Destination Distilleries: Why Bourbon Lovers Are Flocking To Bardstown, Kentucky
Get To Know The Town And The People Who Make The World’s Finest Bourbons
As the Bourbon Capital of the World®, Bardstown, Kentucky, is home to a distinguished collection of world-famous distilleries, as well as a number of newer craft distilleries. Several of these are official stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, a uniquely Kentucky experience that shows visitors the craftsmanship and tradition of the state’s signature spirit. Here are a few to get you started.
Lux Row Distillers™
One of Bardstown’s newest distilleries, Lux Row blends timeless craft and modern innovation to create some of Kentucky’s most regarded bourbon brands, including Rebel Yell®, Ezra Brooks®, David Nicholson® and Blood Oath. With a 43-foot custom copper still, six barrel warehouses and the capabilities to produce three million gallons of spirit a year, Lux Row Distillers is a must-see.
Independent and family-owned since 1936, the historic Willett Distillery specializes in handcrafted, small-batch and single-barrel selections of distilled spirits. Visitors to its historic property can choose from more than a dozen different tour and tasting experiences, including access to specialty products like the elegant Willett® Pot Still Reserve. While there, be sure to grab a meal at The Bar at Willett, their onsite restaurant opened in late 2019. The Bar at Willett features small plates with locally sourced ingredients and a fabulous cocktail program in an intimate space with an open air kitchen. It’s a meal not to be missed!
Bardstown Bourbon Company™
Set on 100 acres of active farmland, this American whiskey and bourbon destination experience features a state-of-the-art distillery, vintage whiskey library and a unique educational experience. End your visit with a meal at Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar, which offers expertly crafted cocktails and superb food in a hip, modern setting. (Hint: try the boozy milkshakes!)
These three esteemed distilleries are only the beginning. True bourbon aficionados will want to pay a visit to the Maker’s Mark Distillery, where they can hand-dip a bottle of Maker’s Mark® Bourbon in the brand’s iconic red wax, and the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, where they can walk in the footsteps of seven generations of master distillers.
Even more distilleries await in Bardstown: the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center was redesigned in late 2019 and now features three gorgeous, unique tasting rooms. Coming in early 2021 is phase two: a rooftop restaurant and bar! Or check out Bardstown’s newest craft distillery, Preservation Distillery, and their unique, small batch offerings. No visit to Bardstown is complete without visiting the oldest continually-operating distillery in the entire town, Barton 1792 Distillery. Free tours and tastings all the time!
Our advice? Pour yourself a drink and start planning your visit to Bardstown now.