is home to Buster's, a popular venue for live music concerts. In the 19th century, this area at the west end of Lexington was a major hub for Kentucky's Bourbon industry. Exciting initiatives are underway to develop a Distillery District utilizing these historic buildings for shopping, restaurants, housing and entertainment venues.
Today, in the heart of the proposed Distillery District, Barrel House Distilling Company, is crafting its very own small batch Bourbon, but it probably won't be ready for consumption before spring of 2014.
Within 35 miles of Lexington, Kentucky, you can tour seven working distilleries. Stay in Lexington and explore the origins of the United States' only native spirit at:
Barrell House Distilling Company
Tour/Tastings Wednesday through Friday noon to 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tours and tastings available at 15 minutes past the hour. (Bourbon is currently aging in barrels.)
Buffalo Trace Distillery
25 miles west of Lexington.
Tours on the hour. Open year-round 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday with the last tour at 4 p.m. Open Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. from April through October. Watch a LexTreks video about Bourbon.
Four Roses Distillery
24 miles west of Lexington.
Tours given Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.
The distillery stops Bourbon production in the summer months. Tour ticket also gives guests access to tour the Cox's Creek Wareouse and Bottling Facility on the same day, or within 60 days of ticket purchase.
Town Branch Distillery
$7 (free under 18)
Alltech's new $9.2 million distillery downtown on the edge of the Distillery District is the first to be built in Lexington in nearly 100 years. This new Kentucky Bourbon is called Town Branch Bourbon. Tour includes the bourbon distillery plus the brewery on site.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Tours are on the hour with the last tour at 4 p.m.
Wild Turkey Distillery
23 miles west of Lexington.
Tours given on the hour, Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm. Tours on Sundays March through November, noon to 3 pm.
Open year-round, except for holidays, the first week of January and the last two weeks of July.
Wilderness Trace Distillery
35 miles southwest of Lexington
Tours offered Thursday and Friday 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm. Tours start on the hour. Saturday tours are seasonal. (Their Bourbon is currently aging in barrels.)
Woodford Reserve Distillery
21 miles from Lexington.
Open year-round Monday through Saturday. Tour times 10 a.m.,1 1a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Tours on Sundays at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. March through December only.
By reservation only: "Corn to Cork" tour at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or the "National Landmark" tour at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.$30
The September 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler included the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in its "Drives of a Lifetime - The World's Greatest Scenic Routes."
|Bluegrass Tavern was recently named by Southern Living as one of the Best Bars in the South.|