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Jan 27, 2009 01:03 PM

Louisville and bourbon country on the cheap

A coupe of friends and I are planning a week long trip to Louisville, KY this March. None of us have ever been there before, but we all share a great affinity for bourbon, and we'd like to check out a few of the many distilleries in the area. Aside from the big establishments (Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, etc), are there any small (dare I say artisanal?) distilleries that we could visit for a tour and maybe a taste?

Also, any suggestions for good food in Louisville? We will most likely be on a pretty tight budget so anything too upscale is probably out of our league, but we want to experience some local cuisine (street food is a plus).

One more: how about local bluegrass clubs?

Any help would be much appreciated! Thank You!

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  1. You will love Makers Mark. I have done the trip trip twice but have never dined out. Plan on buying gifts at the gift shops at the distilleries they are great.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JB BANNISTER

      here is a link about bourbon tours in the Louisville area

      My choices to enjoy BOURBON are Proof on Main or the Brown Hotel Lounge,might as well have a hot brown while there.Oh Bourbon Bistro also a nice choice.

      1. re: JB BANNISTER

        Took the Maker's Mark tour about 20 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it--they used to give you a small (empty ) bottle hand-dipped in the signature hot wax for a souvenir--I think they still hand dip each bottle. You might want to scope out Heaven Hill distillery in Bardstown--they have a tasting table and nice gift shop--you can have a bottle of something imprinted with your own personalized label as a keepsake.
        Supposedly the Woodford Reserve distillery has a don't-miss tour--and you could probably eat somewhere not too far away (like Shaker Village) that would be memorable and unique.

        1. re: KyMikey

          Makers is great. You can buy a small souvenir bottle that you can hand dip yourself. Pretty cool.

          Woodford is a very nice place. Pretty artisanal I'd say. They had a BBQ lunch when we were there that was okay. It was good to say you ate at the distillery.

          We also liked the Jim Beam distillery too.

          The Costco on the outskirts of Louisville has a liquor store with a great selection of bourbon at very good prices.

          Not in an actual bourbon town but still very good at good prices is in Glendale. The place is called The Whistle Stop. We ate there once on the suggestion of a Welcome Centre attendant.


      2. I spent a couple of years taking trips to Lexington and Loiusville on business a few years back. I always enjoyed lunch at Deke's downtown (now Bistro 301) and dinner at Jack Fry's out Bardstown Road. If you guys are ever near a Liquor Barn, that's a great place to get a truly spectacular deli-style sammich while you shop for pretty much any bottle of bourbon (or any bottle of liquor) you could name.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Buddha49

          Some of the more reasonable places that I enjoy in Louisville include Ramsi's Cafe on the World, Havana Rumba, Cafe Lou Lou, and Third Ave. Cafe. All are local places and if you like Cuban at all, Havana Rumba is possibly the best you will eat anywhere outside of Miami.