You can’t think Kentucky without thinking whisky (and in particular, bourbon). The state is one of the leading producers of American whiskeys/whiskies, and features 73 distilleries—producing 95 percent of the world’s bourbon. But you’d be remiss to not go 60 miles outside of Louisville (and 70 miles outside of Lexington), to the small town of Loretto, the town that boasts one of the most iconic whiskies to come out of Kentucky (and the U.S.)—Maker’s Mark.
One might not know what to expect when visiting a distillery. But let me be clear—this distillery is more of a nod to the brand, state, and country, with art and culture to boot. (Catch the glass sculptures of the famous Chihuly throughout the grounds.) The layout of the ground makes for easy strolling and exploring on tour. And in today’s climate, the distillery is taking even more precautions with enforced social distancing, face masks required, and no cash accepted. You can set up a tour that will give you a history lesson on the distiller, plus a guided tour and a wax-dipped tasting glass.
The highlight? The gift shop lets you dip your own bottle in the iconic red wax, making it the ultimate souvenir (should you not think the glass is enough). Make sure to get in with a lunch reservation (food service stops at 3:30 p.m.) at Star Hill Provisions, the farm-to-table restaurant helmed by Chef Newman Miller. It’s a treat.
To check hours and schedule your tour of Maker’s Mark, visit MakersMark.com.