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Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Old 08-03-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
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Kentucky Bourbon Trail

My 23 yr old son and I are looking to do the Bourbon Trail for 2 days (Wed/Thur) in September (not during the festival). Has anyone else here done this, and do you have any tips, such as which ones are best (and why?). I've done some research and mapping. My initial thought so far is to do Maker's, Heaven Hill and Jim Beam the first day (Bardstown area), and Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve the second day (Frankfort area). Buffalo Trace, though not officially on the Trail, is my favorite bourbon so that's a must-do.

Is 3 a day doable if we start first thing each day? We don't tend to be dawdlers, but would do at least some of the tours, all of the tastings(!) and sweep through the gift shops.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
My 23 yr old son and I are looking to do the Bourbon Trail for 2 days (Wed/Thur) in September (not during the festival). Has anyone else here done this, and do you have any tips, such as which ones are best (and why?). I've done some research and mapping. My initial thought so far is to do Maker's, Heaven Hill and Jim Beam the first day (Bardstown area), and Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve the second day (Frankfort area). Buffalo Trace, though not officially on the Trail, is my favorite bourbon so that's a must-do.

Is 3 a day doable if we start first thing each day? We don't tend to be dawdlers, but would do at least some of the tours, all of the tastings(!) and sweep through the gift shops.
We did Maker's, Heaven Hill and Jim Bean in one day... With teenagers in tow several years ago. And enjoyed it! We went back this June to pick up our Ambassadors Whiskey at Makers mark and enjoyed the new tasting room very much.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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Never done it, though it sounds like fun. I'm going to put it on my list, right next to Malt Whisky Trail | Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside, Scotland
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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Did Jim Beam and Makers Mark with some friends on motorcycles a few years back. Makers Mark was by far the best tour. Stayed in Bardstown and enjoyed the local establishments. Spent the rest of the time riding around Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Nice trip and great riding.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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Came back across my thread while researching my possible trip next year to Scotland. We'll do a bit of the malt whisky trail, but not the full time as I'm not a Scotch drinker.

Anyway, in case someone comes across this looking for Bourbon Trail feedback, I thought I'd update how it went. We really enjoyed it overall. We did Beam, Heaven Hill, Maker's Mark and Four Roses the first day, and Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, and Town Branch the second. You have to hustle to get to them all in 2 days, though we didn't feel rushed. It wouldn't appear to make sense to split Four Roses and Wild Turkey but we were driving by Four Roses on the way to Frankfort and just made the last tour. Sounds like a lot of drinking and driving, but you get about one shot total at each place. We took snacks and water to have between places and I felt safe driving. No lunch stops.

My favorite was probably Buffalo Trace, because I primarily drink their brands, and in the tour you go right into the labeling and packing room and can talk to the workers. The Maker's tour was very good, and you can buy and dip your own bottle in the red wax if you like. But really, there weren't any I'd avoid. Just driving the Kentucky countryside and seeing the distillery grounds was very nice. See your favorite brand, see the most convenient ones, or see them all, whatever you want.

We knew we didn't want to do 8 tours nor could we possibly have done that in 2 days, so we skipped four of them and just did the tasting and gift shop. I don't think you could do this for Makers or Town Branch but you certainly could for the others. Beam and Wild Turkey had the best selection of tastings. My son and I each had different things so we could split them and have more variety.

It's cheaper to buy bottles in local liquor stores than at the distilleries. I went a bit overboard but my liquor cabinet is kind of a hobby and display piece, and they double as trip souvenirs.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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thanks for the update. Very informative.
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