Downtown Louisville’s ecosystem of distilleries and bourbon tours will soon have a new activity: An opportunity for guests to create their own blended bourbon.
Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the company that makes Louisville Slugger bats, has branched out to open a bourbon blending experience at its 800 W. Main St. headquarters.
Barrels & Billets opens on Feb. 23. Tickets are already available on its website, starting at $35 per person.
At Barrels & Billets, guests will learn about the art of bourbon blending and then get a chance to blend their own bourbon, choosing from six different types of WoodCraft bourbons: a 200 Year Oak, European Oak, American Oak, Cherry Wood, Maple Wood and Smoked Oak. Afterward, guess can have their recipe bottled on site, which they can take home in a 750 milliliter bottle for $45.
Hillerich & Bradsby, despite being known for its bats now, actually got its start in the bourbon business. J. Frederick Hillerich, the founder of the company, started out making barrels for the industry. It wasn’t until 1884 that his family transitioned into making bats.
There are other reasons why Hillerich & Bradsby’s current CEO says that a bourbon experience is an ideal fit for the company.
“Some may be wondering why a sports and attraction company is getting into the bourbon business, but Barrels & Billets is actually a continuation of H&B’s long history of creating uniquely Louisville experiences for our fans and guests,” said John Hillerich in a statement.
“We entered the tourism and entertainment industry more than 25 years ago when we opened the doors of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory right here on West Main,” he said. “Barrels & Billets is a one-of-a-kind, fun experience that not only adds to the excitement of historic Main Street, but also complements Louisville’s flourishing bourbon tourism industry.”
Blended bourbon has not always been the most prestigious drink. According to distiller.com, while blended scotch is historically revered, blended bourbon and whiskey’s influence was watered down, because only a certain percentage of it has to be whiskey. But, that’s been changing, as blended bourbon using high-quality brands has gone from taboo to trendy.
Barrels & Billets will be open Wednesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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