Kentucky Bourbon Tourism Hits New Milestone

Jan 25, 2017

Bourbon barrels at the Woodford Distillery in Versailles
Credit Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

Kentucky's whiskey makers are toasting a new milestone in bourbon tourism.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association says more than one million guests visited distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour in 2016.

KDA says the tourism attractions had double-digit attendance growth compared to 2015. Attendance has shot up 300 percent in the past decade.

It says the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, showcasing nine distilleries, had a record 888,733 visits in 2016. Those distilleries produce bourbon's biggest brands, including Jim Beam, Evan Williams, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, with 11 participating distilleries, had 177,228 visits.

The latest boost for bourbon tourism came from a new state law that allows distilleries to obtain licenses to offer by-the-drink sales.