ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kentucky's Bourbon Buzz

Updated on November 29, 2014

Bourbon Expansion

Most Kentuckians will tell you that even though bourbon can be produced anywhere in America where it’s legal to do so, the best bourbons are made in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky’s distilleries have come a long way from the 1990s when bourbon sales were stagnant and vodka was king. They now find themselves in a very nice sweet spot of global popularity and growing sales. There’s definitely a bourbon buzz in Kentucky these days that goes beyond the actual drinking of the product.

Craft Distilleries

The recent official opening of Wilderness Trace distillery in Danville, KY is just the latest indication that Kentucky’s bourbon buzz is still accelerating. There are no fewer than ten small craft distilleries in the planning stage and they each hope to join the eight established distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Craft Tour. The planned distilleries are; New Riff in the northern Kentucky city of Newport, Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. in Frankfort, Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood just northeast of Louisville, Bluegrass Distillers in Lexington, Old Towne Distillery in Harrodsburg, Boundary Oak in Elizabethtown, Jefferson Creek Whiskey Co. in Paducah and Angels Envy, Copper and Kings and Peerless in Louisville.

Some of the seven established craft distilleries; Old Pogue in Maysville, Barrel House in Lexington, Limestone Branch in Lebanon, Willett in Bardstown, Michter’s in Louisville, Silver Trail in Hardin and M. B. Roland in Pembroke that have been in operation for a relatively short time, are already expanding to meet higher demand of their products. Right now, small is pretty big as far as Kentucky bourbon is concerned.

So, what is a craft distillery exactly? Though there is no regulatory definition for the word craft there is currently a movement working toward some uniform clarity on what constitutes a craft bourbon and a craft bourbon distillery.

The recently formed American Craft Distilling Association defines a craft distillery as those who produce less than 50,000 cases of bourbon per calendar year. That limitation would be far below what Kentucky’s larger distilleries produce on a yearly basis. But, for most in the bourbon business, craft is more about the art of making bourbon and a more hands on experience all the way through the production process.

The Old Guard

Even the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, originally made up of many of Kentucky’s long established larger distilleries, has been going through its own changes. The recent additions of Town Branch, a newer distillery in Lexington and the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville has swelled the number of distilleries on the trail to nine with both ends of the trail in Kentucky’s two largest cities.

The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, an offshoot of the large Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, features its own micro distillery that allows visitors to experience the full process of bourbon making.

The Van Winkle Family of Bourbons


Town and Country

Urban Bourbon

The Urban Bourbon Trail is made up of over 25 bars and restaurants in Louisville that all serve at least 50 different brands of bourbon, and some of them serve over 150. In downtown Louisville, the Maker's Mark Bourbon Lounge and the Old Seelbach Bar are two very popular destinations for bourbon enthusiasts.

A Destination

Bourbon's rising popularity continues to fuel Kentucky's bourbon buzz with many distilleries increasing production and expanding warehouse space. They're also becoming even more visitor friendly by offering new tours that delve more deeply into how bourbon actually gets made. Combine all that with Kentucky's natural beauty and anyone interested in bourbon has a can't miss destination.




    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • TimArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 

      4 years ago from Chicago Region

      It's funny to learn the Kentucky is known for its bourbon, since I went to Berea College in Kentucky, which is located in a dry town!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)