Travels in Bourbon Country

With nearly a quarter of the year left, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour has already set a record: As of Sept. 30, 13,173 people have toured all six distilleries on the trail and submitted completed passports, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today.

That pretty well smashes the previous record, set last year, of 11,757 completed passports – and as noted, there are still almost three months left in 2012.

The KDA, which created the Bourbon Trail tour in 1999, notes that all those visitors pour a substantial amount of money into the communities with distilleries along the trail. According to an economic impact study completed by the University of Louisville, each person who completes the tour spends an average of $737 on the trip – which adds up to more than $10 million in revenue this year alone.

The participating distilleries are Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; and Woodford Reserve in Versailles. (This month, Town Branch in Lexington started offering tours as the newest member of the trail.)

If you haven’t yet sampled the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, a new publication can help you plan your trip. The Official Guide to Bourbon Country, pictured above, is a 96-page, four color-magazine filled with profiles of distilleries, features on master distillers, cocktail recipes, bourbon events and more. Produced by the editors of The Bourbon Review with support from Bourbon Country tourism partners, it’s available free in Bourbon Country welcome centers, distilleries and hotels. You can also receive a free copy by clicking here, then clicking on Bourbon Country Visitor’s Guide and filling out the form.

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The Bourbon Babe