Taste some history along with Kentucky’s signature beverage
Clean water and great corn equaled amazing corn whiskey, giving the early distillers—Jacob Spears, Daniel Shawhan, and John Ritchie, among others—the basic ingredients to spark an industry.
Sometime in the 1790s and early 1800s, distillers poured their “corn whiskey” into a new charred oak barrel. That created the most important aspect of what would be called bourbon, which today means a distilled, fermented mash of at least 51 percent corn aged in a new, charred oak container and bottled at federal proof standards.
Many believe bourbon is required to come from Kentucky. This isn’t true: in 1964, Congress declared bourbon to be a distinctive product of the United States. But because about 95 percent of the country’s bourbon is made here, you owe it to yourself to see a distillery to learn why bourbon is so important to the commonwealth’s economy and heritage.
Click on the logos below to experience some of Kentucky’s top bourbon experiences: