Gone are the days when distilleries were merely production facilities. No longer are they places where people come to work and nothing more. Today they have been transformed into all-out tourist destinations.
Many distilling regions have created dedicated whiskey trails to help guide travelers along the way. These trails are designed to give visitors a comprehensive look at the area's history, culture, and of course, its whiskey. Check out a few of the most popular distilling trails in the US.
Whiskey Rebellion Trail
The Whiskey Rebellion Trail commemorates one of the most monumental parts of American whiskey history. The trail starts in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, and makes its way through the picturesque countryside of Pennsylvania and Maryland, eventually ending in Baltimore, the city of Charm.
Along the way, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the rich history of American whiskey and the people who make it. They will also be able to sample some of the best craft whiskeys the region has to offer.
So whether you’re a whiskey lover or just looking to learn more about American history, the Whiskey Rebellion Trail is the perfect place for you.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail
On the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you’ll discover the birthplace of bourbon. The tour winds through Lexington’s beautiful Bluegrass Region, stopping at world-famous distilleries like Buffalo Trace Distillery, Wild Turkey Distillery, and Woodford Reserve Distillery.
At each stop, you’ll learn about the history of bourbon-making in Kentucky and taste some of the finest bourbons in the world. You’ll also have the opportunity to see firsthand how bourbon is made, from the grain to the bottle.
This is a rare opportunity to experience the rich tradition of Kentucky bourbon-making and taste some of the finest bourbons in the world.
Related: A Simple Guide to Aging Bourbon
Texas Whiskey Trail
The Texas Whiskey Trail is a collection of distilleries located throughout the state of Texas. The trail is so extensive that it's divided into three regions: North Texas, the Hill Country and the Gulf Coast.
Each region has its own unique selection of distilleries for you to visit, offering a variety of different experiences. On the North Texas Trail, you can visit distilleries like Ironroot Republic and Balcones. Ironroot Republic Distillery is known for its small-batch, handcrafted whiskeys.
Balcones Distillery is known for its award-winning whiskeys such as the Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt.
In Hill Country, you can visit Treaty Oak and Garrison Brothers, among others. The Treaty Oak Distillery is known for its unique barrel-aged whiskeys.
Garrison Brothers Distillery is known for its handcrafted, small-batch bourbons. There are only two distilleries on the Gulf Coast: Gulf Coast and MKT.
Gulf Coast Distillery is known for its unique rum-based whiskeys. The MKT Distillery is known for its small-batch, handcrafted whiskeys.
The American Whiskey Trail
The American Whiskey Trail provides a unique opportunity to explore the history and culture of American whiskey. The trail includes distilleries in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Each distillery has its own unique history and offers a different experience. Visitors can learn about the distilling process, taste different whiskeys, and tour the facilities.
The trail also includes historic sites, such as the birthplace of American whiskey, which is in Kentucky.
The American Whiskey Trail is a great way to learn about the history and culture of American whiskey.
Related: The History of American Whiskey
The Colorado Spirits Trail
The Colorado Spirits Trail is a popular tourist attraction that started in 2018. The trail spans the entire state of Colorado, from the downtown Denver area to the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Rockies.
More than 50 craft distillers are featured on the trail, including Stranahan's, Breckenridge Distillery, Leopold Brothers, and Old Elk.
The trail is a testament to the immense growth the craft whiskey movement has enjoyed over the last decade.
Explore the state of Colorado and taste some of the best craft whiskey in the country.
The Darke County Whiskey, Wine and Ale Trail
Some trails like the Darke County Whiskey, Wine and Ale Trail combine spirits, wine, and beer to capture lovers of all three. The only distillery on this trail is Indian Creek Distillery, which is nestled in the quaint town of New Carlisle.
The county is home to three breweries and four wineries. The trail offers a variety of options for those looking to explore the world of spirits, wine, and beer.
Whether you're a connoisseur or just looking to try something new, the Darke County Whiskey, Wine and Ale Trail has something for everyone.
Related: Ten Facts about Napa Valley
New York State Distillery Trails
The New York Distilling Trail is a great way to explore the Empire State's growing craft distilling scene. The trail features over 30 distilleries, each with their own take on New York's signature spirit.
These include Greenwood Grape & Still, Kings County Distillery and Van Brunt Stillhouse. If you want to explore the stunning Finger Lakes region, you can visit Finger Lakes Distilling Company.
For a true taste of the Adirondacks, head to the Adirondack Distilling Company in Saranac Lake.
Each distillery offers something different, so you can tailor your experience to your taste.
Whether you want to try something new or just spend a leisurely afternoon exploring, you'll find what you're looking for on the New York State Distillery Trail.
The Tennessee Whiskey Trail
The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is a crisscrossing trail of over 800 miles that takes visitors through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Tennessee.
With over thirty possible stops, the trail gives visitors a taste of the history, tradition and novelty of Tennessee whiskey. These include Jack Daniel's Distillery, the makers of best-selling American whiskey and George Dickel Distillery.
However, beyond the traditional long-running distilleries, Tennessee is also home to a booming craft whiskey industry.
Here you can enjoy innovative spirits including buckwheat whiskey, quinoa whiskey, multi-grain bourbons and organic whiskeys.
The Virginia Spirits Trail
The Virginia Spirits Trail showcases a long-standing whiskey-making tradition that dates back to the early days when George Washington was the biggest producer of Virginia whiskey.
In 1798 alone, he produced more than 11,000 gallons of whiskey! Today you can spend an entire long weekend visiting places like George Washington's Mount Vernon Distillery and Gristmill, The Virginia Distillery Co, Catoctin Creek, Copper Fox, KO Distilling, A. Smith Bowman and many more.
On this whiskey trail, you’ll learn about the distilling process firsthand from the knowledgeable staff, while sipping and savoring batch spirits and craft whiskeys.
You'll have the opportunity to see the process from start to finish and taste the difference that each distillery imparts on its final product.
This is a perfect opportunity for any whiskey lover to spend a weekend indulging in their passion.
The Oregon Distillery Trail
The Oregon Distillery Trail is a relatively new addition to the scene, but it's already becoming a must-visit for whiskey lovers. The distilleries on the trail range from small, family-owned outfits to large, commercial operations.
There is also a variety of tasting rooms and restaurants along the trail, so you can stop and sample the wares of each distillery.
The Oregon Distillery Trail is the perfect way to explore the world of whiskey and taste some of the best that Oregon has to offer.
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