Pick up a passport at the Louisville Visitors Center at Fourth and Jefferson streets downtown and make it a goal to visit every stop along the Urban Bourbon Trail. With any drink or food order, the bar staff will stamp your passport. Visit all of the stops then turn in the passport at the visitors center for a T-shirt and a prize. There's no time limit, so don't think you have to hit all of these bars in one night.
Blazing the Urban Bourbon Trail
Find Kentucky's signature drink in its natural habitatJuly 16, 2011
Bet you never expected to find 50 bourbons in the downtown Marriott bar, but there you are. With a sleek contemporary décor and knowledgable bar staff, the Bar at BLU is a great, unexpected spot to grab a tasting flight after work. Come by on Thursday for Bourbon and Bluegrass, pairing Kentucky's native music with her native spirit.
This comfortable neighborhood bistro located in a 118-year-old building up the street from Distillery Commons is one of the newest additions to the trail. A commitment to Kentucky-crafted food and drink shines through the carefully curated bar selections as well as the bourbon-infused, locally sourced cuisine.
Named the 2006 American Icon of Whisky by Whisky Magazine, this upscale eatery offers a near-textbook experience of a bourbon bar, with themed flights and more than 130 bourbons available. Monthly dinners feature informative presentations by master distillers to accompany tastings and Southern-inspired cuisine.
Located in the Galt House hotel, Jockey Silks is one of Louisville's leading bourbon bars, with more than 160 bourbons ready to pour, including several “antique expressions” no longer in production. Named one of the nation's best whiskey bars by Whisky Magazine, Jockey Silks also offers upscale pub grub.
The only Fourth Street Live stop on the trail, this Maker's Mark-licensed nightclub offers more than the expected red waxed bottles — more than 60 Kentucky bourbons are represented. Expect more of a party atmosphere here, with popular event nights including $2 Tuesdays, with a two-dollar discount on all bourbons, and $5 Manhattans on Wednesdays.
With live jazz on the weekends and a clubby interior, the bar at the Seelbach Hilton is the perfect place to enjoy an incognito night on the town. Feel like Gatsby when you sink into a dark corner and order a Seelbach Cocktail, an inspired marriage of bourbon and sparkling champagne.
Housed in 21c Museum Hotel, Proof's bar boasts an inventive menu of drinks made with some of Kentucky's finest bourbons. Monthly Bourbon and the Girls evenings encourage the ladies to sample bourbons with master distillers and other special guests.
The luxurious lobby of the historic hotel will transport you back to the Roaring Twenties. Try the New (Old) Fashioned, which puts a modern spin on the bourbon cocktail created at Louisville's Pendennis Club in the 1880s, adding ginger ale and amaretto to freshen an old classic.
Another newcomer to the trail, Z's Fusion's strikingly elegant bar glows with blue light and gleaming chrome, and the Euro-Asian fusion menu includes several distinctive bourbon influences. At the bar, try the Rusty Horseshoe cocktail, which features bourbon, pistachio liqueur and cherry-tobacco vapor.
It feels like you've entered the kind of place you'd see on "Sex and the City," and around every corner you expect to see celebrities. Truly classy and elegant, award-winning Asiatique makes you feel like a star. With celebrity chef Peng S. Looi, you know everything on the menu will be amazing. Stop by and see for yourself just how amazing the atmosphere is.
A full-service, fine dining establishment, Corbett's proudly serves progressive New American Cuisine paired with an award-winning wine list. The goal is simple...take its patrons to a higher level culinary experience. There's an interactive Chef's Tasting Room, private rooms accommodating 8-24 guests, elegant front porch dining, and the wine cellar, a solid limestone and brick basement wine cellar for tasting
Equus is an upscale restaurant, and menu items include steamed clams, seared scallops, braised rabbit, wild boar tenderloin, creme brulee. Over 300 kinds of wine available with your dinner. The prices are a little high, but it's unlikely you'll find more refined food in Louisville.
If America is truly the melting pot of the globe, then Ramsi's Cafe on the World should be our national eatery. This place literally has a sampling of every sort of cuisine one can imagine (103 different items).
Buck's offers elegant fine dining inside the historic Mayflower. Menu items are a bit pricey but well worth the splurge. The beautiful decor adds immensely to one's dining experience.