Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, Kentucky was founded in 2014 and started bourbon production in 2016. The company’s de facto motto is “Never Stand Still” and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for nearly a decade now.
Around the time they were installing their first column still (they now have three) in 2016 the Kentucky Distillers Association – KDA along with all its members was working with Kentucky legislators to pass Senate Bill 11. Once passed, that bill allowed expanded sampling sizes, bottle sales at the distillery and the ability to sell cocktails or mixed drinks by the glass at the distillery. Two years later in 2018 Bardstown Bourbon Company was the first distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to open a full-service restaurant and bar at their visitor center.
In March 2022 the KDA along with its members once again worked with legislators to pass another new law, House Bill 500. This bill allowed for single barrel sales at a distillery (it’s been done for years but this made it legal), distillery exclusive bottle sales and satellite tasting rooms. Satellite tasting rooms are limited to one per Distilled Spirits Plant – DSP number and the primary location must offer a tourist experience with samples and souvenir bottle sales to be able to offer a satellite location. A few months later in November 2022 Bardstown Bourbon announced plans to open a satellite location in Louisville about 40 miles north of Bardstown.
A year later those plans have come to fruition with the grand opening of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Homeplace on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. Just like the visitor experience at their main campus in Bardstown, the visitor experience on Whiskey Row is well thought out and first class.
Creating a New Whiskey Tradition on Louisville’s Historic ‘Whiskey Row’
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Can’t make it to Bardstown to visit the distillery? Don’t worry, the distillery has now arrived in Louisville. For folks doing the Kentucky Bourbon Trail a visit to Bardstown is a no brainer but, not everyone that visits Louisville has time to make the 50-minute trip to Bardstown. Now with the new experience on Whiskey Row, Bardstown has come to Louisville.
Bardstown Bourbon Company’s new Louisville Tasting Room features highly interactive education, innovative craft cocktails, augmented reality and immersive digital environments, curated retail merchandise and exclusive bottles. The new experience is located at 730 W. Main Street, which anchors the west end of Main Street just past 21c Museum Hotel and a block from the Frazier Museum, the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and enables consumers to experience the brand in a variety of ways. The Louisville Tasting Room features a full-service bar with innovative craft cocktails and unique tasting experiences. The fresh, modern environment matches their expertise in blending, finishing, and whiskey-making with immersive digital environments.
“As a company focused on exploring and showcasing what’s possible in whiskey, we’ve spent years creating a new tradition that celebrates the past while looking into the future. For this space, integrating leading-edge technology and building tasting experiences unlike anything else in the state was key to doing that. Bardstown Bourbon Company has the opportunity to speak to a much larger audience in Downtown Louisville and merged the best of design, experience, and storytelling in order to do so,” said Dan Callaway, Vice President of New Product Development at Bardstown Bourbon Co.
“More than 2 million visitors came to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail last year and more people are enjoying bourbon experiences all across the state. While many make the pilgrimage to Bardstown, Louisville is really Kentucky’s open arms. House Bill 500, which granted the ability to open a tasting room, made way for us to educate people about how we’re moving bourbon forward in a distinctly Bardstown Bourbon Co. way, right here in Louisville,” said Mark Erwin, CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Co.
What to Expect at Bardstown Bourbon’s Louisville Tasting Room
- The Collaborative Series Experience showcases some of the most innovative and complex whiskies on the market, discovering the influence of barrel finishing in partnership with leading producers in a variety of spirits categories.
- The Origin Experience showcases the brand’s 100 percent estate-distilled flagship products.
- The Art of Blending Experience explores the sensory characteristics of the unique bourbons of the Discovery Series, studying the aroma, flavor, and finish.
And coming soon to the Tasting Room will be an interactive table that will connect the hosts conversation with the guest experience at the table. This is expected to go live in March 2024.
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The Tasting Room Experience
The Bardstown Bourbon Co. Louisville Tasting Room took nearly a year to construct and was brought to life by a collaborative team of Kentucky vendors, including architecture and interior design by Joseph & Joseph Architects, Buzick Construction, fabrication by Rustic Nail & Co., and interior design consultants Willie Martin’s.
Bardstown Bourbon Company worked with international agency 3rockAR to create a 3D engagement as you enter the spaces, showcasing the family of brands. Hidden augmented reality elements throughout the space — created by local experiential agency HumanX — will tie back to the state-of-the-art distillery in Bardstown.
The Bardstown Bourbon Company Louisville Tasting Room is now open. Visitors can stop in for a cocktail, retail experience or tasting during regular business hours. It is highly recommended that you book a tasting experience in advance on their website as these experiences do fill up fast.
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