FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Tour and Taste Kentucky’s Best Bourbon

by Brandon Schultz

Feb 28, 2021

PHOTO: © KAREN FOLEY | DREAMSTIME.COM

January/February 2021

It’s a myth that bourbon has to be made in Kentucky to carry the name (anywhere in the United States will do), but the area’s natural limestone filtration and generations of experience provide top reasons the state’s distillers remain favorites throughout the industry. And there are a lot of them. In fact, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon and boasts twice as many barrels of bourbon as people.

While you may have heard of the alluring Kentucky Bourbon Trail, it’s important to note this is simply a collection of 38 traditional and craft distilleries across the state that partnered with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to be included on this well-promoted list. Your own drive will likely look different from others’ even if you remain on the “trail.” With some distilleries spread apart by as many as 70 miles, your itinerary will depend on multiple factors, including how many days you’re devoting to this delicious drive, which distilleries are on your personal list and whether other cultural diversions in the state pique your interest.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers popular itinerary suggestions of preplanned routes, but the sky’s the limit if you customize your adventure. If you plan to taste heartily, consider guided tours that keep you from behind the wheel; popular operators like Mint Julep and Central Kentucky Tours offer a range of itinerary lengths and can also include additional areas of interest like horse farm tours in Kentucky Derby country and a range of food tours statewide.

With at least 70 distilleries across the state, there’s no reason to limit yourself to those that partnered with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail if you don’t mind plotting your own course or upgrading to a customized private tour with operators. If you’re just stopping in for a day or two, base yourself in Louisville, the heart of bourbon country, where downtown’s Whiskey Row hosts six respected distilleries within walking distance of each other, with plenty more in the immediate vicinity. The city also operates LouLift, a fleet of electric buses offering free transportation on circular routes around Louisville daily, so you’ll never need to worry about driving even if walking isn’t on the agenda.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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