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Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail had another record-breaking year in attendance. The trail’s nine participating distilleries had 627,032 visitors in 2014, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.

The nine smaller facilities that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour are also seeing an increase in popularity.

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Former president of Maker’s Mark Bill Samuels Jr. says that Kentucky’s so-called bourbon boom still has a couple years of exponential growth in it.

Samuels spoke Thursday on the campus of Murray State University, where he said the boom is partly a result of distillers taking their business back in their own hands.

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Kentucky’s Bourbon industry has nearly doubled its workforce in the last two years, employing more than  15,000 people. It now contributes $3 billion in gross state product to the economy each year, up 67 percent from 2012, according to a new report on Kentucky’s distilling industry.

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A new state law aims to soften the impact of property taxes on Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries.

Owensboro Distillery Closer to Producing Bourbon

May 7, 2014
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A distillery in Owensboro will once again produce Kentucky’s signature spirit.

Officials with TerrePURE Kentucky Distillers announced Tuesday afternoon that they are purchasing the Charles Medley Distillery and will create bourbon and other lines of spirits.

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By law, the only piece of legislation that the 2014  Kentucky General Assembly had to pass was a two-year state budget. All else, as Will Rogers put it, is applesauce.

One of the legends of Kentucky’s bourbon industry has died.

Longtime master distiller Lincoln Henderson died Tuesday at the age of 75.

Henderson spent 40 years as master distiller for Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corporation, helping develop brands such as Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel.

Henderson came out of retirement in 2006 to start a new brand, Angel’s Envy, with his son and grandson.

A longtime Kentucky bourbon maker who’s credited with helping spark the industry’s comeback has been laid to rest.

Elmer T. Lee died last week in Frankfort at the age of 93. He was the master distiller emeritus at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

His most notable contribution to the bourbon industry came in 1984, when he introduced Blanton’s, a single-barrel brand of bourbon.  The introduction sparked a trend toward small-batch bourbons that revived the industry.

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Another bourbon distillery will be constructed in downtown Louisville.

The makers of Angel’s Envy bourbon announced Tuesday that they’ll build a distillery and visitors’ center in the long-vacant complex across from Louisville Slugger Field. The $12 million investment is expected to create 40 new jobs. 

Michael Veach is the Associate Curator of Special Collections at The Filson Historical Society in Louisville. He's also the only professional bourbon historian in the country and has recently written a book titled Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage. In the book, Veach reveals the true story of how bourbon became a unique product in Kentucky heritage. Kate Lochte spoke with Veach for Sounds Good. Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.

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