Bourbon tourism is alive and well in Shelby County, KY -- a community perfectly situated between Kentucky's largest cities: Lexington and Louisville. The highlight? The Bulleit Distilling Experience!
To quote: “A tavern keeper in 1830s Louisville, Kentucky, Augustus Bulleit was dedicated to a single goal: the creation of a bourbon unique in flavor. After experimenting with countless varieties, he finally came upon a bourbon with the character he had long sought after.
One fateful day, while transporting his barrels of bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit vanished. What happened is still unknown, and his creation nearly disappeared into history along with him.”
Fast forward to 1987: “Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr., fulfilled a lifelong dream of reviving an old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Company. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830-1860, Tom left a successful law practice and risked everything to experience life on the frontier. Today, we’re not the only ones who are glad he did.”
First: the facility is STUNNING. Drop dead gorgeous.
Second: the tasting experience is elevated in a way that I’ve never experienced. While, yes, it boasts some traditional sampling aspects — it is rooted in aromatics and the relationship between smell and the elevation of one’s taste palate. I won’t spoil the experience, as it’s special. That said, I’ll disclose this: when sampling at the end of your tour, you will have a newfound appreciation for the process, the craftsmanship, and the entity that is bourbon whiskey.
Lastly: when touring the facilities, you will be amazed at the art component. That is due to Bulleit Frontier Works, “a series of projects where Bulleit collaborates with people who are pushing the frontier of their craft or expertise. Whether that’s creating the world’s largest tattoo billboard or giving new life to the old craft of neon signs, all of our Frontier Works projects highlight the interesting people and places at the edge of the modern frontier.”
You can visit the Bulleit Distilling Co Visitor Experience at 3464 Benson Pike, Shelbyville, KY 40065; they can be reached at 502-647-5799.