While Jim Beam and Wild Turkey definitely represent some of the more well–known names along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the family-owned Willett Distillery (on the Trail’s Craft Tour) might just cook up the best bourbon around. In operation since 1937, the distillery produced the first batch of 30 barrels on St. Patrick’s Day of that year. A couple of years back, I was bumming along the trail with my husband and cousins on a holiday weekend when master distiller Drew Kulsveen saw that I had tweeted from just outside Bardstown and messaged me that we should stop by for a visit. Not one to turn down a private behind-the-scenes look at how bourbon is made, I consented. I also left with a newfound appreciation for rye whiskey, which, in my opinion, Willett does better than anyone. Since my visit, the distillery has implemented hour-long tours seven days a week. For $7, you get a tour of the distillery and grounds, as well as a tasting. For $10, you also receive a souvenir glass. If you’re stopping by on the weekend, I recommend making reservations to ensure you get a spot. Don’t forget to stock up on your favorite batches before coming back home. While you’ll find Willett in many of the finer liquor stores, it’s still not ubiquitous…yet.
Photo Source: Willett Distillery