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Events

Sep30

Black Jacket Symphony

The Beatles "Revolver".  A unique concert experience which recreates... more
Oct2

"House Divided" Cemetery Walking Tours

Offered by the Mary Todd Lincoln House, the tour features graves of both soldiers and... more
Oct5

Split Rock Jumping Tour

With convenient online entries and the All-Inclusive Entry Packages, combined with the... more
Oct6

Central Bank Thursday Night Live

Featuring Mike Archer Band!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Oct6

The Bourbon Social

Bourbon lovers will not want to miss this annual event that takes place over four days.... more
Oct7

Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing

No racing on Mondays or Tuesdays. See live Thoroughbred racing at the most elegant race... more
Oct7

Night Market

A monthly pop-up open air-market/street festival held on the first Friday of every month... more
Oct8

Perryville Battlefield Re-enactment

Experience 1862 during the re-enactment of the Battle of Perryville and watch history... more
Oct13

Central Bank Thursday Night Live

Featuring Vinyl Richie!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music by... more
Oct14

The Bourbon Chase

An overnight relay adventure.  Teams of runners cover 200 miles of scenic byways... more
Oct15

Party for the Pumpkins

At this Fall Family Festival, enjoy fall-themed activities and crafts; a straw maze; a... more
Oct28

Disturbia at the Distillery

It's a night of dinner, drams and drama!  The night starts with the popular Ghost... more
Nov1

CP National Horse Show

A week-long championship event held indoors at the Alltech Arena, Featuring... more
Nov18

23rd Annual Southern Lights

The 23rd Annual Southern Lights includes a self-guided four mile journey through a... more
Nov18

LexArts Gallery Hop

Thousands of locals and visitors alike converge on downtown Lexington to celebrate art... more
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History

While we don't claim that Bourbon was invented in Lexington, we do claim that it was born of Kentucky's natural bounty and the skill of our early settlers. Plan a trip to explore the birthplace of Bourbon with Lexington as your home base. Experience our Bourbon distilleries, Bourbon bars and regional cuisine, and you'll gain an appreciation of America's native spirit and our connection to a product whose popularity is booming around the world.

Lexington was home to 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 Manchester Music Hall, 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. Rockcastle Straight Kentucky Whiskey is distilled using the highest quality locally sourced corn and wheat ground by nearby Weisenburger Mills, and mountain spring water from King Springs in Rockcastle county.  Just around the corner, the first new distillery to be built in Lexington is producing Town Branch Bourbon.

Bourbon AdvertisementWhat do we know about the origins of Bourbon? We know that people have been turning grain into distilled spirits for centuries, and we know that early Kentucky settlers brought their techniques, and probably their stills, with them. Corn was abundant in this region, and a popular choice as a major ingredient when distilling whiskey.

Time spent in charred oak barrels gives this whiskey a distinctive color and flavor. But how did it come to be named Bourbon? Some historians say Kentucky whiskey was shipped down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in barrels stamped "Bourbon", its county of origin. Others contend much of it ended up in the area of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Kentuckians like to debate this topic, preferably over a fine example of America's Native Spirit.

Click here for additional resources on the earliest distilleries in Lexington.