With Kentucky bourbon tourism expected to set another record breaking year, the folks at the Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group are reminding visitors its important to book tours of distilleries and experiences well in advance.
2022 is turning out to this point to be the highest distillery visitation year in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s 23-year history, meaning it will likely exceed the record 1.7 million combined visits set in 2019, prior to pandemic shutdowns. Given this, a new campaign dubbed “Book Now, Bourbon Later” was recently launched by the combined distilleries of both the bigger Trail and also the more boutique Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour.
While not all 42 distilleries on the KBT and KBTCT require, or even offer reservations, the vast majority do. Same-day reservations or walk-in availability can be sporadic, it has been said, and it’s better for visitors to not leave their distillery experiences up to chance.
Availability and experiences vary by distillery, which makes planning ahead a necessity. Many distilleries share availability, events and resources on social media to help visitors keep up with important updates.
“The last thing we want is for any Bourbon fan to miss out on the experience they want,” said Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experiences Director Mandy Ryan in a prepared statement. “Since most of our larger brands cannot accommodate walk-in visitors, reservations are the key to a successful Kentucky Bourbon adventure.
“We want your visit to be as smooth as Kentucky Bourbon, so make sure to secure your distillery experiences, hotels and dining reservations well in advance of your trip.”
Also, in addition to encouraging people to plan ahead, the bourbon industry is kindly reminding visitors to experience the state’s legendary distilleries like a Kentuckian–with kindness, dignity and respect.
“Kentucky’s Bourbon culture is unlike anything in the world, and it deserves to be upheld with the utmost respect and appreciation,” said Dee Ford, brand home general manager of Angel’s Envy in Louisville. “When visiting our distilleries, please remember to be kind and respectful to our people, our spirits and the cities we call home.
“As interest in Bourbon continues to grow, let’s all do our part to represent the spirit of true Kentucky hospitality.”