With 1.4 million visitors having visited the Kentucky Bourbon trail over the last year, Woodford Reserve has redesigned its welcome center to accommodate the wave of foot traffic it’s been receiving. Last year alone, the Woodford Reserve Distillery saw 150,000 guests come through the door.
The new visitors center, a modern take on a traditional Bluegrass farmhouse set amid the rolling hills of Central Kentucky, is now where visitors start their tour.
Woodford Reserve, which opened in 1996, was among the earliest distilleries that welcomed tourists — and it helped launch the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which last year saw a record 1.4 million tourists. The new Welcome Center includes a main hall with seating, a ticketing area, restrooms, a bar, and outdoor entertaining spaces. Materials include oak and limestone as a nod to the importance of both in the bourbon-making process. The artwork in the main hall comprises all originals, mostly by Kentucky artists depicting the Kentucky landscape.
Going forward, guests will board a bus to go across the street, where they will experience fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling before heading to the Visitors’ Center for their tasting. The Visitors’ Center will continue to house the gift shop, Glenn’s Creek Cafe, under the direction of Chef-in-Residence Ouita Michel, and a cocktail bar. Woodford Reserve is the world’s leading super-premium bourbon and is crafted in Versailles, Kentucky on land where distilling began in 1812. The property is a National Historic Landmark.