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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Evan Williams Experience

If you’re hitting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and looking to kick things off, a great first stop is the Evan Williams Experience, located along the Ohio River and historic Whiskey Row in Downtown Louisville. While you won’t find a traditional distillery and warehouse tour, you will find two unique experiences. The first two floors highlight the Evan Williams story and brand; in the basement is an immersive speakeasy experience.

The Days of Bootleggers

Our Speakeasy Tasting Experience began by following a winding staircase to the basement. As we entered a small sitting room, we noticed what appeared to be a large safe vault door. Upon closer examination, we were greeted by a sliding metal view hole and two peering eyes. With the correct password, we were allowed entrance.

Inside, as a large rectangular bar, with ample seating. Historic black and white bootlegging photos adorned the bricked walls. There were period plush furnishings and decor to boot. The bartender/host shared the background of life in the local community during Prohibition.

During our tour, we sampled four whiskeys from Heaven Hill: Pikesville Rye, Larceny, Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond and ended with a finale of a 23-year-old rendition of Evan Williams! This was a wide-ranging tasting, and attendees were provided limestone-filtered water and an eye dropper to further release all of bourbon’s nuances for the senses. At the completion of the tasting, we received commemorative glassware to remember our speakeasy experience.

Back upstairs, you’ll find the gift shop, complete with an array of Evan Williams memorabilia, including rare bourbons and whiskeys for purchase. All said, this was a unique experience on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. You’ll be picking up a stamp for your passport and this experiential tour is sure to thrill bourbon and non-bourbon lovers alike.

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