The global popularity of bourbon shows no signs of declining and neither does Kentucky’s bourbon frenzy. Established distilleries are rmping up production and expanding there storage capacities and the new boutique distilleries of the Kentucky Bourbon Craft Tour are aging and producing high quality whiskey in smaller quantities than their big brothers on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Even the old guard established distilleries are experimenting with new mash bills and aging processes to satisfy a world that’s thirsty for great bourbon.
I recently paid a visit to one of Kentucky’s newest distilleries in Danville. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. The distillery’s parent company, Fermsolutions, is dedicated to using its scientific expertise to concoct the best distillate they possibly can to put in charred white oak barrels that will turn science into something like magic. I have a feeling, their quality over quantity first batch release is going to be very sought after a few years down the road.
The Evan Williams Experience
As part of the rejuvenated Whiskey Row section of downtown Louisville, Heaven Hill has opened the Evan Williams Experience complete with an onsite micro distillery that allows visitors a literal hands on experience in the bourbon production process.
The Experimental Side
Buffalo Trace in Frankfort continues to transition from one of the more conservative of Kentucky’s distilleries to one of the more progressive. They recently completed construction of the ultra sophisticated Warehouse X that’s climate controlled to allow master distiller Harlen Wheatley a great platform to experiment with alternative mash bills and aging processes in the hopes of finding that next level bourbon.
Expansions and Upgrades
Master Distiller Chris Morris at Woodford Reserve in Versailles continues to push the envelope with experimental four grain bourbon and straight rye releases. The distillery’s parent company, Brown-Forman, expanded and improved the visitor center and they’re in the process of building three new barrel warehouses to handle the additional bourbon produced by the pot stills that were recently added to keep up with growing bourbon demand.
Brown-Forman is also in the early stages of adding their own visitor experience on Whiskey Row in Louisville in the block where the company’s original headquarters were located.
Wild Turkey just opened a brand new stand alone visitor center perched high above the Kentucky River and they also just released a special bourbon named Diamond in celebration of master distiller Jimmy Russell’s 60 years in the bourbon industry.
Buffalo Trace and Maker’s Mark are also planning to expand their visitor centers soon and Maker’s recently added an artistic colored glass installation to one of their aging warehouses. Yes, times are truly good in bourbon land.