Originally Posted by topwater15
We did a mint julep tour bus last year. Visited Buffalo Trace, Woodford and four roses. All amazing and Buffalo Trace was my favorite. A sandwich shop is wellknown in that area, I forgot the name but its in a small downtown area between all of those. I would highly recommend it if possible, if you ask someone why would know the name. I would love to travel to the southern distillery's soon.
Saw a bunch of those busses, toured Willett with a group from one of them. They toured 3 distilleries while I did 6. Granted, I didn't do the full tour at all 6, but I got to see a lot more... there is also a limo service that does a little more of a custom tour. You tell them the direction you want to go, and they go.
The amount of drinking done is rather minimal. Only 1 oz or less pours, and the most I had at one location was 3 samples, definitely totalling less than 2 oz.
I'd do this again in a heartbeat. I'd do 4 days dedicated to the tours, with one solely at Buffalo Trace. Their tours are top notch, and they offer 3 or 4 different ones. It would be really easy to fill a day there. There are 4 or so more distilleries around Lexington for another day. Bardstown area would be a third day, then Maker's, Limestone Branch, and the Independent Stave Company barrel manufacturer for a fourth day. I'm sure there are LOTS more to see, but thats what I'd do. I didn't get to do the Louisville tours, which would primarily be walking distance on Whiskey Row. A number of distillers have set up "whiskey experience" locations in downtown. Angels Envy, Evan Williams, soon to open Old Forester, Beam, and probably others I can't recall. Bulleit is in town, but not by the rest. Plus all the bars have 100+ whiskies here.
I'd make sure that the first stop of a trip was at a small craft distillery like Willett. The tour is so much more personal and they really go in depth with the technical side. Learn this stuff first, and it makes the tours at the big guys mean more. They tend to gloss over some details and focus on history, specific concepts, or what makes them different.