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Andy1824

First kentucky trip and itinerary

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Andy1824

 

Hi everyone, 

 

My fiancé and I are planning our first trip to Kentucky in a few weeks. Our itinerary is jam packed! My question is it actually do-able and would you guys recommend any changes? Thank you in advance! 

 

Thursday

Fly into Lexington. Arrive 4pm. Rent car. Drive 15 min to Town Branch Distillery 

Stay Fairfield inn, Frankfort

 

Friday

8:30am 25 min drive to Wild Turkey. (Stamp) Arrive 9am 

20 min drive to Woodford Reserve (10am or 11am tour) 

20 min drive to Buffalo Trace. 1:30 Hard hat tour

 

7pm Buffalo Trace ghost tour

 

Saturday

8:30 Drive 25 min to Four Roses (stamp) - arrive 9am

40 min drive to Bardstown

10:00 - 10:30 - Heaven Hill

11am - Barton/1792 Tour

1pm - Willett Distillery tour? 

30 min drive to Makers Mark 

3:30 Makers Mark tour

drive 1hr, 15min to Louisville

 

Jim Beam Stillhouse (open until 9pm) - stamp

 

stay Marriott Louisville East

 

Sunday

12:30 pm - Angels Envy (stamp)

1pm - Old Forester (stamp)

1:30 Evan Williams - Speakeasy Tour

Bulleit (stamp) 

 

drive 1 hour 10 min to Frankfort

* visit Castle & Key if possible (open until 5pm) 

 

drive 33 min to Lexington

 

fly our Monday am

 

 

 

 

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Richnimrod

Just my own impressions; but, your schedule seems like it's pretty ambitious as far drive times (unless you have lights and sirens).   The places you want to visit are "must sees", though. 

Have FUN; but be aware you won't be likely to make all this in the times you expect.

 

ps. As far as the 'stamps' you seem anxious to acquire: they don't actually taste that great.

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0895

As someone who’s done it both ways, slow down a bit!

The way you have it scheduled, you’ll be ducking out of some tours halfway through and racing to the next destination like a crazy person, while scarfing lunch in the car. 

You won’t get to really enjoy the property you’re at, and the drive will be stressful, as you’ll get stuck behind slower traffic. 

You could also become dangerous, driving like that.  The road to Maker’s Mark is not a 4 lane interstate.  I’m not saying this to be a jerk.  I tend to drive fast myself.  But you’ll encounter wildlife, farm equipment, people, ATV’s, etc. out on those country roads.

Things move at a much more relaxed pace in KY.  You should blend in and enjoy it.  Spend time talking to people. 

Its a vacation after all. 

 

Tours are typically an hour even, & sometimes run over, and you’ll want time in the gift shop or to look around a bit.  There is no way to make a tour every hour, on the hour. 

Every other hour is doable, but rushed. 

I think you need to decide what is most important for you to see/visit. 

 

 

Friday looks good.  Don’t miss the BT ghost tour.

 

I would cut your Saturday activities down a bit.   Barton and Willett are my favorite tours in Bardstown, whatever that’s worth. 

 

And on Sunday, I would find time to take a tour of either OF or S-W (bulleit) then get your butt over to C&K as soon as possible, and skip the others. 

C&K is a must do!  You’ll need 2 hours minimum there.   Otherwise, skip Woodford and do it Friday.  That entire property is simply incredible. 

 

Dont forget to to book your tours ahead online.  Also, GPS helps, but it isn’t perfect down there.  Expect to make a few wrong turns. 

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JCwhammie

I 100% agree with 0895, that itinerary is super ambitious and you'll be rushed. I haven't done the BT tours you mentioned, but I've heard they're great. WT is my favorite distillery, so it's a must when I go. Plus one of the times I was there Jimmy Russell was in the gift shop signing bottles. He does this fairly often. 

If I were you I'd go to 4R after WT, as their distilleries are really close. I'm neither a Woodford fan nor did enjoy their property as much as the others, so leaving them out is an easy decision. That would also make your Saturday a little less congested. 

 

I realize this trip is all based on hitting as many distilleries as possible, but I recommend going to the Keeneland horse races in Lexington if it's during race season. We enjoyed that a lot. 

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fishnbowljoe

My advice to you is to have plans b and c ready just in case. Like Rich said, your itinerary is very ambitious. There’s a lot to see and do at pretty much every distillery. It’s extremely easy to get distracted. You’ll see things you’ve probably never seen before. Then there’s the obligatory peek in the gift shops. Before you know it, you’re way behind schedule. 

 

You mentioned getting your stamps at each stop. FWIW, and IMHO, I’m not really sure all the different Bourbon Trailt t- shirts are worth the extra effort.

 

 Be sure you bring your cameras and take plenty of pics.

 

I hope you and you fiancé have a great time. Let us know how it goes.

 

 Biba! Joe

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Bourbon Air Tours

If you have a spare hour or two in Bardstown, I am offering an air tour of the distilleries around town. We fly over Barton, Heaven Hill, Willits, Lux Row, Bardstown Bourbon and over the pre-pro sites where Early Times, SP Lancaster, Old Tub and Boon Brothers distilleries were located. I also have a 90-minute tour that visits  Jacob Beam's Manton site, Makers Mark, Jim Beam and about 40 more sites in a 4 county area. Check my website bourbonairtours.com for a complete list.

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Andy1824

Thanks everyone! I thought it was a bit ambitious. I’ll put a plan B in place. As Joe said, i’m not sure getting the stamps just for a t-short is worth all the extra effort, at least not this trip! I dont want to rush through everything and miss a bunch of stuff. 

 

After all, two of my favorite bourbons aren’t even ommthe tour (BT and Barton). And C&K comes highly recommended. 

 

I may save Woodford, WT, 4R, Heaven Hill for next time. I have some “must do’s” this trip and want to enjoy them. 

 

‘’If there are any “must do’s” that i’m missing on here, would love to hear them. Thanks again!

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Andy1824

Updated itinerary has us doing Castle & key, BT hard hat tour and BT ghost tour on Friday. Sat is Willet tour, Barton 1792 Tour, Heaven hill heritage center visit, makers mark tour. 

 

Sunday is decision time. Trying to decide between 4R, WT and Woodford OR drive to Louisville Sat night and tour OF, EW speakeasy tour, Builleit, etc. 

 

We we fly out of LEX super early Monday am, so since we have to track back that way, maybe 4R, WT and woodford makes more sense, but I was really looking forward to visiting Louisville. 

 

Any input is welcomed. Thank you in advance

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Paddy

^^^^I think you're on the right track to head back east.  I'd do Louisville, Beam and 4R (Cox's Creek) on the next trip.  Especially since you're flying back out of LEX. 

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PowderKeg

Your updated itinerary is much more realistic by sticking in 1 general area/nexus town each day to keep the drive time as limited as possible and see as many you want/can fit in.  Then maybe move to another area for the next day.  That's been my recommendation as more and more opportunities open and offer tours/stops.

 

IMHO a Sunday is better spent in Louisville, since most tours don't open until noon (gives plenty of time to get there) and some close earlier.  The big thing though is that the Main St tours/stops are literally minutes walking distance apart going from one end to the other - AE on the east and Peerless on the west end with OF, EW, Frazier Museum/Bourbon Trail start, and now Michter's in between.   JB Urban Bourbon is a few blocks south, and Bulliet & Rabbit Hole short drives.  Waaaaay more than you can do in one day, but plenty of close options to consider.  The only drawback to Sun in L-ville is that OF will be touring but not up and running - still a good tour, but will be quieter.

 

Only other thing to caution on is Maker's - since they won't reserve a specific tour time, going there early in the day could royally foul up scheduled plans for the rest of the day if you can't get right on a tour and have to wait around for a later one.  If you listed your tentative stops in order with M last for the day, then you're good to go.

 

Good luck and have fun, I've enjoyed every tour I've been on - 20+ and counting.  I'm lining up more this April for another Bourbon Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and the Sacred Cities (L-ville, B-town, and Frankfort).

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lcpfratn

I think I’d do WT, 4R and possibly WR on Sunday and do Louisville on another trip. WT has their first tour at 11am, but I’d probably skip the tour and just check out the visitor center, which is beautiful and has a nice view over the river. The WT tour itself is probably one of my least favorite of the big distilleries, but the visitor center is very nice.

 

WT is close enough to 4R that you can make the 12pm tour at 4R if you don’t spend much time at WT. 4R is a beautiful facility and the Mediterranean style construction is very unique. If you spend no more than 2 hours at 4R, you can make the 3pm tour at Woodford, which I think is one of the best tours after Makers and C&K from a beauty of surroundings standpoint...and those three pot stills lined up in a row are beautiful to look at.

 

Eat a late breakfast and you can grab a sandwich at the cafe at Woodford before the tour. It’s not as good as the BT restaurant/cafe, but it’ll do. Cheers, and enjoy your trip whatever you decide to do!

 

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Andy1824
8 hours ago, PowderKeg said:

Your updated itinerary is much more realistic by sticking in 1 general area/nexus town each day to keep the drive time as limited as possible and see as many you want/can fit in.  Then maybe move to another area for the next day.  That's been my recommendation as more and more opportunities open and offer tours/stops.

 

IMHO a Sunday is better spent in Louisville, since most tours don't open until noon (gives plenty of time to get there) and some close earlier.  The big thing though is that the Main St tours/stops are literally minutes walking distance apart going from one end to the other - AE on the east and Peerless on the west end with OF, EW, Frazier Museum/Bourbon Trail start, and now Michter's in between.   JB Urban Bourbon is a few blocks south, and Bulliet & Rabbit Hole short drives.  Waaaaay more than you can do in one day, but plenty of close options to consider.  The only drawback to Sun in L-ville is that OF will be touring but not up and running - still a good tour, but will be quieter.

 

Only other thing to caution on is Maker's - since they won't reserve a specific tour time, going there early in the day could royally foul up scheduled plans for the rest of the day if you can't get right on a tour and have to wait around for a later one.  If you listed your tentative stops in order with M last for the day, then you're good to go.

 

Good luck and have fun, I've enjoyed every tour I've been on - 20+ and counting.  I'm lining up more this April for another Bourbon Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and the Sacred Cities (L-ville, B-town, and Frankfort).

thanks! Yes, Makers would be last stop on Sat. 

 

If if we decide to go to Louisville, we will drive there after the Makers tour and stay the night Sat night

Edited by Andy1824

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Andy1824
6 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

I think I’d do WT, 4R and possibly WR on Sunday and do Louisville on another trip. WT has their first tour at 11am, but I’d probably skip the tour and just check out the visitor center, which is beautiful and has a nice view over the river. The WT tour itself is probably one of my least favorite of the big distilleries, but the visitor center is very nice.

 

WT is close enough to 4R that you can make the 12pm tour at 4R if you don’t spend much time at WT. 4R is a beautiful facility and the Mediterranean style construction is very unique. If you spend no more than 2 hours at 4R, you can make the 3pm tour at Woodford, which I think is one of the best tours after Makers and C&K from a beauty of surroundings standpoint...and those three pot stills lined up in a row are beautiful to look at.

 

Eat a late breakfast and you can grab a sandwich at the cafe at Woodford before the tour. It’s not as good as the BT restaurant/cafe, but it’ll do. Cheers, and enjoy your trip whatever you decide to do!

 

This is the exact schedule I was thinking for Sun.

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JCwhammie
8 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

I think I’d do WT, 4R and possibly WR on Sunday and do Louisville on another trip. WT has their first tour at 11am, but I’d probably skip the tour and just check out the visitor center, which is beautiful and has a nice view over the river. The WT tour itself is probably one of my least favorite of the big distilleries, but the visitor center is very nice.

 

WT is close enough to 4R that you can make the 12pm tour at 4R if you don’t spend much time at WT. 4R is a beautiful facility and the Mediterranean style construction is very unique. If you spend no more than 2 hours at 4R, you can make the 3pm tour at Woodford, which I think is one of the best tours after Makers and C&K from a beauty of surroundings standpoint...and those three pot stills lined up in a row are beautiful to look at.

 

Eat a late breakfast and you can grab a sandwich at the cafe at Woodford before the tour. It’s not as good as the BT restaurant/cafe, but it’ll do. Cheers, and enjoy your trip whatever you decide to do!

 

+1 on this.

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Andy1824

if you could only tour one, which would you tour, Woodford reserve or Castle & Key? 

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lcpfratn
if you could only tour one, which would you tour, Woodford reserve or Castle & Key? 

Probably Castle & Key, but it’s a longer tour and you won’t be tasting any bourbon at this time, only a vodka and/or a gin cocktail. If you want a bourbon tasting and a bit shorter tour, then Woodford is still a very nice tour.

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Andy1824

is it possible to do the bourbon barrel tour at BT at 9:30 and the Hard Hat tour at 10:30? 

 

 

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Bourbon Air Tours

Just a thought, but Willits is right across the road from HH. Do them and then head to Barton instead of going back and forth. It is only a few miles between them, but why make an extra trip?

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Andy1824

Makes sense. Thanks! 

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PowderKeg
Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2019 at 7:53 PM, Andy1824 said:

is it possible to do the bourbon barrel tour at BT at 9:30 and the Hard Hat tour at 10:30? 

 

 

Yes, but if the BB tour is running long (you're still in the dump room or Blanton's bottling room instead of the tasting area) you might have to skip out early to make the HH tour start.  FYI, if they know you're doing multiple tours in one day, they will restrict you to one tasting, usually on your last tour.   That's IF every tour guide has been made aware of your multiple planned tours (or you get the same tour guide for 2)....

Edited by PowderKeg

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Andy1824

Hi everyone. Thank you all for your input and help. We just got back from our trip and here was our itinerary and my thoughts:

 

thurs 4pm: Land at Lex. Pick up rental car. Quick drive to Town Branch for a fast tour and tasting. Super nice folks. We enjoyed this stop, even though it was fast. 

 

Dinner: Wallace Station. Awesome food! Great meal, maybe my second favorite of trip (more on that later) 

 

check in to Fairfield Inn in FRANKFORT: Great place to stay. Centrally located, friendly staff, free breakfast! Winner

 

Friday 9:30am Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel tour - no tasting, as we did back to back tours

10:30am hard hat tour - Both of these tours are great! Highly recommend both. I may Have enjoyed the hard had a tad more, but it was a toss up. On the barrel tour we saw them bottling Rock Hill Farms (One of my favorite bourbons) and Blanton’s. That was a true treat. 

 

Grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to Castle and Key for a 2pm tour. The tour was really cool! Loved the history of this place and it is beautiful. 

 

Back to BT for the ghost tour. Enjoyed this, didn’t see any ghost, but went into Col Blanton’s mansion and the original aging warehouse. 

 

Sat am -woke up early and hit the road. Headed towards Bardstown. 

First stop was Willet for the 10am tour. We enjoyed this one. Nice to see everything on a somewhat small, family owned scale. Tasting was great! 

 

Next St stop was Heaven Hill. Quick stop to check out the Herritage selection. Bourbon was pretty well picked over. 

 

Headed to 1792 Barton. My Fiancé was pretty toured out at this point, so we just did the free tasting.  Dry old Barton has been one of my favs for a while, and hard to get in my area. Great staff, very friendly and knowledgeable. Would love to go back and tour this place. 

 

From there, we headed to Makers Mark for a 2pm tour. Really enjoyed this tour, as did my fiancé who isn’t into bourbon enjoyed it. Enjoyed the tasting. Dipped my own bottle of makers and we hit the road back towards FRANKFORT. 

 

Sunday: hit the road to Wild Turkey. No tour here, just checked out the view and visited the visitors center. 

Next stop was four roses, again no tour,k just checked out the visitors center. 

 

Finally we headed to Woodford for a 2pm tour there. Beautiful place, beautiful drive, good tasting (they actually put some bourbon in their cups compared to most places). 

 

Sunday evening we went to Kentucky Castle in Lexington for dinner. Super pretty setting and excellent food! A little pricey, but if you are in the mood to splurge, definitely check it out! Flew out super early Monday. 

 

All in all, great trip! We really enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back and do it again. Next time we will make a stop in Louisville for sure. Buffalo Trace was still my favorite, but the Makers and Castle and Key / Willett tours were also great. 

 

Again, thank you all for your tips and suggestions! 

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Andy1824

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PowderKeg

You scored a 1792BIB?!?  You lucky dog!  Gonna be a month before I'm up there on a Bourbon Pilgrimage - they'll be long gone by then...  

 

Glad you had a great time and hit some good tours - plenty more to go for the next trip.

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