The 6 Best Distillery Adventures across the South

For a connoisseur, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of delving into the inner workings of where your favorite craft whiskey or rum is brought to life. Historically, the South of the country is home to some of the best distilleries in the world. Here, distillers focus on honoring the traditions of the past while chatting exciting new trails of their own. From ancient recipes such as the famed Kentucky Bourbon to modern twists on classics, get ready to tour the South’s best craft distilleries offering unforgettable experiences. Here are the six best distilleries in the South that put Southern spirits on the map. 

1. Buffalo Trace Distillery

Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, Buffalo Trace is the oldest continually operating distillery in the country. Throughout the Prohibition period, the distillery produced the so-called “medicinal whiskey” believed to cure an infinite number of maladies from high blood pressure and pneumonia to digestive issues. Buffalo offers warehouse tours together with tastings running Monday through Friday.

Discover the rich history of southern bourbon and get a glimpse of what it takes to produce your favorite beverages. Tap into their National Historic Landmark Tour, focusing on the ancient architecture of the Buffalo Trace Property dating back over 200 years ago. At the tail end of your tour, you will get ample time to taste all your favorite beverages at their homely tasting room. 

Location: 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601, USA

2. Heath Clark Distillery

Clark is famed for high-quality gins and other whiskeys crafted from locally sourced ingredients. It borrowed its name from its founder, Health Clark, whose passion for spirits led him to an unlikely path of distillation while in still in law school. Today, the attorney is literary having his cake while eating it. He runs his law office in a room tucked inside Heath Clark Distillery while handcrafting delicious spirits next door.

H. Clark tours allow visitors in-depth insights into how the distillery transforms raw ingredients, such as grains or fruits, into beverages like whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, or brandy. If you visit during work time, you might be lucky to see various equipment in action, including fermenters, stills, mash turns, and aging barrels. Knowledgeable guides will lead you into a tastefully decorated tasting room where they explain the flavor profiles and characteristics of the spirits you sample.

Location: 1557 Thompson’s Station Rd W, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179

3. Toast Distillers

Founded in 2013, Toast Distillers is Miami’s iconic spot known best for its ultra-premium vodka. The establishment was founded by Dieuveny “DJ” Jean Louis after a rather nasty experience in Haiti. Jean Louis was lucky to have survived the devastating and massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. After this near-miss event, Louis vowed to find ways to live life to the fullest. This included expanding his spirits brands to support first responders in any emergency events worldwide.

Today the company produces some of the world’s most popular products, from the famed Toast Vodka to canned hard seltzers, rum, gin, and hand sanitizer. The distillery offers a comprehensive list of curated tours for visitors. During your visit, knowledgeable guides will walk you through all the steps of the distilling process from the start to the end. You will also get a chance to ask all your questions in an interactive question-and-answer session and sample any of their delicious beverages. 

Location: 6468 NW 77th Court, Miami, Florida, 33166

4. Old Forester Distillery

Your tour of the South will not be complete without a stop at the Old Forester Distillery. The distillery produces one of the best whiskeys helping put Kentucky on the world map. This is also the only distillery in the South with an on-site cooperage offering visitors a rare chance to see barrels being fired. This activity may be a crowd-puller, but their bourbon-making process is the main deal. Old Forester leverages a historic rye grain recipe featuring proprietary yeast and a mash bill of rye, malted barley, and corn to create a unique, spicy, bottled bourbon.

Their tours include an exclusive tour of the Old Forester Distillery, followed by a VIP tasting. You will get opportunities to sample some of their iconic brands, like the Old Forester Single Barrel, 1910 Old Fine Whisky, and Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. At the end of your tour, hop into the nearby George’s Bar to sample a few glasses of cocktails, flights, and alcohol-free drinks. 

Location: 119 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

5. Atelier Vie

Any seasoned liquor aficionado will tell you no spirit conjures the pride of New Orleans like absinthe. So it is only fitting to include Atelier Vie in your next distillery adventure. Apart from absinthe, the distillery churns out other liquors, including whiskey, rum gin, brandy, and vodka. Their tours will take you through the entire distillation process, from sorting ingredients to packaging and labeling. Make a stop at their tasting room for a spirited sampling of various spirits, including the Toulouse Red, Absinthe Rouge, Toulouse Green, and Absinthe Verte. 

Location: 1001 S Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70125

6. Jephta Creed 

Kentucky is home to several world-class distilleries producing amazing booze. But Jephta Creed stands out from the crowd. The distillery utilizes a 300-year-old tradition of growing grain, corn, and fruits on their own land. From these ingredients, they produce unique natural bourbon, vodkas, and moonshine that honor the Southern culture and the land it came from. On arrival, knowledgeable guides will lead you to the Jephta Creek farmland, where you will have intimate views of the greenery and other natural attractions. The host will then conduct an extensive tour of the facility while narrating interesting stories about Jephta Creek. Your tour will finish with a personalized tasting straight from the barrel and a chance to buy one or two bottles for home enjoyment. 

Location: 500 Gordon Ln, Shelbyville, KY 40065

Frequently Asked Questions About Distilleries in the South

What happens on distillery tours at distilleries in the South?

Distillery tours allow visitors to have a behind the scene look at the distillation process used to produce spirits.

Who conducts a distillery tour?

The distillery tour is conducted by a knowledgeable employee with extensive knowledge of how various processes work. 

How long does a distillery tour take at one of these distilleries in the South?

Distillery tour duration varies from one distillery to another, whether you’re touring distilleries in the South or elsewhere. However, expect your tour to take anywhere between 30 to 70 minutes.

Explore Distilleries in the South with DistilleryNearby

The Southern part of the country is in the midst of a spirited renaissance, with new distilleries pushing boundaries and maximizing the terroir of the region. From world-class bourbon to unique terroir-driven amari, the southern distilleries offer amazing tours and tasting experiences to elevate your adventures. The shared distillery spots above provide amazing opportunities to peek at behind-the-scenes processes and enjoy a few sips as you listen to amazing narrations of master distillers. Before embarking on your distillery tour of the South, take a moment to check out our customized directory showcasing the finest distilleries in the region. 

Cheers to unforgettable sips on your Southern distillery adventure!

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