BARDSTOWN, Ky. (April 24, 2013) – Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World, has been designated the first-ever “Official Trailhead of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail” to showcase its rich history and hospitality surrounding America’s only native spirit.
Bardstown is a major launching point for thousands of Kentucky Bourbon Trail visitors looking to sample the spirit of the commonwealth’s second oldest city, said Adam Johnson, director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
“Bardstown is one of the legendary homes of Kentucky Bourbon, with landmark distilleries such as Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark all within a short drive, as well as Willett and several of our craft distillery partners,” Johnson said. “Bardstown’s southern hospitality, charming restaurants and historic surroundings have made visitors feel at home for more than 225 years. We proudly welcome them as our first Official Trailhead.”
As part of this recognition, visitors who finish tours at all seven Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries can now pick up their commemorative T-shirt in Bardstown instead of waiting for mail delivery.
Starting May 1, travelers can redeem their Kentucky Bourbon Trail stamped Passport at the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist & Convention Commission at One Court Square in the heart of downtown.
“We’re excited about being named the first Official Trailhead of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour,” said Dawn Przystal, vice president of Tourism Expansion and Marketing for Bardstown.
“Bardstown is rightfully proud of its Bourbon heritage, which contributed to our recent recognition as the Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today.”
For more information about Bardstown, go to www.sampleourspirit.com.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, created by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association in 1999, is a first-hand and educational exploration into the art and science behind crafting the world’s finest Bourbon.
The journey features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.
Go to www.kybourbontrail.com for directions, tour hours, events and more information.
KDA President Eric Gregory applauded Bardstown’s support of Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry, particularly as host of the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival each September.
“Bardstown is synonymous with Bourbon,” he said. “We’re excited to have them as a premium partner and the first Official Trailhead of our unique, world-class distillery experience.”
Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, producing 95 percent of the world’s supply, generating $2 billion in gross state product, providing 9,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $415 million and creating $126 million in local and state tax revenue every year.
Visits to Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries broke the half-million mark in 2012 for the first time ever, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. More than 2.5 million people have visited participating distilleries in the last five years alone, Johnson said.
The KDA’s Passport program – which rewards visitors who tour all seven distilleries – also set an all-time high in 2012 with 18,360 completions. That is a 56 percent over 2011 numbers and a 9,614 percent increase since the Passport program started in 2007.
“Kentucky is the only place in the world where visitors can enjoy the one, true authentic Bourbon experience,” Johnson said. “We encourage everyone to come and sample the spirits, sounds and flavors that are quintessentially Bardstown.”