KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL
The Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA) launched the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999 to help serve as a marketing tool for the Kentucky bourbon industry. With the state responsible for more than 95% of the world's bourbon production, people wanting to visit a distillery will likely start researching vacation options in Kentucky...
The Bourbon Trail's marketing initiatives also help encourage tourism to the area for people who want to visit their favorite distilleries and learn more about how bourbon is made.
History of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bourbon Trail, and Bourbon Trail Craft Tour are all registered trademarks of the Kentucky Distillers' Association. The initial launch included seven of the eight distilleries in the region. Currently, there are 18 core distilleries on the trail. Rabbit Hole Distillery is a proud member of the original Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
How To Explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
If you're traveling from outside Kentucky, look for flights that arrive at Louisville International Airport, Lexington's Blue Grass Airport, or Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport.
Bourbon drinkers interested in exploring the Bourbon Trail have many transportation options:
- Book a group tour or organize a private tour.
- Take LouLift, the Transportation Authority of River City's (TARC) free service.
- Choose to drive yourself, but be sure to have a designated driver.
- Catch the Bourbon Boat.
- Order a rideshare or other vehicle booking service when you're ready to go between distilleries.
The Kentucky Distillers' Association has trusted transportation partners it recommends using to ensure visitors have the best experience.
Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail
The Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail encompasses four regions: Northern, Central, Western, and Bluegrass. Visitors need around five days to complete the entire trail, as you'll be traveling off the beaten path to visit distilleries along the way. The Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail currently features 23 distilleries.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport & Field Guide
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail sells the "Bourbon Trail Passport & Field Guide" that helps visitors plan their Bourbon Trail experience. Collect stamps at each distillery on either the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail. You can unlock rewards and discounts and earn gifts along the way. Visitors who want to complete both trails need at least eight to 10 days to see all 41 distilleries.
If you don't have enough time to visit all the distilleries in one trip, hold on to the passport. It never expires, so you can bring it on a future Bourbon Trail adventure.
Frazier, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center
On the first floor of the Frazier Museum, you'll find the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center. It's on Museum Row in Louisville's West Main District. The Welcome Center is the starting point for your Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience. Find trail maps, field guides, and other resources here.
In addition to trip-planning materials, the Welcome Center features educational experiences such as The Spirit of Kentucky exhibition that celebrates everything to do with bourbon production. Don't miss the Bourbon Bottle Hall, with its massive collection of more than 250 varieties. Other experiences at the Frazier Welcome Center include the ability to:
- Order Frazier's Flight Club and challenge your senses with a blind flight of three bourbons.
- Craft your Old Fashioned cocktail.
- Sign up for the Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience to get first- and second-day admission to the museum, a multi-brand tasting experience, and more.
- Shop for exclusive bourbon merchandise and bottles in the museum shop.
- Book private tours and tastings led by a certified bourbon steward.
- Learn about the history of Black Americans in the bourbon industry on the Unfiltered Truth: Black Americans in Bourbon tour.
Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail
Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail is a collection of local restaurants and bars that highlight local bourbon. Staff members have extensive whiskey knowledge, and menus often include bourbon-infused cuisine. These spots have some of Louisville's most extensive collections of bourbon. Check in to at least six culinary and cocktail experiences to earn a gift. Bars and restaurants on the Urban Bourbon Trail vary from famous historic properties to modern trendsetting bars showcasing the best in classic cocktails. Every member has at least 60 bourbon varieties, bourbon cocktails, and bourbon flights.
Other Things To Do on a Bourbon Trail Trip
Visitors to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail — especially outdoor enthusiasts — will find plenty of other things to see and do in the area. Multiple camping areas and RV parks are located nearby. Natural wonders in the area include:
- Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest: Bernheim is Kentucky's official arboretum and encompasses 16,000 acres. Take a canopy tree walk, visit the Forest Giants, explore trails, and more.
- Mammoth Cave National Park: This cave system is one of the longest in the world, complete with rock tunnels and chambers extending hundreds of miles.
- Red River Gorge: Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge is one of the world's best rappelling and climbing destinations.
Things To Know When Visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Some experiences on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail might look different than you remember or be unavailable at times. Access to sensitive production facilities might be limited, and some distilleries require guests to wear masks.
Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing when visiting bourbon production facilities. At Rabbit Hole, our distillery is climate-controlled, but you might get warm in the atrium. We also recommend wearing closed-toed shoes. Please avoid wearing high heels; otherwise, you will not be permitted to access a portion of the tour.
If you are traveling with anyone under 21 years of age, ask if they're allowed to take the tour. At Rabbit Hole, we offer a discounted rate for tour-only tickets for visitors ages 11 to 20, while children 10 and younger are free.
Many distilleries, including Rabbit Hole, require advance reservations for tours and are closed one or more days of the week. Our distillery tour and tasting experience is by reservation only, and we are closed Sunday and Monday. Make the most of your Kentucky Bourbon Trail visit by planning ahead and doing a little research. That way, you won't be surprised to discover an experience or distillery tour is unavailable during your visit.