On New Year's Eve, the Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA) received a letter from Sazerac, Inc., notifying it that Sazerac was withdrawing from the KDA effective immediately. No reason was given.
Since it is no longer a member of KDA, Sazerac's two Kentucky distilleries--Buffalo Trace and Tom Moore--are no longer part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The people at KDA have not subsequently received an explanation, and have not announced the resignation as such, but today they put out a routine press release about the election of officers and directors (Chris Morris is the new Chairman), and Sazerac's name was notably absent. Upon being asked, they confirmed the facts above.
No explanation has been given by Sazerac.
The KDA, organized in 1880, now includes Beam Global Spirits & Wine (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark); Brown-Forman; Diageo North America; Four Roses; Heaven Hill and Wild Turkey.
We'll know eventually what this is all about. For now, don't read too much into it. It certainly does not mean Sazerac is planning to stop offering tours at either of its distilleries. What is does mean remains to be seen.