First bourbon still a year away, but distillery opens to public Saturday

Published 10:05 am Friday, September 23, 2016

The Wilderness Trail Distillery will hold its grand opening this Saturday at its new location on 4095 Lebanon Road.

“From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, they want to offer the public a chance to see the results of all their hard work,” Wilderness Trail Distillery Marketing Coordinator Emily Toadvine said. 

The special event will include self-guided tours of the distillery grounds and buildings and a chance to taste their Harvest Rum and Blue Heron Vodka signature cocktails. 

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“After taking a self-guided tour of the distillery, visitors can relax in a shady grove behind the Willis Grimes House while enjoying food prepared on site by Brothers BBQ in Danville,” Toadvine said.

Brothers BBQ will be selling pulled pork, barbecue chicken, cole slaw, baked beans, Mikeska sausage, hamburgers and hotdogs. 

Ever since their move to the new location in May, Toadvine said owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist “have been busy building rickhouses for aging the bourbon and getting settled in the historic home on the property.”

“The bourbon produced at the distillery is aging until December 2017, but in the meantime, the public can sample a cosmo made with Blue Heron Vodka or a Summer Harvest drink made with the sorghum molasses rum,” Toadvine said.

Visitors can buy one of these drinks for $5 at the opening. 

Toadvine said one of the areas they want to highlight is the world’s first kinetic spirit safe.

“A man pushing a barrel inside the safe has been dubbed Walker Woodpile,” she said. “… it has 480 individual pieces to help this feller get to work rolling his barrel.”

Visitors can come and see Walker Woodfill in action at the opening. 

At the event, visitors can also register for door prizes, which range from barrel heads to jars of the Mount Sterling sorghum used in the rum. 

The distillery also has a gift shop where the door prize items are sold, along with several other items with the distillery’s logo

Toadvine said anyone who wears a previously purchased Wilderness Trail Distillery T-shirt to the grand opening will receive a free shot glass.   

For those who can’t make it out to the distillery on Saturday, tours and tastings will be available during the week, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.