Wild Turkey's new 9,140-square-foot visitor facility in Lawrenceburg, Ky.

Something Extra Special for All You Bourbon Lovers

Kentucky’s newest tasting spot passes the taste test

BY BILL FINK | Photo by David Stephenson

The venerable brand Wild Turkey just unveiled something bourbon aficionados won't want to miss - its spectacular new visitor center perched atop a bluff overlooking the Kentucky River in Lawrenceburg, Ky., about 50 miles southeast of Louisville. The $4 million structure, located next to the company's industrial-sized distillery complex, features local and whimsical touches that will make you feel like you're visiting an artistic moonshiner's cabin. The building is paneled with colored woods resembling wild turkey plumage and has sweeping views over the countryside and of the basics of bourbon production. The birds approve: Two flocks of local wild turkeys regularly amble by, perhaps looking for samples of their own to gobble up.

The 9,140-square-foot visitor facility replaces Wild Turkey's tiny 1,000-square-foot center (a house from the 1800s). 1417 Versailles Road; 502-839-2182; wildturkey.com

• Take the 30-minute "Turkey Tour," an overview designed to educate visitors on the art and science of making bourbon. Tastings in the "Angel's Share" room include Wild Turkey 81 and 101, Rare Breed, Kentucky Spirit, and Russell's Reserve 6-Year-Old Rye.

• For a more in-depth study, allot an extra 90 minutes for the fascinating "Bourbon to Barrels" end-to-end facility tour.

2 new bourbon attractions in Louisville

Moonshine University: This 2-year-old education and training center just launched full-day bourbon-making classes ($395) for consumers, if you're keen on learning this fine art. Previously, the center only sponsored daylong classes for people in the business. 801 S. Eighth St.; 502-301-8126; moonshineuniversity.com

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience:
Last November, Heaven Hill Distilleries opened this multifloor, 8,000-square-foot artisanal distillery and visitor center in downtown's Whiskey Row. It's easy to spot with a five-story-high bourbon bottle on the facade. Inside, you'll find multiple tasting rooms and interactive historical and production tours. Evan Williams, Kentucky's first commercial distiller, is the namesake of Heaven Hill's flagship bourbon brand. 528 W. Main St.; 502-584-2114; evanwilliams.com/visit

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