Kentucky Bourbon

Kentucky Artisan Distillery

  • USA, Kentucky
  • Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, Ascot Awards – Double Platinum
Phone Number
  • +15028223042
  • 6230 Old Lagrange Rd, Crestwood, KY 40014

Kentucky Artisan Distillery exterior with American flag.

History of Kentucky Artisan Distillery

Founding of Kentucky Artisan Distillery

The Kentucky Artisan Distillery, located in the heart of Kentucky, boasts a history deeply entwined with the traditional craft of bourbon distilling. It was founded in 2012 by Steve Thompson, Chris Miller, and Mike Loring in an old ice cream distributors’ building in Crestwood, Kentucky.

The Vision of Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson, with his extensive experience in the spirits industry, was instrumental in shaping the distillery’s direction. His vision led to the establishment of Kentucky’s first contract distillery, marking a significant milestone in the state’s distilling history.

Farm-to-Bottle Philosophy

The distillery prides itself on being a farm-to-bottle operation. They source grains from the nearby Waldeck Farm, which spans over 700 acres. This close relationship with local agriculture allows for a meticulous and time-tested process in creating their spirits.

Traditional Distilling Methods

The commitment to traditional distilling methods is a cornerstone of the distillery’s philosophy. By using pot stills and manual operations, they ensure that each batch of bourbon is crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail.

The Art of Distilling by Head Distiller Jade Peterson

Under the leadership of Head Distiller Jade Peterson, the distillery emphasizes the art of distilling. They rely on sensory expertise rather than modern technology, mirroring the distillation methods used 200 years ago.

Home of Jefferson’s Brand

Kentucky Artisan Distillery is also known as the official home of the Jefferson’s brand. This association is a testament to the distillery’s quality and dedication to bourbon-making craft.

A Living Museum of Distilling History

The distillery’s equipment collection spans over 200 years of distilling history. Curated by Steve Thompson, it features items ranging from a turn-of-the-century travelling still to pre-Prohibition bottles. This collection is not only a museum but also actively used in production.

Awards Won by Kentucky Artisan Distillery

  • Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award: Awarded posthumously to Stephen Francis Thompson, founder and president of Kentucky Artisan Distillery​​​​.
  • Ascot Awards – Double Platinum: Awarded to Cream of Kentucky Rye, a product distilled, aged, and bottled by Kentucky Artisan Distillery​​.

Kentucky Artisan Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Kentucky Artisan Distillery offers an immersive tour experience that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the art of bourbon making. Here are the critical details about the tour:

Operating Hours

The distillery is open for tours from Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Tour Pricing

Adults can take the tour for $12.00, while active military, veterans, and first responders are charged $6.00. Children can join the tour free of charge.

Tour Duration: Each tour typically lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.

Tour Highlights: The tour includes a comprehensive view of the bourbon-making process, from the laboratory to the malting room, milling area, distillery, bottling room, and tasting room.

Guests interact closely with the equipment and the team behind the brands, possibly meeting key figures like Head Distiller Jade Peterson or owner Steve Thompson.

Tasting Experience: The tour includes a tasting session featuring a selection of brands that call the Kentucky Artisan Distillery home. The products for tasting vary daily.

Additional Information

Guests under 21 are welcome on the tour but are not included in tastings. Closed-toe shoes are recommended for safety as the tour navigates through the working distillery. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online or over the phone.

Gift Shop: The distillery’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs, including KAD and Jefferson’s branded items, Kentucky bourbon memorabilia, and bottles of spirits. The availability of bottles depends on the time of year and product release schedules.

Private Tours: Private tours can be arranged via email or phone upon request.

Accessibility: All tours are conducted inside the building.

Flask & Barrel Review of Kentucky Artisan Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s been on numerous distillery tours, I recently had the chance to visit Kentucky Artisan Distillery, and I must say, it was an experience worth every bit of the hype. I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the ambiance of the place is just spot on. It’s got this authentic, rustic charm that you’d expect from a top-notch distillery, but with a touch of modern flair. The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable, which is always a plus.

They really know their stuff and are passionate about their craft, making the tour both informative and engaging.

The highlight, of course, was the tasting session. As a collector, I’ve got a pretty discerning palate, but their spirits truly impressed me. The flavours were complex and well-balanced, with each sip offering a new layer of depth.

I particularly enjoyed Jefferson’s Bourbon, which is distilled right there. It’s smooth, with a rich character that speaks volumes of their craftsmanship.

Their approach to distilling is hands-on and artisanal, which I think makes a big difference in the quality of their spirits.

They take pride in their ‘farm to bottle’ process, which shows. Learning about their unique distilling techniques and equipment, especially the influence of their late founder, Steve Thompson, added an extra layer of appreciation for their products.

If I had to pick a downside, it’s just that I wish the tour delved a bit deeper into the technical aspects of their distilling process. But I’m a bit nitpicky as a whiskey enthusiast who loves the nitty-gritty details.

What To Do Nearby Kentucky Artisan Distillery

  • Louisville Mega Cavern: Approximately 25.84 km from the distillery, this unique underground adventure offers a range of activities, including zip-lining and historic tram tours. It’s a great spot for those looking to add a bit of thrill to their trip.
  • Yew Dell Botanical Gardens: Located right next door to the distillery, these gardens are a beautiful place to explore and relax. They showcase a wide variety of plants and offer a peaceful environment for a leisurely walk.
  • 3rd Turn Oldham Gardens Brewery: Also on the same street as the distillery, this brewery is a great stop for craft beer enthusiasts. Enjoy a variety of local brews in a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Explore Oldham County: The area around the distillery in Oldham County offers a range of activities including farm tours, horse farm tours, garden tours, nature preserves, and more. It’s ideal for those who love outdoor activities and want to experience local culture and nature.
  • La Grange Main Street Shopping and Dining District: Head to La Grange Main Street for a bit of local shopping and dining. It’s a great way to experience the local charm and indulge in retail therapy.
  • Nearby Bourbon Distilleries: Being in the heart of Bourbon Country, you’re also close to other distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. This includes names like Angel’s Envy, Evan Williams, and many more, offering unique tours and tasting experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Kentucky Artisan Distillery?

The Kitchen Table: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (502) 347-2908. Their address is 522 Happy Hollow Rd.

Wilder’s Cafe: This restaurant has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (502) 742-3501. The address is 6408 KY-146.

The Still Restaurant & Cocktail Bar: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their phone number is (859) 209-2136. The address is 522 Techwood Dr.

What hotels are near Kentucky Artisan Distillery?

Best Western Lawrenceburg Inn: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (502) 839-3444. The hotel’s addres is 200 Plaza Dr, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342.

Sleep Inn & Suites Shepherdsville Louisville South: This hotel has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (502) 215-4956. It’s a casual hotel at 130 Spring Pointe Drive, Shepherdsville, KY 40165, offering free breakfast and a gym.

Best Western Parkside Inn: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their phone number is (502) 695-6111. Thie hotel is located at 80 Chenault Rd, Frankfort, KY 40601.