The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a registered trademark of the Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA), so watch your step.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail today introduced a new logo, brochure, souvenir passport and commemorative t-shirt to mark its 10th anniversary. "This is a significant milestone for one of Kentucky’s most popular tourism attractions," said Eric Gregory, President of the KDA. "It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce a fresh new look that reflects the growing bourbon revolution."
I'm not sure what any of that means, but it's hard to build a press event around the release of a new logo and a couple brochures. I kid because I care. Gregory, still new in the role, has been busting his butt on his two main jobs, lobbying and promotion. He's certainly got the distillers marching in lockstep behind him, which is a lot like herding cats.
The KDA originally launched the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999 in imitation of similar vehicles in California and Scotland. Since then, millions of visitors from around the world have made the pilgrimage to Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon. The increase in tourist traffic has inspired the distilleries to do more with their own visitor experiences. It's all good.
The Trail features eight distilleries: Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Tom Moore, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve. All participated in the unveiling of the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail brand at the Bluegrass Hospitality Association’s annual tourism forum in Lexington. The Lexington area's big draw is horse farms, but distilleries are running a close second.
The new brochure showcases each distillery and provides details about their tours. The Passport program allows visitors who collect stamps from all of the distilleries to redeem their passport for a Kentucky Bourbon Trail t-shirt. The new shirt design commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Trail.
Gregory also encourages bourbon enthusiasts to visit the Trail’s new Facebook page. A revised web site (www.kybourbontrail.com) and Twitter page are in the works and should be launched soon.
"Just like great bourbon, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail gets better with age," Gregory said. "And just like the millions of barrels sleeping at our legendary distilleries, the best is yet to come. It's the experience of a lifetime, 200 years in the making."