Did you know that September is “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth of Kentucky? There is no better wayto celebrate than to travel down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® links eight of the state’s historic distilleries: Brown Forman’s Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Tom Moore and Wild Turkey.
Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s supply of bourbon, with nearly 5 million barrels currently aging in the Commonwealth, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. That’s the biggest total inventory since 1983, with a tax-assessed value of $1.6 billion – an increase of $324 million from 2008.
The distilling industry’s economic benefits to Kentucky include:
- $3 billion in gross state product;
- More than 3,200 direct jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $326 million;
- $115 million in state and local taxes every year;
- More than $100 million in planned capital investment; and
- More than 1.5 million visits to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® in the last five years alone.