KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL® TOUR SHATTERS
COMPLETION RECORD —WITH 3MONTHS LEFT TO GO
FRANKFORT, Ky. — With three busy months left in the year, more people have already
completed the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure than ever before, the
Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today.
A record 13,279 people have toured all six participating distilleries through Sept. 30 and
collected stamps for their Passports. That shatters last year’s total of 11,757 completions
with visitors from all 50 states and 15 countries.
The milestone fell last week as the KDA processed thousands of Passports from runners
who competed in the annual Bourbon Chase relay race, said Adam Johnson, the KDA’s
Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience.
“This is big news, particularly for our local communities,” Johnson said. “These are yearround
visitors coming in packs from all over the world, ready to spend, pouring muchneeded
revenue into local coffers.”
An economic impact study released earlier this year by the University of Louisville found
that every person who completes the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® journey spends an
average of $737 on their trip.
That means visitors this year alone have already generated nearly $10 million in revenue
for communities with a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distillery, Johnson said. “This is
further proof that Bourbon is a vital part of our history, culture, economy and future.”
The KDA created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in 1999 to offer visitors a firsthand,
educational experience into the art and science of crafting the world’s greatest
The iconic journey features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill
in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in
Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.
In 2007, the KDA launched its souvenir “Passport” program to reward visitors with a
complimentary T-shirt once they complete tours of all Kentucky Bourbon Trail®
distilleries. Since then, nearly 40,000 people have finished the tour.
The skyrocketing growth has been inspiring, said KDA President Eric Gregory. There has
been a 6,925 percent increase in the number of people who completed the Passport
program since it began in 2007, when only 189 people earned their commemorative shirt.
“That’s an amazing statistic that bears repeating,” he said. “In the last five years, we’ve
enjoyed a six thousand percent increase in the number of people who toured all six
legendary distilleries. And we’re just getting started.”
Other key facts:
More than 2 million people have visited a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distillery in
the last five years, with nearly a half million in 2011 alone.
More than one third of Passport holders have a household income above
$100,000, and the average household income is $91,000.
85 percent of distillery visitors came from outside Kentucky, and 70 percent came
just for the purpose of enjoying the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience.
More than 75 percent stayed in a hotel or bed and breakfast, 50 percent stayed
three or more days, and 40 percent had three or more people in their group.
“We are proud that Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon and the only place in the world
where visitors can enjoy the one, true and authentic Bourbon experience,” Johnson said.
“The fact that we’ve broken this record with three months to spare is a tribute to the
success and growing popularity of our signature spirit.”