The Giveback Sports team headed to Louisville to get a first-hand look at our newly optimized Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience with our partner, a leading Bourbon Trail tour and chauffeur service in the region. Our day started bright and early in the beautiful Bluegrass State. Arriving a little after 8:00 in the morning, we toured their office and vast fleet of vehicles, including the spacious SUVs for groups of 4 and the luxurious stretch SUV for groups of 8.

Taking the scenic route past quaint towns from Louisville to Loretto, we made our way to the first stop on the tour: Maker’s Mark Distillery. This renowned bourbon is most notable for it’s iconic red wax-dipped bottles. The distillery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark. During the tour, we learned the history of the brand, the extensive process of bourbon-making, and tasted 5 unique and high-end bourbons. Our knowledgeable tour guide was very engaging and kept the tour light and fun. After the tour, we had the opportunity to taste signature bourbon cocktails like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, or beat the heat with a Bourbon Slush at the Star Hill Provisions, a full-service restaurant and bar on the distillery grounds.

After our visit to Maker’s Mark, we stopped for lunch at Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar, and it exceeded all expectations. From their innovative craft cocktails, vintage whiskey and spirits, and incredible cuisine with a southern flair, we were not disappointed with Bardstown’s newest hotspot. The glazed brussels sprouts was the favorite among our group, with the fish tacos being a close second.

Next on the tour was the Willett Distillery, an independent and family-owned distillery that dates back to 1936. The property sits on the outskirts of Bardstown and in an atmosphere that is quintessential Kentucky. The tour concluded with a sampling of Willett’s memorable whiskey, including Willet Family Estate Bottled Bourbon, Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond, and Kentucky Vintage Small-Batch Bourbon.

Heaven Hill, America’s largest family-owned and operated distilled spirits producer and marketer, was the last stop on our tour. The Bourbon Heritage Center and gift shop at the distillery was very educational and interactive. You can even press a button to smell their bourbon at different stages of the aging process. Heaven Hill produces some of the top names in bourbon, including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Larceny.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience is a must for both bourbon-lovers and those who just enjoy a unique and memorable adventure. We were so impressed by our driver and our tour operator’s professionalism and expertise. Consider offering your donors The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience in your next auction and we will make sure they enjoy the Trail as much as we did!