Wilderness Trail Distillery added to Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail

Published 3:18 pm Friday, January 24, 2020


News release 

Wilderness Trail, one of the founding distillery destinations on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, has advanced to join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, becoming the 18th stop on the world-famous journey that showcases America’s only native spirit. 

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Launched in 2012 as a premium craft distillery in Danville, Wilderness Trail has expanded its production and grown its distinctive visitor experience to meet the standards to become the first KBT Craft Tour distillery to graduate to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour. 

“This is an exciting day for Wilderness Trail, the Danville community and all our Kentucky Bourbon Trail partners,” Kentucky Distillers Association President Eric Gregory said. “Wilderness Trail has established itself as a can’t-miss stop that fully delves into the art and science of our signature spirit. 

“On behalf of our members, we congratulate Wilderness Trail on their success and proudly welcome them to the legendary Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour as its 18th member — the most participating distilleries since the KDA founded the KBT in 1999.” 

Co-owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist are recognized globally as leading fermentation specialists through their original company, Ferm Solutions, consulting with distilleries around the world to develop products and enhance production. 

With more than 20 years of experience in the production of alcohol, Baker and Heist expanded their focus to creating their own brand of unique spirits, ensuring quality and a healthy dose of science in the process. 

“We are very excited to be joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail after years on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour for both our growth as well as the impact to our community,” said Baker, co-owner and master distiller. 

“We excel in offering a unique experience and educational perspective of the bourbon-making process by focusing on the science in making bourbon while maintaining a traditional bourbon distillery process across our 163-acre campus in historic Danville, the birthplace of Kentucky.” 

“Wilderness Trail Distillery has been an incredible asset to Boyle County,” said Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of Destination Danville. “In addition to their significant contributions to our local economy in agriculture, industry, and technology, they have helped us to build a robust tourism footprint. 

“If you love bourbon and you love Kentucky, then you will love Danville.” 

Coupled with Danville’s small-town charm and history, Wilderness Trail will be a welcome addition that highlights the spectrum of the state’s different distillery sizes and approaches, said Adam Johnson, senior director of the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail program. 

“Even in a quintessential ‘Main Street, America’ town, Wilderness Trail shows you can have a world-class attraction with fantastic hospitality,” said Johnson, who is a graduate of Centre College in Danville and has lived in Danville for more than 20 years. 

Wilderness Trail currently produces a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey single barrel bottled in bond, a small batch bottled in bond bourbon and a Kentucky straight rye whiskey, as well as Harvest Rum and Blue Heron Vodka. 

Open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, the visitor experience includes a 45-minute walking tour and an educational tasting seminar in the tasting room. The distillery is at 4095 Lebanon Road in Danville. Learn more at www.wildernesstraildistillery.com.

“Shane and Pat have poured their hearts and souls into their distillery and it shows in every last detail,” KDA President Gregory said. “We applaud their commitment to our timeless craft and thank them for their efforts in securing Kentucky as the one true, authentic home of Bourbon.” 



Other Kentucky Bourbon Trail members are: 

  • Angel’s Envy, Louisville;
  • Bardstown Bourbon Company, Bardstown; 
  • Bulleit Distilling Company, Shelbyville;
  • Four Roses, Lawrenceburg and Cox’s Creek; 
  • Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Bardstown; 
  • Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Louisville; 
  • Jim Beam, Clermont and Louisville; 
  • Lux Row Distillers, Bardstown; 
  • Maker’s Mark, Loretto; 
  • Michter’s at Fort Nelson, Louisville; 
  • Old Forester Distillery, Louisville; 
  • O.Z. Tyler, Owensboro;
  • Rabbit Hole, Louisville;
  • Stitzel-Weller, Louisville; 
  • Town Branch, Lexington and Pikeville; 
  • Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg; and 
  • Woodford Reserve, Versailles. 

For more information, visit www.kybourbontrail.com.