Wilderness Trail Distillery

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Wilderness Trail Distillery’s craft spirits are handcrafted with precision focusing solely on a unique sweet mash process and producing consistent great tasting award winning spirits.

We have a pioneering spirit here at Wilderness Trail Distillery, just like the settlers who followed the path Daniel Boone blazed into Central Kentucky. In keeping with our location in the birthplace of Kentucky, we like blending old traditions with the science of making Bourbon and other fine spirits.

After years of working with distilleries around the world to provide advice and fermentation products, we launched our premium craft distillery in 2012 with a focus on making the highest quality Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Vodka and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Rum. Our founders Shane Baker and Pat Heist are fermentation experts with more than 20 years of experience in the production of alcohol and some of the best brands on the market today. Our specialty is making unique spirits from locally-grown grains to ensure quality, and adding a healthy dose of science in the process. Come see what we mean by visiting Wilderness Trail Distillery.
Wilderness Trail Distillery, co-founders Shane Baker and Dr. Pat Heist

“We are not interested in making the most, just the best.”

All of our whiskeys are distilled, aged and bottled here at Wilderness Trail Distillery in a rich traditional Kentucky environment. You can trust what you are enjoying with our name on the bottle. Our whiskeys are double-distilled in keeping with Kentucky tradition and we have several stills.


Wilderness Trail Distillery Spirits      Schedule a Distillery Tour


Wilderness Trail Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond Single Barrel

Our high in small grain Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys are offered as a Single Barrel – Bottled in Bond. Two special releases in one bottle! The Single Barrel selection offers nuances only premium cooper select barrels can create from their toasting and 18-month air-dried staves. In addition, the Bottled in Bond gives you assurance the Bourbon was properly distilled, aged over 4 years and bottled by us under the supervision of the U.S. Government at 100 proof. Our Bottled in Bond release mash bill is 64 percent corn, 24 percent wheat and 12 percent malted barley using our yeast strains. This is one of the highest ratios of wheat used in a Bourbon made in Kentucky. We entered the cooper select, toasted and #4 char barrel at 110 proof after coming off the still around 137 proof. We then age our Bourbon in our two -story Rickhouse A, moving floors each year of maturation.

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch Bottled in Bond

Our Rye small grain Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys are offered as a Small Batch, up to 12 barrels per batch, which was the result of one fermenter. The goal of the Small Batch is to capture the total essence of more complex notes from multiple barrels from distillate of the same fermenter. It is bottled at 92 proof. Our Small Batch release mash bill is 64 percent corn, 24 percent rye and 12 percent malted barley using our yeast strains. We entered the cooper select, toasted and #4 char barrel at 110 proof after coming off the still around 137 proof. Aged in both our Rickhouse A at a mid- to upper-floor and in our Rickhouse B in the center of the warehouse.

Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – Cask Strength Release

Our Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskeys are offered as a Cask Strength release; we have the lowest entry proof we know of in Kentucky. We barrel at 100 proof to highlight the balance of the grains and alternate solubility expression from the barrel. A traditional three-grain recipe is 56 percent rye, 33 percent corn and 11 percent malted barley. Our rye mash bill is one we created for a broader balance of flavor to offset the typical high ryes commonly found. We use Kentucky-grown Heritage rye from our local KY Proud farm. We enter the new, air-dried #4 char, 53-gallon barrels at 100 proof for our Rye Whiskey and age until maturity in our barrelhouse. We age our Rye Whiskeys on the upper floors of our Rickhouses A & B, arguably one reason for their vibrant expression at 3 + years. We plan to age our Ryes as long as our Bourbons — in the 6-8 year age range — but we do plan to introduce some 3 and 4 year old Rye Whiskeys as Cask Strength releases. We just keep finding wonderful honey-barrels with great expressions that need to be explored.

Blüe Heron Vodka

Blue Heron Vodka, the Bourbon Drinker’s Vodka, has captured many accolades with the most recent being a platinum at the 2017 Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards. It’s made from our Bourbon Whiskey distillate and the only three-grain vodka mash bill we know of! We make it with the same yeast, locally-grown corn and wheat and barley from our #B5 mash bill that makes our Kentucky Bourbon so delicious. Its unfiltered smoothness is the result of multiple distillations and its sweet mash bill. Our vodka is distilled in our continuous column still just like our Bourbon, with a third final distillation in our copper hybrid pot still. In addition to capturing the platinum SIP Award, Blue Heron Vodka received a 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold Medal and an American Distilling Institute Gold Medal for Grain-to-Glass Vodka with a Neutral Character. You can drink it neat to experience the flavor of the sweet mash or it makes a perfect base for your favorite cocktail.

Harvest Rum – A Kentucky Sorghum Spirit

Harvest Rum, The Bourbon Drinker’s Rum, gets its nickname from both the process used to make the rum but also the Bourbon Whiskey flavors imparted during the aging process of our rum. Made with Kentucky-grown sweet sorghum molasses instead of sugar cane, Harvest Rum is the only Kentucky rum. We source our sorghum from fifth-generation sorghum producer Danny Townsend in Mount Sterling. The process begins with squeezing the fresh-cut stalks to remove all the sweet juice and then cooking it to remove the water and impurities. After distillation in our Vendome Pot Still, we age Harvest Rum in freshly-emptied Kentucky Bourbon barrels over 2 years to marry with the wonderful caramel, vanilla, oak char and savory flavors that make our state’s Bourbons world famous. The result is the right blend of rum sweetness, tempered by the aged Bourbon left in the barrel. Our award-winning Harvest Rum, the Bourbon Drinker’s Rum, presents itself with a Bourbon front and sweet rum finish when enjoyed neat. Harvest Rum is a highly awarded gold and silver medal winning spirit. It was awarded the Kentucky Rum Distillery of the Year from the New York International Spirits Competition and Best of Category at the American Distilling Institute. Enjoy neat or in your favorite cocktail, such as a Whiskey Sour or a Rum Mojito.


Tours with a Personal Touch      Schedule a Distillery Tour


We offer a unique tour that highlights the science behind spirit making through the use of local grains and our signature sweet mash fermentation process. Tours begin in our historic visitors center. For groups larger than 10, we request that you call us at 859-402-8707.

Tour Hours
Closed 12—1 pm for lunch. | Tours start on the Hour

View Wilderness Trail Distillery articles here.

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Monday
Closed
Tuesday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday
Closed
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