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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Louisville, Kentucky: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock and Key

When I think of Kentucky, one thing comes to mind: bourbon. Well, maybe Kentucky Derby and fried chicken, too. But still, bourbon is definitely on top.

Founded in 1778, Louisville, Kentucky was named after King Louis XVI of France. The city's been making bourbon for almost as long as it has existed. Currently, a third of all bourbon comes from Louisville. There's debate over where the name bourbon came from: some say it's Bourbon County in Kentucky while others insist it's Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It actually turns out they're all correct because the county and the street are both named after the same French family.

Louisville has been a tourist destination for ages, but now the city sets itself apart with fine dining options, a lively arts scene and modern takes on the things for which they're known: derby and bourbon. Louisville is an important stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, so it makes sense that the city has a lot of bourbon-themed activities.

Small-Batch Bourbon Truffles at Art Eatables in Louisville. Photo courtesy of

Art Eatables in downtown Louisville serves up Small-Batch Bourbon Truffles that are legendary.
Bourbons Bistro uses local ingredients to whip up a seasonal menu of bourbon-inspired dishes. They also have a rotating menu of more than 130 bourbons. The Marriott Louisville East is the state's only bourbon themed hotel (the Bourbon suite features Bourbon-barrel decor).

Bar at Bourbons Bistro in downtown Louisville. Photo from

For those interested in learning more about the city's main boozy export, Louisville's many bourbon distilleries offer tours and tastings.

The Bulleit Distilling Company at the iconic Stitzel-Weller Experience on the outskirts of Louisville is a great place to start. The facility, originally opened on Derby Day in 1935 and reopened to the public last year, houses the bourbon distiller that almost didn't exist. The story involves a mysterious disappearance in 1830, a lost family recipe, and a great-great-grandson taking a risk.

Vendome Batch Distillation System. Photo courtesy of

Vendome Copper & Brass Works is another must-visit destination. The family owned still-making company has been operating continuously since the early 1900’s (they survived Prohibition!). Smaller towns outside of Louisville also boast their own famous distilleries that are worth checking out.

If the sound of a trip to Louisville has your mouth watering, consider joining Team Bite and Booze on a trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in July! For three days we'll be touring distilleries across the state. You can get a look at the more detailed itinerary by filling out the form here or by sending an email to Myrna Arroyo at

And, of course, you can always taste any of these bourbons at the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar in Baton Rouge!