Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Bourbon Popularity is Booming

a tour guide pouring bourbon samples into glasses on a wood counter for three guests to sample at buffalo trace distillery
Baffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery - Great guide named Freddie
Kentuckians have long loved our Bourbon. Now is seems that the rest of the world is loving it too.
The boom in popularity and sales have allowed the industry to expand and add distilleries to meet the demand for our signature spirit. And more and more visitors from around the world are interested in touring distilleries around the state to learn about the history and tradition of bourbon making.

Tours of distilleries are a fun way to learn the bourbon making process, sample some bourbon, try some bourbon balls and take home some bourbon souvenirs. Just about every distillery has a great tour and they are all very unique. Many have historic buildings and warehouses  that date to the 1800's. Inspired by the California wine country tours and Scottish whiskey trails Kentucky began the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999, which has been hugely successful.

The popularity of single batch bourbons and small-batch bourbons is one of the reasons for the rise in bourbon sales. And there is a  new appreciation for all the old cocktails such as the Manhattan and of course the Mint Julep.  Local and national chefs put bourbon in the spot light in their restaurants and  TV shows. Home cooks can find cookbooks devoted to using bourbon in many fabulous dishes.

In Louisville we have The Urban Bourbon Trail where participation restaurants offer a huge selection of different bourbons. And a very exciting new distillery and museum will open in downtown Louisville in the historic Whiskey Row. The new attraction is being built by Heaven Hill Distilleries and will celebrate the legacy of Even Williams, Kentucky's first distiller and namesake of Heaven Hill's flagship bourbon brand.

And did you know? Bourbon is a redish brown because of the aging in charred oak barrels. It starts out white and ages with the charred oak giving it the distintive flavor and color.
I always thought Bourbon could only be make in Kentucky...not so, it can be made anywhere in the U.S. However, 95% is made in Kentucky.