The images and numbers from Kentucky’s $3B bourbon industry

Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries filled more than 1.88 million barrels last year, the most since 1967, according to a news release from the Frankfort-based Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group. Full story

Beam Suntory considers opening downtown Chicago office

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After Japanese whiskey maker Suntory Holdings bought Beam Inc. to form Beam Suntory in 2014, the company said it would keep its headquarters in suburban Deerfield. Now, however, the company appears to be looking to move some of those corporate employees to downtown Chicago, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Full story

Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Visits Skyrocket With 900,000 Guests in 2015


With more distilleries participating than ever before, the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures set an all-time attendance record in 2015 with nearly 900,000 guests touring the best of the Bluegrass.

That means the popular tourism attraction has more than doubled its attendance in just five short years, said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that created the landmark journey in 1999. View full press release

Bourbon lovers will soon be able to create their own custom Maker’s Mark


Maker’s Mark is bringing real innovation to the bourbon industry with a first-of-its-kind barrel program, Maker’s Mark Private Select. The new experience will allow retail customers to “make their own Maker’s” by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of oak staves. The program will kick off in limited release in November, with bottled product available for sale by retail participants beginning March 2016. Full story

A guide to the new Kentucky bourbons being released this fall


Every fall, bourbon lovers make a pilgrimage to Kentucky for two things: the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which runs through Sunday in Bardstown, and the fall bourbon releases. Kentucky is ground zero for new bourbon — it’ll be released here if it’s anywhere, typically — so collectors come hoping to stock up. Bourbon sleuths scout the new labels approved by the federal government months in advance for inklings of what might be coming. Full story