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Reward Bottles – a thing of the past?

Published October 11, 2021

Here is a thought and observation after a recent trip Charles and I took to Kentucky. Like most people, it has been quite some time since our last trip out of our respective state let alone a whiskey trip. There were a few distilleries, that are so iconic, that we like to stop there almost every trip we take to the Bluegrass State. We weren’t necessarily visiting to take another distillery tour although I am a firm believer that you do learn something new every time you tour even if you have seen the distillery multiple times. We stop in to see what might be hanging around in the gift shop. The “reward” bottles that used to be lingering at these distillery visitor center shops could include something only available in Kentucky or some sort of single barrel only found at the distillery. They didn’t even need to be expensive or old, just something special for “making the trip”. No such luck on this visit which was quite disappointing but definitely didn’t sour the mood. It almost seemed as if most distilleries didn’t want to bother with these sorts of bottlings anymore so I guess it is time to start hunting for new treasures in Kentucky.

Below are the original, classic distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. If you find something cool, let us know. Every trip is hit or miss these days!

  • Angel’s Envy
  • Bulleit Distilling Co.
  • Evan Williams Experience
  • Four Roses Distillery
  • Heaven Hill Distilleries
  • Jim Beam Distillery
  • Maker’s Mark Distillery
  • Wild Turkey Distillery
  • Woodford Reserve Distillery
  • Town Branch Distillery
  • O.Z. Tyler Distillery
  • Lux Row Distillery
  • Old Forester Distillery
  • Bardstown Bourbon Company
  • Michter’s
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Stitzel-Weller
  • Wilderness Trail