Construction of the distillery began in 2014 and was completed in 2017, while that of the visitor centre began in May 2018. Its inauguration was held on June 2019.
Daigeo invested $115m for the distillery and $10m for the visitor centre. The distillery and visitor centre is the 17th stop on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, which is a road trip-style experience in Louisville, Kentucky. It was established by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) for visiting the Bluegrass State’s signature distilleries.
The distillery employs 30 people, while the visitor centre is expected to employ the same number over a period of two years.
Bulleit Distilling distillery details
Bulleit’s distillery and visitor centre are located in Shelbyville, Kentucky, US. It is situated at 3464 Benson Pike, 48km from downtown Louisville and Lexington.
Located on a 121ha campus, Bulleit’s distillery is capable of producing 750,000 9l cases a year. It features four barrel houses with a capacity of 55,000 barrels each and a 52ft still.
It includes a tank farm, a storage system, five storage warehouses and an administration building. The warehouses are planned to be expanded to include up to 15 buildings.
The facility is equipped with the latest technology to conserve and reuse resources, reducing its overall environmental impact. It features Shelby County’s first industrial solar array capable of running all on-site mobile equipment and a bio-pond to act as a natural filtration system for rainwater.
The distillery produces Bulleit Bourbon along with several Diageo bourbon and North American Whiskey brands.
Details of the visitor centre
The Bulleit Distilling visitor centre is built on a 12,000ft² site and has a built-up area of 9,000ft². It features tasting rooms, an auditorium, a cocktail bar and retail outlet.
The visitor centre imparts modern technology to provide a unique tasting experience with olfactory balls, as well as light and soundscape effects. It also provides interactive educational experiences and Bourbon tastings, with focus on Bulleit’s modern whiskey-making process and a visit to the founder Tom Bulleit’s office.
Visitors can design a customised label on a 43in touchscreen drafting table at the centre. The trip across the centre is provided in an eco-friendly bus with graffiti drawn by local artist, Braylyn Stewart.
Bulleit partnered with the Kentucky Propane Education and Resource Council for the use of propane in the buses. It also partnered with non-profit organisation Oceanic Global to receive The Oceanic Standard (TOS) certification by adopting sustainable operating practices and eliminating single-use plastics.