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Catch the Spirit on the Western Kentucky Bourbon Tour

A Charter Bus Rental—The Best Way to See and Taste Distilled Magic

If there’s truly a nectar of the gods, it’s Bourbon, isn’t it? Whether you’re a traditionalist or a fan of the innovation that’s a healthy part of Kentucky’s Bourbon culture, a trip to the state’s famed distilleries is often a once-in-a-lifetime event. Why not share it with friends and family? But you don’t want to visit Bourbon country and not be able to enjoy the many different tastes, and you don’t want to partake in these potent elixirs and then try to get behind the wheel of a car. There’s a better way to fully enjoy a trip along Kentucky’s famed Bourbon Trail® —in the comfort and luxury of a charter bus from We’ll be your designated driver, so that you can do what you came there to do—taste the Bourbon.

Bourbon—A Short History

Though the origins of the name are French, derived from the Bourbon dynasty, which first ruled France in the 16th century, the whiskey that carries the name is distinctly American. It’s believed that the first “true” Bourbon was distilled in Kentucky sometime in the early 19th century, though there is speculation that the name originated in New Orleans, along Bourbon Street, where the Kentucky product was sold as a less expensive alternative to cognac.

Regardless of the origin of Bourbon, what makes it distinctive—both in taste and color—comes from the process of aging the whiskey in charred oak casks. The idea of aging in charred barrels was not new, but the oak barrels came to be identified with Bourbon. There’s now a federal law that prohibits the use of the name “Bourbon” on any whiskey not made in the United States. In addition, the distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® all meet the following additional requirements:

  • The oak barrels may only be used once and must be American-made
  • More than half of the grain bill on any whiskey that carries the name Bourbon must be corn
  • Other grains are allowed, but no other additives are permitted—only water
  • The whiskey may not be distilled at more than 160 proof (80%)
  • The whiskey must be at least 80 proof (40%) when the bottle is filled

The Western Kentucky Bourbon Trail® —Where It All Began

From its inception in 1999, with 8 participating distilleries, the Bourbon Trail  has grown to include 14 “signature” distilleries, where the whiskey is made the same way for nearly two centuries, as well as 13 “craft” distilleries, offering a new take on an old tradition. The oldest distilleries are found in the western part of the state, with the largest number in and around Louisville (5), where you’ll also find the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®  Welcome Center. The distilleries in Louisville include:

  • Angel’s Envy—With its Bourbon tanks located in Billy Goat Strut Alley, Angel’s Envy combines more than 200 years of Bourbon tradition with the guiding hand of Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson. AE makes hand-blended batches of eight to twelve hand-selected barrels. Every barrel is carefully tasted at every stage of the aging process and the Bourbon is finished in ruby port casks, giving it a one-of-a-kind flavor.
  • The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience—Opened way back in 1783, Evan Williams was the first Kentucky distillery on the Ohio River. All EW Bourbon is aged a minimum of four years in charred oak barrels. The distillery offers four different straight Bourbons and six flavored and seasonal whiskeys, including Bourbons infused with honey, peach and cherry.
  • Old Forester Distillery—Old Forester has their own on-site cooperage, so you can watch their single use oak barrels being built. Tours are available seven days a week. This family-run distillery opened in 1870 and is currently under the management of its fifth generation. Among the most popular offerings from Old Forester—the celebrated “Birthday” Bourbons—the 2018 vintage was barreled in June, 2006.
  • The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience—Located at the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery, this popular Kentucky Bourbon distillery opened its doors in 1935, as the nation (and the Bourbon industry) recovered from Prohibition. In the tradition of patriarch Augustus Bulleit, a tavern owner in the 1830s, Bulleit distinguishes its Bourbon with a high rye content, giving it a bold flavor with a smooth finish. Adjacent to the distillery, you’ll find Bulleit Frontier Works, a modern incubator for artisans and craftsmen, whether it’s creating neon signs or erecting the world’s largest tattoo billboard.
  • The <arel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” href=””>Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse—Jim Beam, makers of the world’s best-selling Bourbon, has expanded its operations to include this small working distillery in downtown Louisville. The distillery is open Monday through Saturday, from 1 pm until 9 pm. Enjoy a flight of Bourbon samples, including the rare Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Select. Take home a commemorative shot glass.
  • Coming soon!!—Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery—Michter’s Distillery is almost finished with a historic renovation of the Fort Nelson Building on Main Street in Louisville. Located directly across the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum, Michter’s brings nearly 275 years of experience to the whiskey business, opening its first distillery in 1753.

Other distilleries within a couple hour’s drive of Louisville include:

  • The Jim Beam American Stillhouse, in Clermont, Kentucky—Considered by many to be the Bourbon capital of the world, the Jim Beam American Stillhouse lets you see exactly how Bourbon is made. You’ll have an opportunity to see every stage of the process, from the natural limestone well that produces all the water that goes into Jim Beam to the mashing, distilling, barreling, aging and bottling processes.
  • Z. Tyler—Just down the road from Clermont, you’ll find what’s been called the “distillery of the future,” where they make Kentucky Bourbon “from a new perspective.” Though the company has been around since the 1880s, new ownership took over in 2014 and opened the new distillery in 2016.

The Right Coach for Your Journey along the Bourbon Trail®

Whether you’re going with a few close friends and family, or leading a large excursion, there’s a bus that’s perfect for you. For up to 12 people, our Executive Sprinter Van is ideal, with comfortable seating and ample room for souvenirs. If you’re on the road with a mid-sized group, our mini-buses hold 24 to 35 people, and typically come with a wide assortment of modern conveniences. But it’s okay to travel with a big group—our largest buses seat up to 57 and multiple bus rentals are usually available. In addition, if you want to turn your trip into non-stop fun, we offer party buses, with wet bars, dance floors and high-end stereo setups.

There’s No Better Way to Travel with a Group than by Charter Bus

If you’re on a pilgrimage along the western Kentucky Bourbon Trail® with a group, there’s only one way to travel—by charter bus. Here’s why:

  • It’s the safest way to travel—We use the best drivers in the world, all of whom have been extensively trained to respond to any situation. In addition, because of the limited access to our coaches, you’ll never have to worry about unwanted guests—and you and your personal items will always be secure.
  • Charter buses are the most reliable way to travel—All of our coaches are carefully and regularly maintained, so mechanical problems are extremely rare. We also have the capability to identify potential roadway problems in advance, so that we respond accordingly and take the necessary steps to get you where you want to be when you want to be there.
  • You get to join in all the fun—There’s no more stress-free way to travel than by charter bus. Leave your watch at home and forget about the map. We’ll worry about where you need to go and when you need to be there. Because you’ll travel on the same coach for your entire trip, you won’t have concerns about missed connections or lost luggage. We don’t have a TSA line—leave your shoes on and bring your favorite shampoo.
  • Get ready to stretch your legs—All our coaches have plush seats and roomy aisles, and there’s more room in front of your seat than on any other mode of transportation. Even better, you can move about the bus at your leisure.
  • There is no “bus mode”—You won’t have to disconnect from the world, unless you want to. Most of our coaches offer Wifi, as well as USB ports and charging stations.
  • You won’t spend an arm and a leg—A charter bus is consistently one of the most affordable ways to travel.
  • Charter buses are good for the planet—When you travel together on a bus, it’s fewer vehicles on the road and less impact on the environment.

Book Your Excursion on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® from Today

The largest charter bus broker in the nation, US Coachways has been an industry leader and innovator for more than 30 years, providing quality coaches to more than 35,000 events every year. To learn more about your options or to get a quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.

Catch the Spirit on the Western Kentucky Bourbon Tour