A Sip of History: The Best Bourbon Distilleries & Tours in Lexington, KY

Bourbon has deep American roots. It’s such a part of our history that Congress passed a resolution in 1964 stating that it is an indigenous product of the US. This means that you can’t call it bourbon if it’s made anywhere else in the world.

We have a deep appreciation for Kentucky history at Anderson Communities, and that includes the rich tradition of bourbon production. After all, not only is bourbon a very American experience, but it’s also an important part of this special state. 95% of all bourbon in the world is produced right here in Kentucky. If you’re interested in exploring the fascinating history of bourbon in the area, here are some suggestions about where to start your adventure.

6 Best Kentucky Distilleries

There are many wonderful distilleries in Kentucky, so be sure to give yourself time to look at as many as possible. To get you started, here are a few we highly recommend.

Wild Turkey Distillery

Founded in 1869, this classic distillery is found in Lawrenceburg and offers tours. You can experience a working distillery here and look at the fermentation area, the timbered warehouses, and the cistern room, where the barrels are filled.

 James E. Pepper Distillery

This award-winning Lexington operation was established during the American Revolution in 1779. Although they closed for a time in the 1960s during a downturn in the bourbon industry, they reopened in 2017 in their original home distillery.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Found in Versailles, KY, Woodford Reserve is unique in the state because it uses the original Scottish “pot still” method. You can tour the facility, enjoy a meal in the on-site restaurant, and browse the gift shop on your way out.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace was established in 1775, and it is one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States–they didn’t even falter during Prohibition. They offer tours daily, but if you can’t be there in person, you can enjoy their virtual tour.

Castle & Key Distillery

Although this is the youngest distillery on our list, established in 2014, it is steeped in history nonetheless. The owners took the ruins of the Lexington Old Taylor Distillery, including a limestone castle, and gave them new life as they carried on the art of crafting bourbon.

Four Roses Distillery

This Lawrenceburg operation has been around since 1888, boasting five yeast strains and two mashes. They use these to create 10 different bourbons, which are combined by hand to create their flagship bourbon.

Distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

In 1999, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association established a route that they called the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to help visitors explore the rich tradition of bourbon in the area. The trail winds its way through Kentucky, taking you through lush green country and bustling big cities.

Along the way, there are 37 distilleries to enjoy. As you explore them, you’ll find a wealth of craftsmanship and history. Take your time and be sure to check before you get there for information on tour times and availability.

Anderson Communities shares your passion for Kentucky

At Anderson Communities, one of the things that makes our neighborhoods so special is our appreciation for Kentucky and all it has to offer. If you’re looking for a home you’ll love in the Lexington area, we invite you to contact us today for more information about what we have to offer. We work hard to provide residents with the home of their dreams, and we’d love to show you the available beautiful homes.


Image credit: Marian Weyo / Shutterstock