I look for any excuse to hop over and visit my friends in town — and visiting the new Bulleit Distilling Experience was the perfect excuse.
To quote: “A tavern keeper in 1830s Louisville, Kentucky, Augustus Bulleit was dedicated to a single goal: the creation of a bourbon unique in flavor. After experimenting with countless varieties, he finally came upon a bourbon with the character he had long sought after.
One fateful day, while transporting his barrels of bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit vanished. What happened is still unknown, and his creation nearly disappeared into history along with him.”
Fast forward to 1987: “Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr., fulfilled a lifelong dream of reviving an old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Company. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830-1860, Tom left a successful law practice and risked everything to experience life on the frontier. Today, we’re not the only ones who are glad he did.”
How incredible is that?
First: the facility is STUNNING. Drop dead gorgeous. I am rarely surprised, but found myself in awe at the execution.
Second: the tasting experience is elevated in a way that I’ve never experienced. While, yes, it boasts some traditional sampling aspects — it is rooted in aromatics and the relationship between smell and the elevation of one’s taste palate. I won’t spoil the experience, as it’s special. That said, I’ll disclose this: when sampling at the end of your tour, you will have a newfound appreciation for the process, the craftsmanship, and the entity that is bourbon whiskey.
Lastly: when touring the facilities, you will be amazed at the art component. That is due to Bulleit Frontier Works, “a series of projects where Bulleit collaborates with people who are pushing the frontier of their craft or expertise. Whether that’s creating the world’s largest tattoo billboard or giving new life to the old craft of neon signs, all of our Frontier Works projects highlight the interesting people and places at the edge of the modern frontier.”
In my opinion, it’s symbiotic — Bulleit aims to push the frontier of the spirit industry in Kentucky, while simultaneously uplifting others that do so in their respective artistic medium. I respect them deeply for that.
Be sure to be on the lookout for events happening at Bulleit in the near future. I recently attended the Frontier Fair on the property. It was an evening of local vendors, food trucks, great drinks (cocktails and mocktails!)… oh, and an intimate concert with one of my favorite bands, Houndmouth. Yes, you read that correctly. It was a fantastic event and I look forward to attending next year!
See current events here: as for the remainder of 2019, there’s the classic Frontier Whiskey Experience, Unlocking the Senses: A Tasting Experience, and three Winter Workshop Experiences: Candle Making with Maddox & Rose (December 15th), Terrarium Making with Mahonia (December 1, December 8th), and a Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience (with tour — offered on select Sundays & Wednesdays in December).
Oh, and did I mention that you can create your own label to put on a bottle of bourbon in the gift shop? I had to make a JCP Eats bottle, of course!
Adventure awaits in Shelby County, KY — what are you waiting for?
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
FTC: This post was generously sponsored by ShelbyKY Tourism Commission and Visitors Bureau; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.