Whisky Magazine Issue 127
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Fred hits the Kentucky Visitors Centres
When you think of Kentucky bourbon distilleries, you're likely imagining a towering column still, the aromas of charred oak barrels and ageing whiskey along racks upon racks, or the classic 1800s exterior donning many fine facilities. Often lost in this distillery magnificence is the visitor centres themselves.
The Kentucky bourbon visitor centres are constantly expanding and adding new wings and tastings rooms. They've become their own signature to their respective brands and offer so much more than a few choice gifts to take home and enjoy.
Visitor centres are becoming so important that their visitor centre management position has quickly become one of the more coveted positions in all of bourbon. If you think about it, the visitor centres are the definitive gateway into bourbon. Last year, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and its craft section recorded 725,000 visits and Buffalo Trace, which is not on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, reported 123,331 visitors. Both are significant increases from the year prior and are an indicator that the world loves bourbon.
“Some of our distilleries are up 200 percent in attendance over the last five years, which is great news for local communities that are reaping the tourism benefits,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillery Association. “And that best news is that we keep adding more and more distilleries.”
Here are a few visitor centres worth checking out.
501 Cathedral Manor, Bardstown www.1792bo...