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“Makers Mark Distillery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Kentucky Bourbon Trail
KY
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Where the Spirit Leads YouFor more than 200 years, Kentucky's legendary distilleries have crafted the world's finest Bourbons, using secret recipes and a time-honored process passed down from generation to generation.Now you can explore the rich tradition and proud history of "America's Official Native Spirit" on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail(R) tour, featuring 9 signature distilleries nestled among the most beautiful scenery the Bluegrass has to offer.Discover the art and science of the Master Distiller...Savor the distinct, mellow flavor...And see how Kentucky's perfect natural mix of weather and pure limestone water produces the classic taste and deep amber color.World-renowned Bourbon.Winding country roads.Inviting historic towns.Rolling green hills.And Bluegrass hospitality at its best.The Kentucky Bourbon Trail(R) tour - where the spirit leads you.
Saugerties, New York
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Makers Mark Distillery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Discovered the Bourbon Trail when I had an extra day in the Louisville area. Only made it to the Markers Mark Distillery so far, but this is on my "must do" list. Makers Mark was simply amazing, aside from the fact this is my favorite bourbon. Aggie was a great tour guide and this remains largely a hand made product. If you do the whole trail (and tastings) definitely have a designated driver. And do the Markers Mark first!

Visited March 2013
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Rural Virginian
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 100 cities Reviews in 100 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
“Had a fun weekend exploring the Bourbon trail”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We visited the seven distilleries on the trail and one additional one. We made it to three on Saturday and four on Monday. This was probably a bit too fast paced for most people but it suited our time limitations. Also, the tours get a little repetitive after a bit so we limited some of our visits to tastings only. We bought very little bourbon as most of it was actually more expensive than at our own VaABC

We visited them in this order:

Saturday:

Jim Beam, $8: The most extensive information given on a tour. This is a huge company but the tour was fun and friendly.

Heaven Hill $3: Only did the mini tour here. It was not very good. The guide was nice enough but she just showed us around the display area, which we could have done ourselves. Not sure if the full tour is better.

Barton 1792 Distillery, free: Only did a tasting. Would have liked to do the tour though because the folks here were really lovely. We had missed the tour start time by about 10 minutes and tours are only on the hour. We did a tasting and enjoyed it. The woman who conducted it was very knowledgeable about the industry in general and the Barton distillery in particular.

Maker's Mark, $7: Nice guide and interesting tour. The most fun is dipping your own bottle in the trademark wax in the gift shop. They also run an ambassador's program that is free and sounded really interesting and fun--something to look into if you really love bourbon.

Monday:

Four Roses, free: The guide was really nice and gave us a tour even though it was pouring rain and we were the only ones there. This was the place that had the most "corporate" feel (which is remarkable since Jim Beam is a huge company). The buildings are on the national historic register for their unusual Spanish mission style.

Wild Turkey, free: As at Barton, only did a tasting but found the people to be delightful. They had some products fashioned from barrel staves that were unusual and we also got to meet the man who makes them which made for a really cool stop.

Woodford Reserve, $7: This was the most interesting tour as the distillery is the most different from the others. The guide was nice (if a little bit of the stereotypical peppy guide) and the property was really pretty and interesting. You get to keep your plastic shot glass after the tasting. This was the best place to buy bourbon as a souvenir or gift because they can engrave bottles for an extra $5 while you wait--really cool gift!

Town Branch, free: Just added to the trail in October 2012 and clearly still working out some of the kinks. It is right in Lexington, KY so it works better as a stop for someone who won't be able to get out to the other distilleries as it isn't a nice setting. We didn't tour but we tasted. Their coffee infused bourbon spirit was a fun treat on a rainy day.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesapeake, Virginia
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Very informative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013 via mobile

We toured the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont Kentucky. The tour lasted 1 hour and then sampling of the product. The cost was eight dollars. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable as well as entertaining and engaging. The tour covered the history of Jim Beam Bourbon and walk through the fermenting process, storage in the barrels and bottling. You even get to rinse a bottle before it is filled and then after its filled you can get your pic taken holding the bottle. The gift store had a lot merchandise to purchase.


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Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Almost perfect bourbon trail”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Six of the seven distilleries make this tour a great outing for bourbon drinkers. The best facility was easily Four Roses (best facilities and best bourbon). The worst facility was easily Wild Turkey (in bad need of updating). Each distillery had something unique and provided a very interesting visit. The Maker's Mark distillery was nice, but they charged a significant premium on bottles they sell at their location. The others did not. Still, watching Maker's Mark hand dip each and every bottle in wax was great. Four Roses Single Barrel was the best bourbon I tasted and Town Branch was the worst. Town Branch was just recently added to the tour and it is the only reason I don't give the tour a perfect "five" rating. Town Branch is too far from the other distilleries and its bourbon simply doesn't compare with the others. Town Branch is new and should not be on the tour until its bourbons get better.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Tennessee
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“What fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

While well off the beaten path Maker's Mark was my favorite tour with tasting of 3 spirits at the end plus candy. My next favorite was not part of the trial- Buffalo Trace- great tour priced right- free- great guide- great spirit tasting at the end plus root beer. Woodford Reserve was a lovely distillery- missed the tour but was allowed to taset the one burbon offered plus candy. Also get a little acrylic glass to go. Four Roses was a good tour and free but very industrial site inside. Truck off the product to barrel and bottle. At the end of the tour taste 2 bourbons. Best deal is to purchase the glass you taste from. Did not get to tour Wild Turkey but the site looks very well warn as was the very small visitors center. After watching a short video was able to taste 2 of 7 spirits availible. My least favorite wasHeaven Hill, only have barrels stored at site do distilling elsewhere. My least favorite Bourbon too. Jim Bean has a new beautiful visitor center open. Missed the tour as they were all booked for the day. Was allowed to tast in their high tech tasting area where you have lots of choices and are allow 2 samples.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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