Fall, with the annual Bourbon Festival and September’s Bourbon Heritage Month, gets most of the attention when it comes to the Bourbon Trail. However, we think winter is one of the best times to visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and there’s no better home base than ShelbyKY! Warm, friendly people combined with tasty spirits and luxurious places to stay make ShelbyKY Your Bourbon Destination.

During the winter months, crowds tend to be smaller, which means all of your favorite distillery tours have greater availability, restaurants have shorter waits, and transportation is more readily available. Don’t let the cold keep you from adventuring around the Bourbon Trail for a Kentucky Hug — the warm feeling you get in your chest after a slug of bourbon — will lift the spirits on even the coldest days.

Jeptha Creed Distillery

A bottle of Jeptha Creed bourbon in the snow.At Jeptha Creed Distillery, mother/daughter duo Joyce — the master distiller — and Autumn — the master marketer — Nethery adhere to a strict ground-to-glass distilling concept. Proudly on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, Jeptha Creed uses locally produced ingredients not only with their unique bourbon, including a Straight 4-Grain Kentucky Bourbon, but also with other Kentucky craft spirits such as award-winning vodka distilled from 100% Heirloom Bloody Butcher corn, and moonshines infused with fresh ingredients to create unique flavors like lemonade, sweet apple pie, fiery cinnamon, and even locally-harvested honey from bees kept on the family farm — perfect for warming up on a cool autumn afternoon.

While at Jeptha Creed for your tasting, you’ll get to do something you can’t at other distilleries: try bourbon straight from the barrel in the very barn in which it is aged! And don’t worry about the cold – blankets are provided, and the bourbon will definitely warm you up. Afterward, stop by the bar for a sampler, pour, or maybe a cocktail made with bourbon, vodka, or moonshine. The Creed Café offers snacks, small bites, or pizza.

Bulleit Distillery

Bulleit BourbonThere's no better place to begin your tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® than in Shelbyville, the American Saddlebred Capital of the World. Not only is Shelby County famous for Kentucky equestrian events and horse farms, but Shelbyville is also home to the award-winning Bulleit Distilling Company. Bulleit is a distinctive and unique high-rye bourbon, distilled and aged in Shelbyville, and known for its bold spicy smooth taste.

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is also known for its focus on sustainability, not only in distilling Bulleit Bourbon but also in fostering a mission to support bartenders during the recent difficult times with the launch of Local Bar Sunday during the pandemic, an effort to keep local bars open and pouring.

Places to stay on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail ®

The exterior of Cerulean Farm Bed & BreakfastWhile you are planning your Kentucky Bourbon Trail® trip and deciding where to stay on the Bourbon Trail, there are a number of places to stay in Shelby County. From charming bed and breakfasts and inns to a selection of brand-name hotels to cozy cottages, cabins, and farmhouses, you’ll find a comfortable and affordable home base for your Kentucky Bourbon Trail getaway. You’ll be convenient to both the Bulleit Distilling Company and Jeptha Creed Distillery, and other Kentucky Bourbon Trail tours, and it's just a short drive to Louisville and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center at the Frazier History Museum, where you will find trail maps and other trip-planning resources.

And, ShelbyKY is just a short drive of your favorite distilleries on (and off) the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®. If you’re planning a visit to Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, or Angel’s Envy, put ShelbyKY's many places to stay on your list.

Vacation Rentals

Bottled in Bond interiorLuxurious vacation rentals (Airbnbs and VRBOs) abound in Shelby County, Kentucky. From downtown lofts on Main Streetsprawling farmhouses, or a cabin with all the modern finishes surrounded by woods, there's a vacation rental to suit the needs of every traveler. Some even include transportation to some of your favorite distilleries! 

Bed & Breakfasts and Inns

Luxury accommodations don't stop at vacation rentals! Cerulean Farm Bed & Breakfast is the only BYOH — bring your own horse — bed and breakfast in Kentucky, and can be found in a beautifully restored 1865 farmhouse. The Yellow Carriage House, located on the scenic drive between Shelbyville and Simpsonville, has three wonderfully decorated and relaxing suites available within close proximity to The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, Claudia Sanders Dinner House, and, of course, Jeptha Creed and Bulleit Distilleries. 

Cover photo courtesy of Jeptha Creed Distillery