Louisville to join the Bourbon Trail


The Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour will get an eighth stop – and the first-ever in Louisville – when Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon Experience opens this fall at 528 W. Main St.

Main Street in Louisville was once known as “Whiskey Row” for all the whiskey-related businesses that populated several blocks along the Ohio River. The city still produces one-third of the bourbon made in Kentucky and has a thriving Urban Bourbon Trail of 28 establishments that feature bourbon at the bar and in the kitchen. But there have been no working distilleries open for public tours.

That will change when the multimillion-dollar Evan Williams Bourbon Experience opens. Named for Kentucky’s first commercial distiller (and the namesake of Heaven Hill’s popular flagship brand), the attraction will include a fully functioning artisanal pot still distillery, along with historic displays and videos. The exterior will feature a five-story-tall graphic of a bourbon bottle “pouring” into a fountain in the lobby.

The site is almost directly across the street from where Evan Williams established his distillery in 1783.

A record 509,292 people visited Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries in 2012, Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said in announcing the new stop. The other distilleries on the tour are Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in Lexington; and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.  

(Photo courtesy of Kentucky Distillers’ Association)

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