If you’re a bourbon enthusiast, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail™ is likely already on your bucket list. The trail takes visitors on a tour of the most famous bourbon distilleries in the state, including the likes of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Woodford Reserve. But what if we told you that there are plenty of hidden gems to discover along the way? Whether you’re a seasoned bourbon expert or a newbie to the world of whiskey, there’s something for everyone on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Here are a few tips for going off the beaten path and discovering the hidden gems of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Visit the small batch distilleries
While the big names are certainly worth visiting, don’t overlook the smaller, craft distilleries. These hidden gems offer a more intimate experience and often have unique flavors and processes. Some great small batch distilleries to visit include Willett Distillery, Town Branch Distillery, and Wilderness Trail Distillery.
Explore historic bourbon sites
Kentucky has a rich bourbon history that goes back centuries. Take a break from distillery tours to explore historic sites like the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, which has a collection of over 5,000 whiskey-related artifacts, or the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, which was founded in the 1930s and was once home to brands like Old Fitzgerald and Pappy Van Winkle.
Indulge in bourbon-inspired cuisine
Kentucky is known for its Southern-style cuisine, and bourbon is a key ingredient in many dishes. Make sure to sample some bourbon-inspired dishes like bourbon-glazed pork chops, bourbon bread pudding, and bourbon-infused ice cream. You can find these dishes at many restaurants along the trail, but some standout options include Distilled at the Gratz Park Inn in Lexington and Proof on Main in Louisville.
Take a detour to a bourbon bar
If you need a break from touring distilleries, take a detour to one of the many bourbon bars in the area. These bars offer a wide selection of bourbons to sample and often have knowledgeable bartenders who can guide you through the tasting process. Some great bourbon bars to check out include The Silver Dollar in Louisville, Bourbon on Rye in Lexington, and The Rickhouse in Bardstown.
By going off the beaten path, you can discover hidden gems on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail™ that many tourists overlook. Whether you’re a bourbon connoisseur or just looking for a unique travel experience, exploring these lesser-known spots will give you a deeper appreciation for the culture and history of Kentucky’s signature spirit. At Pegasus, we do more than point to point destination services; we show you how the destinations connect to tell your story. Find out more about our Bourbon Tours today.