In late summer of 2019, the Bardstown Bourbon Company cut ribbon on a sleek visitors center in its namesake hometown. Although they’d already been distilling here for more than 5 years, this particular phase of the operation made good on the founder’s promise to deliver a “Napa Valley experience on the Bourbon Trail.” It cost a small fortune to bring that vision to life, but all signs point to the wisdom of the investment.
As the Kentucky Bourbon Trail welcomed over 1.7 million whiskey drinkers, in the final year before the pandemic, BBC solidified its status as a can’t-miss destination along the way. That’s because this place offers something for everyone: a bar and restaurant, cocktail classes, art installations, even windowed warehouses offering elevated views of the sprawling landscape. Of course, if you’re here just for the bourbon, you will not be disappointed. They hold a wider array of American whiskeys—current and vintage—than you’ll find anywhere else in the state.
Part of that is owed to the varied selections behind the stick at the Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar. BBC is one of the rare stops along the trail to dish out full service fare—everything from filet mignon to pickle-brined fried chicken and waffles—along with bourbons from all the major producers in Kentucky and beyond. So, not only can you sample the latest liquids from the brand’s exciting Discovery Series, you can also enjoy it on a flight alongside Eagle Rare or Michter’s or whatever.
“We are whiskey lovers at our core,” explains Brandon Smith, a marketing manager for Bardstown. “We not only highlight our collaborative distilling partners but also the industry at large. In doing so, we can truly celebrate the entire whiskey category with respect towards tradition and innovation.”