Happy Trails To You - Kentucky Bourbon Trails, That Is ...

There are uncountable reasons to enjoy a Kentucky getaway but, perhaps the most popular reason is the Kentucky Bourbon Trails, self-guided tours of Kentucky Bourbon Country that provide a firsthand look at (and taste of!) Kentucky's signature spirit in its native habitat. The history of bourbon began in the 1700's with some of Kentucky's first settlers making whiskey from the corn and other grains because - well, lots of explanations can be speculated upon but I'd argue the main reason is ... because whiskey! The product they produced - a distinctive, corn-based, caramel colored, smooth-sipping whiskey - was shipped down river to New Orleans and all points beyond in oak barrels marked "Bourbon County." So distinctive, delicious, and popular was Kentucky's Bourbon County whiskey that folks would ask for it by name - Bourbon whiskey. The name stuck and, in 1964, Congress officially recognized Bourbon - which has to be at least 51% corn and aged a minimum of 8 years in charred oak barrels to earn the title - declaring it a distinctive product of the United States. The rest, as they say, is history - a history you can visit on one of the many Kentucky Bourbon Trails! Kentucky's bourbon industry is a healthy, growing one that provides over 9,000 jobs, produces more than $125 million in annual tax revenues, and brings thousands of visitors, from across the globe, every year to the Kentucky Bourbon Trails. With so many distillers creating so many distinctive Kentucky bourbons, it's no wonder there is more than one Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We'll try to give you a quick over view of each so you can decide which is right for you - or which order to visit them all in!
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Our first tour overview is of the original and most well-known of all the Kentucky Bourbon Trails. Known simply as "The Kentucky Bourbon Trail," this trail leads through the heart of Kentucky's bourbon country with nine, signature distilleries and bourbon fan should easily recognize: Evan Williams, Bulleit, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, and Town Branch. Kentucky Bourbon Trails can be self-guided driving tours or, if you prefer an opportunity to sample with relative impunity, part of a tour package that leaves the driving to someone else. Mint Julep Tours and R&R Limousine are both Official Sponsors of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and offer various Kentucky Bourbon Trail packages. If you're feeling peppy, you can also bike the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, with one of three tour loops proposed on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail website. Be aware that the cue sheets included for these tours do not, at the time of this writing, include directions for Town Branch, Evan Williams or Bulleit distilleries. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes a free souvenir passport, which are available at any one of the distilleries included on the trail. One collects stamps from each distillery visited along the tour, both as a Bourbon Country keepsake and to mail in for a free Kentucky Bourbon Trail t-shirt after you've collected all your stamps (they'll mail your passport back with the shirt). You can also pick up a shirt immediately, rather than await the mails, by stopping in with your completed passport at one of 5 Kentucky Bourbon Trail Official Trailheads. There's also a helpful Kentucky Bourbon Trail iPhone app! Whichever way you choose to embark on your Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, be sure to stop by the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail website first, as it contains a wealth of tips and information regarding the tour, area, and distilleries included on the tour: kybourbontrail.com Kentucky Bourbon Trail Lodging Kentucky is loaded with great things to do and see, making it the perfect vacation destination. To further ensure your Kentucky getaway is a success, stay at one of our member Kentucky bed and breakfast inns! You wont find world class ... and be sure to check out our next posts as we go over two other Kentucky Bourbon Trails: The Urban Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Distillery Tour!