A visitor centre was opened at the Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery in Kentucky, US, in September 2019.

Owned by Bardstown Bourbon Company, the distillery was opened in September 2016 and is amongst the world’s largest bourbon distilleries. It became the 14th destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience in 2018.

Established in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® is a visitor experience programme aimed at promoting the Bourbon industry in Kentucky. The road-trip style experience enables people to visit any or all distilleries that are part of the trail and enjoy tours, tasting and other activities.

Bardstown Bourbon distillery and visitor centre location

The Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery and visitor centre is located on 1500 Parkway Drive in Bourbon County, Bardstown, which is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World®.

The distillery occupies 40ha of active farmland in Kentucky, US.

Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery details

The distillery has a built-up area of 37,000ft² and an annual production capacity of approximately 100,000 barrels. It had an initial capacity of three million proof gallons, which was expanded to seven million in 2018.

Two 22.5k barrel warehouses, along with a custom-made 50ft-tall, 36in-diameter stainless-steel still from Vendome Copper & Brass Works were installed in 2017. The 50ft still is connected to a 7,500ft² fermenter building comprising 16 47,317l fermenters.

The distillery also features a full-service restaurant called Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar, which serves Southern comfort food, farm-fresh meats, and salads. The bar won the title of ‘Best Modern Bourbon Restaurant’ by the Courier-Journal in 2018 and consists of 400 vintage American whiskeys.

The company’s distilling team of 40 production employees is led by the master distiller, Steve Nally.

Details of the visitor centre at Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery

The visitor centre at the distillery provides tours, cocktail classes, tastings for visitors, and spaces for private events. It features an open design with glass panelling and moss art walls.

The tours at the visitor centre showcase the whiskey-making process with full transparency. The Main Event experience provides an in-depth tour for one hour featuring a tour of the distillery, tasting, and barrel sampling.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Best experience provides cocktails, sensory exercises, and a personal tour by the master distiller. The sensory exercises allow the guests to analyse the distillate, test the bourbon ageing, and learn about its use in finished products.

Guests can also visit the rickhouse tasting room situated adjacent to the visitor centre, where bourbon is thieved directly from the barrel.

Bardstown Bourbon Company’s product portfolio

Bardstown Bourbon Company’s range of bourbon includes the Fusion Series™ #1, the Collaborative Series™, and the Discovery Series™ #1.

Released in April 2019, the Fusion Series™ Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is created by blending Bardstown Bourbon Company’s two-year-old wheated and high-rye Kentucky bourbons with aged Kentucky bourbon.

The Collaborative Series™ is described as a nine-year-old Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, polished in Napa Valley’s Phifer Pavitt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

The Discovery Series™ #1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is described as a 12-year-old Kentucky bourbon with hints of older and younger Kentucky bourbons.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery also produces custom whiskey, bourbon and rye for brands such as Jefferson’s, Belle Meade, and High West among others via its collaborative distilling programme.

Contractors involved

The distillery was built and expanded by Buzick Construction while Joseph & Joseph Architects were the architects.

Koch Corporation installed the curtain wall system supplied by Kawneer.

Marketing commentary on Bardstown Bourbon Company

Bardstown Bourbon Company was founded by Peter Loftin, David Mandell, Daniel Linde, and Garnett Black in 2014.

The company has produced more than 40 different mash bills for 24 clients. Its collaborative distilling programme allows distillers and brand owners to create their own products and mature them at the facility.

Bardstown Bourbon Company’s products are available across Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, as well as southern Florida and northern California. The company aims to market its products in Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, and Washington DC., by 2020.