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Kentucky Bourbon Trail Mash Appeal Logo wants to know if were YOU one of a half more than 500,000 people visited Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries in 2012?

If YES, tell us below on this link and which distillery tour was your favorite. If we select you from the list below, you’ll receive non-alcoholic special gift to celebrate (must be at 21 or over, we will contact you by email, some restrictions apply). congratulates Kentucky Bourbon Trail as this is the first time that the world-renowned tourism attraction has broken the half-million mark since its inception in 1999!

We’ve been following the stories of Bourbon and whiskey both on the trail and beyond Kentucky since 2005. At, we’re the first to bring you the news from the world of Bourbon and we’re excited to bring you this news today.

The new attendance record of 509,292 is a 15 percent increase over 2011, with travelers from all 50 states and more than 50 countries making the iconic Bluegrass journey, said Adam Johnson, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience.

Town Branch BourbonFour Roses Distillery, improved their tourism experiences in 2012 with a new visitors center (see video below). Wild Turkey broke ground on its new visitor’s center that’s set to debut later this year (see video below), and Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery joined the tour in September.  Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark unveiled new visitors experiences.

The tour also welcomed official sponsors to enhance the visitor experience, including the Louisville Marriott East, R & R Limo, The Woodford Inn, The Beaumont Inn, Art Eatables and more.

Created by the KDA in 1999, the landmark tour 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.

“We are happily overwhelmed,” Johnson tells us . “Our legendary distilleries are doing more than ever to welcome Bourbon visitors and give them a first-hand, educational and interactive look at the art and science behind our timeless craft.”

The attendance record wasn’t the only milestone set in 2012, Johnson said. The KDA’s “Passport” program that rewards visitors who receive stamps at all Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries also reached an all-time high.

A total of 18,360 people from 50 states and 11 countries completed their Passport in 2012. That’s a 56 percent increase over the previous year and a whopping 9,614 percent increase since the Passport program started in 2007. Each Passport holder receives a free t-shirt to commemorate their achievement.


Four Roses Distillery New Visitors Center

Four Roses Distillery New Visitors Center opened in September 2012 and was there for the opening in the video below

The KDA expects to record its 50,000th Passport holder in early 2013, Johnson said.

Passport holders are bringing much-needed revenue to local communities with a Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery,  KDA President Eric Gregory tells A University of Louisville study found that each person who completes the tour spends $737 on average.

“That means the tour has poured more than $32 million into local coffers in the last five years alone,” Gregory said, noting that 85 percent of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® visitors come from outside the Commonwealth.

“We believe the fiscal impact is actually much higher because it does not include the millions of people who haven’t finished their Passports,” Gregory said. “We hope they come back soon and get those final stamps.”


Watch our videos below and here are a few other noteworthy visitor statistics that the Kentucky Bourbon Trail shared with us from 2012

Charr'd Bourbon Lounge at Louisville Marriott East Bourbon Themed Hotel

Charr’d Bourbon Lounge at Louisville Marriott East Bourbon Themed Hotel

– Ohio overtook Kentucky as the top state for Passport completion

– 75 percent of visitors stayed in a hotel or bed and breakfast

– More than 53 percent had household incomes above $80,00

– 70 percent came to Kentucky just for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour



‘s Video of Four Roses Distillery New Visitor Center Opening Day‘s Video of Wild TUrkey


Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport


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19 Responses to “Kentucky Bourbon Trail Record, were YOU one of a half million in 2012?”

  1. Rob Davis

    Yes, I only had time to visit one and picked Buffalo Trace. I’m planning another stop this year as I travel through the area at least twice a year.

  2. Theo rutherford

    I went during bourbon fest and the again this winter. I have to say that the best tour goes to makers mark and the most interesting things being done with bourbon goes to Kentucky bourbon distillers, makers of Willet, Noah’s mill, Rowan’s creek, and many others. But, you haven’t done the bourbon train until you do it during bourbon fest. Think the county fair, but all laced with boubon somehow…a great experience during September…aka national bourbon month!

  3. Robin Burke

    Spent a week during bourbon Fest celebrating 15 years of marriage with my husband. Loved all of it, but the best was the Four Roses bottling & warehouse tour.

  4. Barry

    Yes, I visited Woodford Reserve, Heaven Hill & Wild Turkey back in April, 2012. I have also visited Makers Mark. I hope to get to Four Roses & Buffalo Trace on my next visit.

  5. Josh Woods

    Made the trip and did the bourbon trail with my wife and parents. We had a blast even though we couldn’t do the tour at 4 Roses due to the may storm the night before and they were flooded and had power but they still stamped our passport. We really enjoyed the tour at Woodford Reserve, and a major thank you to the bourbon trail folks for letting us still get our t shirt with not being able to tour 4 Roses. We will be making a trip back in a few years to buy some Makers Mark when my barrel is done.

  6. Josh Woods

    Just noticed I had some typos lol. It should say big storm the night before and they were flooded and had no power, not may storm haha

  7. Sean McPherson

    My wife & I are avid visitors; we’ve worn our several Bourbon Trail shirts with pride over the years! We’ve visited distilleries aorund the US and the world, and distillery workers everywhere want to show off their bourbon barrels (that they’re using for a new product, inheriting a little of the bourbon magic) and ask about the facilities we have in Kentucky. Plenty of reasons to be proud to be involved in showcasing our heritage.

    Sean McPherson

  8. Clark Creasey

    Grandparents from Tennessee came to town this summer and needed something low-energy yet enjoyable to do for the day. They’ve always been big scotch drinkers so we though a trip to the Bourbon Trail would do them some good. There was nothing like seeing three generations of family come together over some delicious Kentucky Bourbon after a wonderful tour of the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery. Needless to say, our next family gathering will definitely be somewhere along the Bourbon Trail!

  9. Andrew

    My wife and I earned our shirts by visiting all the distilleries on the tour as well as Buffalo Trace. Our favorite was Woodford! We look forward to taking the tour again in years to come.

  10. Steve

    Four Roses was our favorite. The people were so friendly and the architecture is very unique.