Did you know that one-third of all bourbon whiskey is made in Louisville, Kentucky? Louisville even has its own “Urban Bourbon Trail” where you can visit more than 40 different bars and restaurant and try America’s only native spirit.
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. The name bourbon originated from Bourbon County, Kentucky, when barrels of whiskey were sent out from the region marked as “Old Bourbon.” For a whiskey to be considered a bourbon, its mash must be 51% corn, which differs from whiskey which can be made from various grain blends – corn, rye, barley or wheat. So back to the bourbon: After the 51% corn, the remaining is either rye or wheat, which is how we get different varieties of bourbon. It also has to be distilled at 160 proof or less and then put into the aging barrels (charred oak) at 125 proof or less. Bourbon must also be produced in the USA (not to be confused with Scotch, Whisky, Irish Whiskey, etc).
As you can imagine, the bourbon scene in Louisville is hopping. To start, you can pick up an Urban Bourbon Trail Passport from the Louisville Visitor Center (or at any of the UBT included bars/restaurants). Once you get 6 passport stamps, you can redeem your passport for the current Urban Bourbon Trail t-shirt. How fun is that?! Plus, there are a ton of locations near the Seelbach where you can get a stamp! GAME ON. 😉
Similarly, you can also do the Urban Bourbon Experience, which includes the same restaurants and bars, but adds in distilleries and events. If touring distilleries is more your thing, this may be the route for you! Included in the Experience are such famous bourbon names as Evan Williams, Jim Beam, & Bulleit.
So kick back, relax, and sit in the same spot where Al Capone once did. Enjoy an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan, or a Mint Julep. Feel immersed in the bourbon culture of this great city, and take advantage of all Louisville has to offer!