If you live in Louisville and you are having out of town guests this Holiday season, chances are you want to take them to do a little mini bourbon tourism while they are here. Louisville is the perfect place for that thanks to the critical mass of distillery experiences that have popped up in the downtown area. You can see everything from a fully functioning distillery to a mini distillery and everything in between. The great thing is that there is something for everyone to enjoy here, even if they aren’t particularly that into bourbon. Here are a few suggestions:
- The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience is not only a fun way to learn about how bourbon is made, it is also a fun way to learn a little bit about Louisville’s early history and the importance of the Ohio River on frontier life.
- The Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse has a tiny distillery inside but it’s mostly about the bourbon here. Guests can taste Jim Beam products and learn more about the Jim Beam story or even bottle their own unique bottle of bourbon.
- Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery is the brandy distillery for bourbon lovers. You can take a tour, bottle your own brandy finished in a Four Roses or Goodwood barrel, and see one of the best views of Downtown Louisville anywhere.
- Angel’s Envy is one of the newest distilleries in Louisville and it is absolutely gorgeous. Reservations are required for this full service distillery right across the street from the baseball park.
- Kentucky Peerless is another grain to bottle distillery revived by descendants of the original owners in Henderson, Kentucky.
- Art Eatables now has two locations, one on Fourth Street and one on Main Street. This is THE place to buy handcrafted bourbon truffles made with your favorite bourbon – there are literally dozens of varieties made by combining your favorite bourbon with the perfect chocolate to compliment it.
- Kentucky Artisan Distillery is a great option if you are closer to the East End on Louisville or Oldham County. In use here is the original Old Forester still from just after Prohibition. You might recognize the shape – it looks just like the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon bottle!
- The Bulleit Experience at Stitzel-Weller is a great stop if you want to see Pappy Van Winkle’s office and learn more about the birthplace of the first widely-popular wheated bourbon.
- Bourbon Barrel Foods was America’s first ever soy sauce microbrewery, and today they have expanded to include barrel aged and barrel smoked spices, sauces, sugars, and more.
- The Urban Bourbon Trail is a collection of more than 30 bars and restaurants with bourbon selections of 50 or more bottles. These places have staff that know their bourbon stuff and menus that often incorporate bourbon into the dishes.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl