Thursday May 9, 2013
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure is barreling into the River City, with Heaven Hill Distilleries’ new Evan Williams Bourbon Experience™ becoming the eighth stop on the world-famous journey and the first ever in Louisville.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer made the announcement today at the downtown site on historic Whiskey Row, where Heaven Hill is building its multi-million dollar artisanal distillery and immersive tourism experience that is scheduled to open this fall.
"I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week than announcing that the first Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery is coming to Louisville," Fischer said. "This is a huge step to enhance the city’s Bourbon tourism efforts.
"Our pioneer distillers like Evan Williams probably never dreamed what they were starting when they settled here generations ago. Now, I can’t imagine what Louisville would be without the Bourbon industry. This is a day I’m proud to toast."
Heaven Hill executives and leaders of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, which created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® program in 1999, gave Fischer a commemorative barrel filled with whiskey from all eight distillery stops to mark the occasion.
"Today starts a great new tourism partnership for our signature industry and the city of Louisville that will pay benefits for years to come," said Max L. Shapira, President of Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the largest independent family owned and operated distilled spirits company in the United States.
"The skyrocketing success of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour has been amazing," he said. "It is a world-class and much-celebrated attraction, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, all eager to spend and savor our unique Bourbon history."
More than 2.5 million people have visited Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries in the last five years, including a record 509,292 in 2012, said KDA President Eric Gregory. That was the first time the tour has broken the half-million mark since its inception.
The iconic journey features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.