When it’s cold out, every Louisvillian knows a good old-fashioned Kentucky hug is the perfect thing to warm you up. Missed that vocab term in grade school? A Kentucky hug is the warm sensation you get in your chest when you drink whiskey — and we have plenty of places in town to give you that feeling.
Whether you’re expanding your own horizons or looking for ways to entertain family members this holiday season, we’re pouring you 10 local bourbon tours to warm up with this holiday season.
Pro tip: Craft a formal itinerary for your bourbon tours and tastings with Bourbon Hall Tours. Choose a minimum of two distilleries to visit and they’ll handle the rest.
Rabbit Hole | 711 E. Washington St.
This chic, industrial distillery in NuLu will set the tone for the rest of your journey through Bourbon City. The tour begins with a dram of Rabbit Hole’s four-grain Kentucky Straight Bourbon, “Cavehill,” and finishes with a tasting of four of the distillery’s spirits in its Overlook Lounge.
Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. | 1121 E. Washington St.
While it’s technically France’s native spirit, this Butchertown-based brandy distillery also makes gin, absinthe + liqueurs. Your tour here includes a walkthrough of the 75% underground brandy maturation cellar + you can finish with a drink in the facility’s rooftop bar and restaurant.
Old Forester Distilling | 119 W. Main St.
Learn the story of America’s first bottled bourbon with two tour options, the Old Forester Tour + the Nothing Better in the Market Tour. The latter tour is booked out through January, but the former offers guests a look into the distilling process from fermentation to bottling, with a four-spirit tasting included.
Evan Williams Bourbon Experience | 528 W. Main St.
This 45-minute-to-an-hour tour takes you through the story of Evan Williams, the founder of Kentucky’s first commercial distillery, complete with several tastings. Pro tip: Arrive for your tour about 30 minutes early.
Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery | 801 W. Main St.
Between its location in the circa-1890 Fort Nelson building + the techniques the distiller uses to craft its spirits, “historic” is the only word to describe this distillery. Its Discovery Tour teaches you all about the extra steps it takes to craft its bourbon and gives you the chance to try five Michter’s spirits. Be sure to check out the upstairs bar as well.
Angel’s Envy Distillery | 500 E. Main St.
Though this brand is currently undergoing an $8.2 million expansion, it’s still offering two of its three signature tours. You can get to know the distillery on its Welcome Tour Mon.-Fri., or choose its available weekend tour and try Angel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Casks + Rye Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks.
Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. | 120 N. 10th St.
This five-generation Kentucky distillery offers three options for the bourbon-curious: a guided whiskey and bourbon tasting experience, a behind-the-scenes distillery tour with a tasting + a VIP heritage tour with a tasting. Whichever you choose, you must book online in advance.
Prohibition Craft Spirits | 436 Baxter Ave.
On this Prohibition-themed tour, you’ll learn the whacky, often dangerous ways Kentuckians illegally produced, transported + sold moonshine during this period. You’ll try all five of PCS’ spirits, likely including its new “NULU™,” a blue agave reposado.
Brough Brothers Distillery | 1809 Bolling Ave.
Take a Saturday tour through Kentucky’s first African-American-owned distillery. The tour lasts 30 minutes + can accommodate up to four people. You also get a free t-shirt with your ticket purchase.
Stitzel-Weller Distillery | 3860 Fitzgerald Rd.
Take a 15-minute drive out from the heart of the city into Shively where you’ll find this historical gem of a distillery. Choose from one of four offered tours, including its newest progressive walking tour + tasting. You’ll see the distiller’s evolution through a series of tastings + get a keepsake Stitzel-Weller Glencairn glass.