Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries Draw Record Number of Visits in 2018

Feb 7, 2019

The Willett distilery, in Bardstown, is a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.
Credit Kevin Willis

Kentucky distilleries are reporting another record year for bourbon tourism in the state that produces most of the world's bourbon.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association says tourists made a record 1.4 million stops at distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour in 2018. KDA says that represents a 370 percent increase in the past decade.

KDA says the Kentucky Bourbon Trail logged 1 million visits for the first time since its creation in 1999. It says the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour — which includes smaller distilleries — tallied 340,000 distillery stops, the most since its founding in 2012.

A bill aimed at bourbon tourism has been introduced in the Kentucky legislature. The measure would allow distilleries to sell exclusive bottles in their gift shops.