FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 28, 2013) – The Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure celebrated its 14th birthday today with a present for Bourbon lovers everywhere – a new digital application and website to help navigate the iconic journey and keep track of favorite brands.
“It’s amazing how much our signature tourist attraction – along with technology – has grown in just 14 years,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour.
“Our very first brochure was released on this date in 1999 to simply offer directions to our legendary distilleries. These new digital tools provide so much more to help visitors plan, coordinate and enjoy their Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience and beyond.”
Features of the new app and website include:
♦ Mapping, GPS directions and tour hours for Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour distilleries
♦ Digital check-in capabilities for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport program, which rewards visitors who tour all seven distilleries with a free t-shirt
♦ Menus and itineraries to discover local attractions, dining, lodging and more – including a new “trip planner” on the website with links and suggestions
♦ A virtual shelf to explore tasting notes for dozens of Bourbon and American whiskey brands, add personal ratings and educate friends through social media
♦ Bourbon 101 – a tutorial section to learn more about the art and science behind crafting America’s only native spirit
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail program features 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.
Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, located along the historic “Whiskey Row” in downtown Louisville, will be joining the tour this fall as the eighth member and first-ever in the River City.
Adam Johnson, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, said the application is the “gift that keeps on giving” for people who already have visited the KDA’s landmark distilleries.
“Our shelf program is a virtual Bourbon bar of the world’s greatest brands. You can sort, filter and explore dozens of brands, from classic straight Kentucky Bourbon to new alt whiskeys,” he said. “We’ve even reserved a top shelf for your favorites. You can mark the ones you’ve tasted and interact with your friends on social media.”
The app was developed by Mocura, a mobile platform development company solely focused on enterprise-level apps and data gathering. The website was developed by Balance Creative of Lexington, an innovative advertising, marketing and design firm.
Gregory said the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour has become one of the country’s most famous attractions. National Geographic named it a top 10 “Best Spring Trip” for 2013, and CNN International has designated it a “Top 10 Classic American Experience.”
More than 2.5 million people have visited participating distilleries in the last five years, Gregory said. Visits broke the half-million mark in 2012 for the first time ever, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail website averages 42,000 unique visitors a month. Bourbon aficionados from 106 different countries or territories have visited the site in the last month, more proof of the growing global Bourbon phenomenon.
Passport holders alone have poured $35 million in tourism revenue to local communities since 2007, according to a University of Louisville economic impact study. Nearly 20,000 people completed the Passport program in 2012, also a record.
“Our first visitors used a folded paper brochure with a map and directions to guide them through the rolling hills of Kentucky. Today, they’re using smartphones, GPS data and social media to discover and explore so much more,” Gregory said.