In 2007 husband and wife team, Sean and Lisa Higgins had a dream to start a company together. From humble beginnings that started out on a ping pong table in their basement the Higgins started what was to become Mint Julep Tours. The company officially launched in 2008 with a major focus on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, bourbon fans and bourbon tourism. Sean will tell you, initially there were some lean years, but, as the world’s interest in bourbon has exploded over the last several years, their business has expanded to keep up with demand. Their tour offerings have also expanded over the years to include horse farms, historic landmarks and the bustling foodie scene. The company now operates with nearly 50 employees and 20 vehicles serving more than 30,000 guests per year in Kentucky.
Mint Julep Tours is Now Mint Julep Experiences
As their tour offerings have expanded, they recently decided to tweak the name of their company to be more about the “experience” people have on their tours and have renamed the company, Mint Julep Experiences. Our 2016 story had the writing on the wall for the company with this line, “Today, bourbon tourism is not only a thing, it’s an experience.” The name makes sense since that’s ultimately what they do; create “experiences” that people can cherish for a lifetime.
Mint Julep Experiences Expands Whiskey Tourism to Tennessee
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Those Mint Julep Experiences will soon be enjoyed in Tennessee. As I travel around the country visiting distilleries I often here distillers say, “We want to create a Kentucky Bourbon Trail like experience in our state.” Starting in June of 2017 the distillers in Tennessee along with the states elected officials and tourism department created their own trail, the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.
Sean and Lisa Higgins utilized their 10 years of experiential tourism expertise to create memorable experiences on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail® and beyond. Two distinct day-long Tennessee whiskey adventures will start April 2018 departing from downtown Nashville five days a week.
“Tennessee’s rich history of hospitality and craftsmanship remind us so much of what we love about our Kentucky home,” said Sean Higgins. “Our passion for tourism is contagious. We can’t wait to unveil our immersive outings exploring the heart and soul of Nashville. Our curated experiences allow for our guests to relax and leave all the planning, transportation and reservations to us. They just need to sit back, relax and enjoy the culture of Tennessee with their friends.”
Native Nashvillian Adam Smith has joined the team as Director of Operations for the Nashville Mint Julep Experiences office. He brings more than 16 years of hospitality sales and operations experience in Nashville’s tourism industry, including working as part of the opening teams for the Music City Center in 2013 and Westin Hotel in 2016.
“Growing Tennessee’s rich whiskey tourism industry will be greatly assisted by Mint Julep Experiences,” said Tennessee Whiskey Guild manager Kim Mitchell. “Their deep expertise and proven partnerships will be an asset to our Guild members and the Tennessee Whiskey Trail as a whole. We look forward to the experiences they create to properly present our brands.”
The Nashville operation is now accepting bookings for tours every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting April 11. From the distilleries of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail® to Nashville’s most famous historic and hip places, Mint Julep plans to create exclusive, behind-the-scenes adventures and elevated tasting experiences not available anywhere else.