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    Touring Town Branch And Alltech
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    I was recently invited to tour Town Branch Distillery and Alltech Brewing in Lexington. This is probably one of the smaller distilling operations on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but it is another example of a beautiful and unique distilling operation that is making its mark on Kentucky’s largest industry. Each distillery has its own history and contributes to the bourbon landscape in a slightly different way. Town Branch and Alltech combines bourbon and beer to create sister products that no one else is currently making.

    Town Branch uses its spent bourbon barrels to age ales and stouts as well as various seasonal products. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on the seasonal bourbon barrel aged pumpkin beer. After the barrels are used to age beer they are used one more time to age Pearse Lyons Reserve Malt Whiskey, which is the first malt whiskey to be produced in Kentucky since prohibition, according to Town Branch's literature.

    The operation is small but is expanding. Town Branch first looked at the visitor’s center in 1999 and brewed its first batch of beer in 2000.  The visitor’s center, the former engine house for Lexington Ice Company, opened in 2010 just prior to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The distilling operation produces up to nine barrels of bourbon or other whiskey per day. The stills are traditional Scotch stills from Forsyths & Son in Scotland. It’s worth noting here that when Town Branch started their Irish whiskey operation in Ireland they ordered and shipped Vendome stills overseas. However, for their American operation, the waiting list for Vendome was too long. 

    The tour starts with a short video and then an oral presentation about the history of the distillery. Even though this is a newer distillery there is still some great history about how it came to be as well as the historical significance of the area. Most notable is the Town Branch Creek, around which Lexington was built. There has been great effort in recent years to resurrect and protect the creek. The bourbon produced at this facility is named for the creek, which speaks volumes about Town Branch's commitment to the surrounding community.

    Tours are available on the hour every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Tuesdays during January and February and certain holidays. They last approximately one hour and 15 minutes and cost $8.50 per person. As I recommend with all tours, call ahead to be sure they will be open. I highly recommend having lunch at nearby Stella’s Kentucky Deli after your tour.

    Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl

    Maggie Kimberl's picture

    About Maggie Kimberl

    I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I write the bourbon news, which keeps me plenty busy since Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe. See bourbon news happening? Contact me on Twitter @LouGirl502!

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