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“Premium Bourbon Non Premium Tour”

Woodford Reserve Distillery
Ranked #1 of 22 things to do in Versailles
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Bourbon distillery
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Premium Bourbon Non Premium Tour”
Reviewed August 2, 2011

We crammed 4 Bourbon Tours into one day. We ended our day with Woodford Reserve. You would think we saved the best for last. Unfortunately it ended up being the other way around. What I have found in comparing this tour with the 3 other Distillers in the area is that Woodford Reserve is the most beautiful and elaborate of the Distilleries but it is definitely not Visitor Friendly. Many of the traits show that they instead are more interested in self promotion and elitism rather than building customer support.

Here are the points of frustration in the tour.

1. I know you have already read this but this is the only tour with a charges. Yes I know it is only $5.00. But the point of the Distillery tours is to build up the Bourbon in Kentucky and to educate the public about Bourbon not to turn the distilleries into tourist traps.

2. Our Tour Guide showed how much of an idiot he was from the very beginning. He made a big deal about fires in Distilleries. He made sure to tell everyone how dangerous Cell Phones and Camera Flashes are dangerous around alcohol. That we need to turn off our cell phones and not use camera flashes. Does this guy not know that the entire cell phone causing fires at gas pumps is an Urban Legend? Does he think that we are using old fashion flash bulbs? The funny thing is he said not a word about lighters or smoking.

3. Our Wonderful Tour Guide proved time and time again that he was talking to hear himself.
a. He spouted out facts like all the other distilleries use Fletchers Yeas to make their bourbon but Woodford Reserve has their own specially developed strain. Uhhhhh I guess he has not gone to any other Distilleries to know that each one has their own variations of yeast. That is one of the components that makes each bourbon unique.
b. Our Tour Guide said that if a barrel had sat more than 15 years there would not be anything left in the barrel. Hmmmm why is it at Liquor Barn in Lexington have a 18 year old bottle of bourbon for $92.00?
c. Our Tour Guide continually put down all the other Distillers in very disrespectful ways. Now I know they are in competition. But at the 3 other tours I attended today the different tour guides openly talked mostly positive about all the other distilleries and I did not hear any kind of childish slander from any of them about Woodford Reserve or anyone else. In fact on the 4 Roses tour the guide recommended that we go to Woodford since they were in production. At Buffalo Trace we were recommended to go to Woodford because of the beauty of the drive and the facilities.

4. In looking through their gift shop I noticed that the prices were a bit high on the Woodford Reserve bourbon. In fact after leaving there we went to Liquor Barn and most of their bottles were $5-$7 dollars cheaper. But the other Distilleries were selling their bottles at the same price as Liquor Barn or less. Why would the Distiller mark their bottles higher than retail? Or are they taking advantage of tourist trap impulse buying?

5. Don't even bother going to their snack bar. I almost thought I was at a sporting event or movie. I went to get a 12oz bottle of Ale81 and they charged $1.79 a bottle.

I know a long list but all the other tours we took today my friends and I had a great time at and enjoyed ourselves. At Woodford Reserve where the tour and facilities should be a class act were really a tourist trap. Just on principle alone I do not believe I would ever touch Woodford Reserve again! It is unfortunate. Instead of building on developing new bourbon customers and being ambassadors for bourbon they are operating a Pigeon Forge style tourist trap.

Do yourself a favor and Skip Woodford and substitute Buffalo Trace instead for the Bourbon Trail. It is not on the passport but it is a much better tour and it is FREE! (and they have bourbon balls as well!)

Visited August 2011
3 Thank rscoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lexington, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Best stop on the Bourbon Trail”
Reviewed August 1, 2011

I make the above claim only after completing the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I will admit that certain parts of the other distilleries on the trail are better than Woodford however, this is my overall favorite and you'd have to read the my other reviews of the other distilleries to find out what makes them special. The tour guides at woodford are very knowledgeable and really make the tour. This is one of the few distillery tours that actually shows the entire bourbon making process from the mash fermenting through distilling, barrelling, aging, all the way to bottling. Some of the others you only get to see a part of what goes into making bourbon. This is a beautifully restored distillery and is well worth a trip. The only negative I can think of is that the tour costs $5. With that five though you'll get the tour, a taste of Woodford Reserve in a plastic souvenir shot glass thats yours to keep, and a bourbon ball chocolate. The tour is also good for people with difficulty walking or wheelchair bound since the bus that takes guests to and from the distillery and warehouse area from the visitors center has a wheelchair lift and the distillery itself has an elevator to assist getting to the upper levels. I will visit Woodford again, and again...

Visited July 2011
Thank HarleyRidinFireman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Interesting Tour”
Reviewed July 21, 2011

Tour was well worth the time. Cost was $5 for over 18. Free sample at the end. Free bourbon balls as well for kids. More sweet than bourbon.

Visited July 2011
Thank staceyj1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belchertown, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Would take the tour again, well worth it!”
Reviewed July 13, 2011

Great place to come with clients. Entertaining tour, chocolate, and a sample of bourbon. It really made my trip to Lexington more fun. Very informative and fun tour guide. Loved seeing how the bourbon was made. Gained an appreciation for bourbon that I did not have before. Also learned how to tell good bourbon from not so good :) Very valuable!

Visited June 2011
Thank kwake04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Skid this tour for the free ones.”
Reviewed July 9, 2011

After visiting all the distilleries on the bourbon trail we were disappointed to find that Woodford charged a fee for the tour. Specially when you ind out that they are owned by the Jack Daniels company. The tour guide had a portable speaker that did not work, and being that we had a large group , it was next to impossible to hear anything. I would recommend passing on this tour and just getting your passport stamped. Go see the Buffalo Trace distillery as it was much more interesting.

2 Thank Smashr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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