Wild Turkey

wild turkey building

Our first stop along the Bourbon Trail was the Wild Turkey distillery.

Located just south of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky on Tyrone Rd, the distillery is easy to find. The parking is a no brainier and the quaint Visitor Center is steps away.

We arrived just moments after the 9am tour started and Sue, the guide, snuck Sandy and I into the video room. Thankfully we did not cause an over crowded condition, for now the tour was going to consist of 3 people.

A very informative 7-minute video was played which explained the history of Wild Turkey Bourbon, it’s founding and fairly detailed explanation of what bourbon is and how it is made. To help comprehend what is being said, there is a model of the workings of the distillery.

Sue then gathered her charges and led us across Tyrone Rd. Not much goes to waste in making bourbon so once the heavenly juices are removed from the mash; the mash is made available to the local farmers for feed. Where the mash was loaded into the farm trucks was our first stop.

Then a quick left turn and we stood where the grain is unloaded. Our timing could not have been better for a load of corn was being delivered. Besides corn, barley, wheat and rye are also ingredients used. Wild Turkey receives at least one load of each every day.


The corn was unloaded and moved by elevator to the top of a silo to be moved directly through a mill that ground it into a fine meal. As we stood next to the silo we could feel the earth vibrate.



We then went up some stairs to view the top of the fermenting tanks. While explaining the fermenting process, Sue encouraged us to smell and sample the different tanks so we could experience for ourselves how the mixture changes as the yeast does its job.

Not only does the temperature of the beer change from tank to tank, but so does the aroma and taste. Some of it pleasant, some of it not so pleasant. If given the chance to sample the aging liquid do yourself a favor and try it.

Unfortunately for us, maintence was being performed on the distilling equipment and the tour was limited to end of the distilling process, the good end. The end where the “White Dog”, pure 120 proof alcohol was flowing out of the pipe at the rate of 15 gallons per minute.

We are sorry we do not have pictures of the distiller or the flowing white dog, but Wild Turkey does not allow photos in this part of their building, and we honored their request.







A truckload of new barrels were being rolled off and readied for filling. The filling station had barrels waiting to be filled but the fillers were not to be seen so we offered to help.


The aroma at the warehouse was oh soooooo sweet. One could stand there all day and not get enough of the sweetness. Sue did a wonderful job explaining the racking and aging process the barrels go through.  The lighting in the warehouse made for some very nice pictures.


Sandy doing her part to follow the “nothing goes to waste” policy.

Due to regulations, which have since changed, Wild Turkey did not offer a tasting of their bourbon. Out of a glass that is. Back at the Visitors Center we were given a small piece of cake made with Wild Turkey Bourbon, OK 2 pieces.

Overall it was an excellent tour. Sue has been a tour guide for quite a while but she made it sound as though this was her very first tour. She was full of knowledge and energy. Ask for her when you take your tour of Wild Turkey.

For the adventurous crowd when leaving the parking lot treat yourselves to a true Kentucky back road by turning right. Follow Tyrone Road/State Road 1510 it to US127. (this is not for the faint of heart)

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