FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour is celebrating its 22nd birthday with a new Bourbon Trail™ Passport & Field Guide to help visitors plan and prepare for the ultimate journey behind America’s only native spirit.
The comprehensive guide contains 150 pages of information about the attraction, from maps and suggested itineraries to cocktail recipes, helpful tidbits, tasting notes and, of course, key data about participating distilleries on the KBT® and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®.
And here’s the best part -- Passport stamps now unlock access to special collectible bottles and private barrel selections, souvenir barware, tastings and other unique rewards at the 18 Kentucky Bourbon Trail® participating distilleries.
“This new guide is a must-have resource for Kentucky Bourbon tourists as they explore the rich history and heritage of our signature spirit,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that founded the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure in 1999.
“We’re really excited about all the rewards that now come with your Passport stamp. Visitors are clamoring for distinct bottles and exclusive souvenirs that they can only get in Kentucky. We listened, and our distilleries have worked hard to elevate their Kentucky Bourbon voyage.”
Adam Johnson, Senior Director of the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences, said Passport owners will be able to register their Field Guide online to receive the latest news and events happening at their favorite distilleries.
The guide also has detailed information about each distillery that will help visitors tailor their trip, such as whether the distillery has an on-site restaurant or cocktails available, accepts online reservations, produces other spirits besides Bourbon and more.
“The KBT program has evolved so much over the last 22 years,” Johnson said. “It’s more about savoring the Bourbon journey than a race to complete your Passport. This new book is a perfect companion piece that allows guests to celebrate our legendary Bourbon culture with ease.”
The new Passport & Field Guide is for sale starting Thursday at participating distilleries for the suggested retail price of $5.99. Passport & Field Guides also can be ordered now at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® online shop at https://www.kybourbontrailshop.com.
“We are pleased to share with you an easy-to-use, fit-in-your-pocket, guide where you will discover Kentucky Bourbon is more than just a drink. It’s a way of life,” said Dee Ford, Chairwoman of the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Advisory Panel.
“This has been a year in the making and we appreciate all the passion and energy that KDA members have devoted to making it come true,” said Ford, who is Brand Home Manager at Angel’s Envy in Louisville . “We can’t wait for you to meet our makers and be our tasters.”
Proceeds from the sale go directly to KDA responsibility and sustainability initiatives. The Bourbon Trail Passport & Field Guide emphasizes the KDA’s commitment to responsible consumption with transportation tips, tasting guidelines and visitor best practices.
“The KBT may have just come of legal age, but our industry has a long-standing commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of alcohol,” said Sara Barnes, KDA Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability.
“Visitors can purchase one of our new guides knowing that proceeds will help continue that pledge and also fund research and initiatives to ensure the sustainable stewardship of wood, water and grains that are vital to our communities and our future.”
The new Bourbon Trail™ Passport & Field Guide also features the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®, which the KDA created in 2012 as the nation’s first and only tourism attraction to showcase the state’s flourishing boutique distilleries.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® includes 19 participating distilleries, with many more on the way. Visitors who complete each of its four territories earn a collectible challenge coin.
Fans who tour all stops get a custom barrel stave to display their coins.
“The new Passport & Field Guide also will serve as a go-to planning tool for our Craft Tour visitors as well,” Johnson said. “The challenge coins have been very popular for people who are taking the deeper dive into our craft distilleries.”
Johnson said visitors have until Dec. 31 to use old Passports to both the KBT® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences. For more information on the Passport programs, go to https://kybourbontrail.com/field-guide/.
KDA President Gregory said look for more news soon as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tours continue to expand with more stops, more merchandise for visitors (and finishers) and more benefits for Passport holders.
“There are so many ways to enjoy Kentucky Bourbon and even more to experience our culture and craft. As Adam said, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® is a journey, a quest. And there’s only one true and authentic home for Bourbon - Kentucky. The proof is here.”