FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2012) – A record 11,757 people visited all six distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in 2011, far surpassing the previous mark of 9,402 set in 2010, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today. Visitors came from all 50 states and 16 countries, the KDA reported.
“This is great news for our distilleries, our local communities and our Commonwealth,” said KDA President Eric Gregory. “People from all corners of the world are pouring into Kentucky to visit our legendary distilleries and to explore the rich history of Kentucky Bourbon.
“We’re extremely proud of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience and its growing economic and tourism impact. This is further proof that Kentucky Bourbon is a vital part of our history, our culture, our economy and our future.”
Created by the KDA in 1999, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour features six distilleries, each offering a unique and educational experience on the art and craft of Bourbon-making: Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.
In 2007, the KDA launched its souvenir “Passport” program to reward visitors with a complimentary T-shirt once they complete tours of all Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries. Since then, more than 25,000 people have finished the tour.
Other key statistics from 2011 include:
• Kentucky led the way with 2,067 completed Passports, followed by Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee. The Buckeye State almost caught up to Kentucky with 2,001 completed Passports.
• Passports came from 16 countries, including Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
• The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® website recorded more than one million page views from 172,000 people in 132 countries. The website is www.kybourbontrail.com.
“We’re proud that Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon and the only place in the world where visitors can enjoy the authentic Bourbon experience,” Gregory said. “The tremendous success of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour is a remarkable tribute to the growing popularity of our signature spirit.”