Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Lux Row Distillers
1 Lux Row
(3050 E John Rowan Blvd)
Bardstown, KY 40004
Tour / Review
Please enjoy our Lux Row Distillers Tour Review!
Introduction to Lux Row Distillers
Introduction to Lux Row Distillers
Lux Row Distillers may be one of the newer distilleries to make its home in the “Bourbon Capital of the World”, but owner, Luxco, has had decades of experience as a non-distiller producer. Since 1958, the St. Louis-based spirits company met the needs of its bourbon product lines through contract distilling. However, with the resurgence of bourbon’s popularity and the company’s desire to control its production and growth, Lux Row Distillers was born. Construction on the project began in May 2016, and by January 2018, the distillery began filling barrels with its own new make. A few months later, Lux Row Distillers began welcoming visitors to its beautiful 90-acre campus in Bardstown, the former home to Ballard Farm.
Visiting Lux Row Distillers
The distillery is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Starting January 8, 2024, Monday will also be added, with those same hours. The Gift Shop Cocktail Bar hours are from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, on the days they are open. According to the Lux Row website, during January and February 2024, the distillery will be undergoing a major expansion project, including the addition of a new still. While construction is underway, distillery tours will be on hold; however, tastings will still be available and the gift shop and cocktail bar will remain open.
The Lux Row Distillery Tours
Lux Row offers two tour experiences as of December 2023. First-time visitors might opt for the Production Tour. This hour-long tour is given on the hour (10 am-4 pm) for $18 and includes a distillery walk-through followed by a tasting of 4 Lux Row whiskeys. For the seasoned bourboner, the Distiller’s Collection Select Tour provides a more elevated experience. Guests start with a cocktail, embark on an in-depth distillery tour, thieve from a single barrel, and finish with a premium tasting of Lux Row’s brands. Of course, chocolates are an added accompaniment to heighten the tasting experience, and guests leave with a souvenir rocks glass. The cost for the Lux Row Distiller’s Collection Select Tour is $50, and it is offered at 11:00 am Tuesday-Saturday. Visit luxrowdistillers.com to check availability for all tours. Reservations are best made online, as walk-in options may be limited.
A Taste of Lux Row
If you would like to only do a tasting of Lux Row Distillers’ whiskeys, without a tour, then A Taste of Lux Row is for you. Importantly, if you visit during January and February 2024, while the distillery expansion is taking place, this will likely be the only guided option available to you. This experience gives guests a background of Lux Row Distillers, including a tasting of their top brands paired with chocolates. In addition, the opportunity to thieve bourbon directly from a single barrel is now part of this experience!
Tours Begin With A Video
Lux Row Distillery tours begin with a brief introductory video which provides some interesting background information about the company. The video has been recently updated, as there have been several changes at Lux Row Distillers since they first opened.
With the introduction complete, tours head into the distillery proper, with the Production Tour starting on the second floor. From this floor, visitors can view the tops of the fermenters as well as the mash cookers. Lux Row initially had twelve 8,000-gallon fermenters. Since then, they have added twelve 16,000-gallon fermenters!
The Mash Cookers
The fermenters are kept busy by two, 4,000-gallon mash cookers which operate around the clock. Soon to be online is a new 8,000-gallon mash cooker! Lux Row uses a wheated bourbon mash bill (recipe) and a rye bourbon mash bill. Bourbons made from the wheated mash bill include the Rebel family of bourbons (Rebel, Rebel 100 & Rebel 10 Year) and David Nicholson 1843. From the rye bourbon mash bill comes the Ezra Brooks family of bourbons (Ezra Brooks 99 & Old Ezra 7) and David Nicholson Reserve. The Daviess County Bourbons and the Lux Row Four Grain Double Single Barrel Bourbon are made from a combination of the two mash bills.
On To The Still
Heading back down to the main floor, tours pass the lower portions of the 8,000-gallon fermenters on their way to the workhorse of the distillery, the 43-foot tall, 36-inch diameter, 19-plate all-copper column still made by Vendome Copper & Brass Works. We learned this already well-worn metallic beauty can pump out 6 gallons of new make per minute! So at Lux Row, one 53 gallon barrel can be filled in just shy of 9 minutes. The “low wine” comes off of the column still at 125 proof, and then heads to the adjacent doubler, which produces a “high wine” of 135-140 proof. Due to the need for greater capacity, a second still is going to be added in early 2024.
With such volume, comes the crucial element of quality control. As tours make their way to the next stop, they pass the distillery’s onsite lab. All distillers are trained to use the lab. Now that’s some serious cross-training.
Barreling and Warehousing at Lux Row Distillers
Barreling, the next stop, is a busy area at Lux Row. Barrels cover much of the area except for the space occupied by the three 7,000-gallon spirit tanks which store the newly distilled and barrel-ready new make. Also in this area is the “dumping station” where barrels are emptied when it is time for their mature contents to be bottled.
The final stop on the walking part of the tour heads out of the distillery and over to one of the many barrel warehouses on campus. Each houses 20,000 barrels, except for the viewing warehouse that the tours visit. This warehouse holds only 19,200 barrels because it features a floor-to-ceiling open area at the entrance. This allows for a great view of the maturing barrels resting in their ricks. Also in this open area is the single barrel that visitors opting for the Distiller’s Collection Select Tour or the A Taste of Lux Row Experience thieve from.
Bourbon Tasting & Shopping
Both walking tours finish with a tasting, although the location and selection will vary. The Production Tour comes with 4 samples, which for our initial visit were Rebel 100, Daviess County, David Nicholson Reserve, and Lux Row 12 Year Double Barrel. Chocolates were also provided with the samples to enhance the tasting experience. The tasting portion lasts about 15 minutes and concludes the tour.
Upon completion of the tour, visitors are encouraged to check out the gift shop, and rightfully so. There are plenty of great options from which to choose: hats, shirts, glassware, and of course, the bourbons. When the shopping is finished, step over to the large visitor center bar where bourbon flights, neat pours, and cocktails are on the menu. While plenty of indoor seating is available, the picturesque countryside view from the outdoor patio makes for a great finish at Lux Row Distillers.
Conclusion – Lux Row Distillers Distillery Tour
A visit to Lux Row Distillers should be a must on every bourboners checklist. Although only a youthful six years old, their experiences are time and dollar worthy. And don’t miss the unique, and certainly unusual, distillery residents. No distillery cat found here, just the peacocks, which were part of the Ballard Farm. So come for the bourbon and the birds!
We hope you have enjoyed our Lux Row Distillers Distillery Tour Review! If you would like to read about some of their excellent bourbons, then check out our Lux Row Four Grain Double Single Barrel Bourbon Review and Lux Row 12 Year Double Barrel Bourbon Review!
Initial Visit: September 2020. Updated: December 2023
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