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Kentucky Distillery Tours

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Kentucky Distillery Tours

Postby Elliot » Fri May 06, 2005 5:22 am

Can anyone recommend visiting (or not visiting) the Jim Beam American Outpost and the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center? I am interested in taking distillery tours but I know that neither of these locations give tours of their actual production facilities. Can anyone tell me whether visits to these locations are worth my time if I will be nearby?
Elliot
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Re: Kentucky Distillery Tours

Postby JimHall » Sun May 08, 2005 10:56 am

Elliot wrote:I know that neither of these locations give tours of their actual production facilities. Can anyone tell me whether visits to these locations are worth my time if I will be nearby?


Elliot
Try writing to them and mention that you know a bit about it and that you really would like to see production. Tell them how good a customer you are and tell them that you took advice from this the premier Whisky forum on the WWW.
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Postby DaveM » Mon May 09, 2005 5:46 pm

Elliot, how long do you plan to be in the area? The "feel" of these two distilleries is quite different so it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing your travel route. Obviously if you want to "get inside" there are other distilleries that would be more worthy of your time.

Heaven Hill's visitor centre is brand new (as you may know), and they've apparently done a really great job. If you're in Bardstown, it's right out of town and easy to get to.

The JB Outpost is basically a store with a couple of small self-interpretive displays. The Jim Beam house just up the hill is where you go for your free pour. The warehouses and surrounding countryside are definitely worth the visit if you're driving through Clermont.
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Postby bourbonluva » Tue May 10, 2005 5:37 pm

Elliot,
Being from KY, I would suggest if time allows visiting at least 3 to 4 of the distilleries...The Kentucky Bourbon trail as it is commonly referred to offers great insight into the bourbon industry. The Makers Mark and Buffalo Trace distilleries are my favorite. You can visit multiple distilleries in one day and they are all very enjoyable. It is quite similar to visiting California wine country.
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 12, 2005 9:39 pm

Well, I've since returned and had an enjoyable time. The Jim Beam Outpost was not particularly interesting, as there wasn't much to see. The Heaven Hill Visitor's Center is nice, and I suppose that the miniature tour is about all they can do there since their Bernheim facility doesn't give tours of the distillation. While they were both interesting, I'm not sure I would be particularly interested in visiting either again. I visited the three facilities on the western end of the Bourbon Trail, as I did the eastern end in February. I'd really like to take the Buffalo Trace hard hat tour as it was by far my favorite visit, but distillation ceases between April and October there. The drive is very nice, as is the scenery. It was actually enjoyable to take some of the country roads as I'm typically a freeway traveler, and even crossed over into Indiana at Markland and drove up to Lawrenceburg, IN for a drive-by of the Seagram's distillery (of course, I didn't have a choice since there aren't any bridges between Markland and the Cropper). I also drove by the Beam Cincinnati distillery on I-75. It's a facility I'd love to see, especially since they produce the only line of cordials I use, but alas, they don't give tours either. Would it be better to write to the facility or the corporate folks in Deerfield to see it?
Elliot
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