2018 Quick
Shots
  • Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, crafting 95 percent of the world’s supply. Only the Bluegrass State has the perfect natural mix of climate, conditions and pure limestone water necessary for producing the world’s greatest Bourbon.
  • Bourbon is America’s only native spirit, as declared by Congress in 1964. It must be made with a minimum of 51 percent corn, aged in charred new oak barrels, stored at no more than 125 proof and bottled no less than 80 proof.
  • Bourbon Aging at Wild Turkey DistilleryBourbon is an $8.5 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll of $800 million. Spirits production and consumption pours more than $825 million in federal, state and local tax coffers every year.
  • More than $1.1 billion in capital projects has been completed or is planned and underway in the past five years and the next five years, including new distilleries and aging warehouses to bottling facilities and tourism centers.
  • Kentucky’s iconic Bourbon distilleries filled a whopping 1.7 million barrels of amber nectar last year, the highest it’s been since 1972.
  • Bourbon production has increased more than 275 percent since 1999 (455,078 barrels compared to 1,715,541 in 2017), with premium small batch and single barrel brands driving the Bourbon renaissance.
  • That gives the Commonwealth a total inventory of 7.5 million barrels of Bourbon, the most since 1974 when 6,683,654 new charred oak casks were gently aging in Bluegrass warehouses.
  • There are now almost two barrels for every person living in Kentucky.
  • The 2018 tax-assessed value of all barrels aging in Kentucky is $3 billion – an increase of $456 million over the previous year.
  • Distillers paid more than $23 million in state and local barrel taxes alone in 2018 – a new record.
  • Bourbon is revolutionizing Kentucky tourism and pouring much-needed revenue into local communities. Kentucky Bourbon Trail® visitors spend between $400 and $1,200 on average during their trip. More than 70% of visitors are from outside Kentucky.
  • Kentucky taxes Bourbon and spirits highest among all 536 manufacturing industries in the state. Nearly 60% of every bottle goes to taxes or fees, with seven different taxes on Bourbon – including an ad valorem tax each and every year on aging barrels.
  • Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports surged 14 percent in 2017, making it the largest export category among all U.S. distilled spirits with more than $1.1 billion in revenues.
  • Our distillers are committed to growing responsibly. In the last year, they have delivered over 3,700 free rides to reduce impaired driving with Lyft and prevented underage access to alcohol by catching 250 fake IDs at their distilleries with Intellicheck.
  • The KDA, a non-profit trade group founded in 1880, represents 40 member companies for the first time since Prohibition as its ranks have swelled with new distilleries, strengthening Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true, authentic home for Bourbon and spirits.

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