Louisville's Major Bourbon Distilleries: BBO's Recommended Tours

Louisville and its surrounding areas are famous for their bourbon whisky distilleries; the city, itself, is noted for its very close proximity to Kentucky's Bourbon Trail. Therefore, when searching for Louisville Things To Do, BBOnline highly recommends going on a tour of one or more of the distilleries both in and around the city. You're likely to be surprised by the complexity and detail that goes into the making of a great bourbon. Ýou'll learn the history of the well-known drink, and at the end of every tour, of course, you'll have the opportunity to taste the finished product and perhaps even buy some bourbon whisky to take back to your Louisville Bed and Breakfast. Some are better than others, so here are BBOnline's top choices for distillery tours.

Woodford Reserve Distillery
7855 McCraken Pike
Versailles, KY 40383
(859) 879-1812

Woodford Reserve makes its handcrafted bourbon in small batches, using corn and rye to add sweetness and spice to the malted barley. The guided Discovery Tour is available for only $5 per person for those over 21. It's offered from Tuesday to Sunday, with the last tour starting at 3 P.M. You'll see the bourbon-making process from the grains cooking in limestone water, to the fermentation in cypress, to the copper pot distilling process, to the aging in oak barrels. Before you return to your Louisville Inn, you can sample the award winning bourbon at the end of the tour.

Jim Beam Distillery
149 Happy Hollow Road
Shepherdsville, KY 40165
(502) 543-9877

Being the famous distillery and homestead of "America's First Family of Bourbon", the Beam family, BBOnline recommends this destination as a must-visit attraction during your Louisville vacation. Fred Noe, a seventh generation Bean family distiller, runs the place, and you just might get to meet him. The tour through this distillery is free and includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits. In order to make the most of this tour, make sure you visit during a season in which you enjoy being outside. Some of the exhibits include barrel making and the history of bourbon. You'll also be treated to a visit to the Bean house, a free bourbon sampling, and an explanation of the bourbon-making process. Tours are available Monday through Saturday from 9 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. and Sunday from 1 P.M. until 4 P.M.

Maker's Mark Distillery
3350 Burke Spring Road
Loretto, KY 40037
(270) 865-2099

Maker's Mark offers informative and entertaining tours of its technique for making amazing bourbon for those age 21 and older. From toasting the grain to drinking, you'll get an in depth view of this complicated but beautiful process. This tour makes for a perfect day out of your cozy Louisville Bed and Breakfast. Distillery tours are available every hour on the half hour, from 10:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. from Monday to Saturday. There are also 3 tours on Sunday at 1:30 P.M., 2:30 P.M., and 3:30 P.M. BBOnline recommends this distillery not only for the great tour, but also for the special activity of dipping your own bottle afterwards. It's a real treat!