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Kentucky visitors can get the lowdown on bourbon

Kentucky is seeing and will see more bourbon distilleries popping up in several areas of the state, and tourists can visit existing ones, among them The Old Pogue Distillery in Maysville. Tourism authorities also point to Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, Michter’s Distillery in Louisville and The Nth Degree Distilling in Newport. All plan to offer tours for visitors who want to learn more about Kentucky’s most famous consumer product and the USA’s only native spirit. For instance, the Old Pogue Distillery, which began operation in April, borrows from a lengthy distilling tradition by the Pogue family in the northern Kentucky town on the Ohio River. Several generations of Pogues were involved in distilling from 1876 until Prohibition in the 1920s. Now the Pogues have opened a small-batch distillery producing bourbon and rye whiskeys in the family’s historic home on West Second Street. Local historians note that bourbon distilling in Kentucky began in 1790 in Mason County near where the H.E. Pogue Distillery operated later for more than 50 years. The Pogues are offering tours of their new facility by appointment through their website, www.oldpogue.com. Twice-daily scheduled tours will begin in the near future. Meanwhile, it’s been nearly 200 years since there was an operating distillery on Louisville’s “Whiskey Row,”a stretch of downtown’s Main Street that’s been associated with bourbon for more than two centuries. Now Michter’s Distillery (www.michters.com) plans to open a small production facility in the historic and architecturally significant Fort Nelson Building at 801 West Main Street. The new distillery, directly across the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, will offer tours when it’s scheduled to open sometime next year. (http://www.kybourbontrail.com)

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