Preservation Distillery Tour Review

Preservation Distillery + Farm, nestled in a rustic setting in Bardstown, KY, offers a unique farm-to-glass experience. The distillery features repurposed tobacco barns, a visitor center with a tasting bar, and a variety of tours that include tastings of their small-batch whiskeys. Emphasizing sustainability, Preservation Distillery also supports local agriculture and utilizes a small herd of longhorn cattle to consume spent grain, showcasing their commitment to preserving the land and tradition of bourbon making. Learn more about them in our full review!
Preservation Distillery + Farm
426 Sutherland Rd.
Bardstown, Kentucky 40004
502-348-7779
info@preservationdistillery.com
https://www.preservationdistillery.com/
Distillery Tour / Review

Please enjoy our Preservation Distillery Tour Review!

Preservation Distillery + Farm is in a Rustic Setting

Preservation Distillery is located just off of the Bluegrass Parkway, on the west side of Bardstown. The setting is quite rustic.  The distillery sits on 40 acres of farmland.  The majority is used for corn, however six of those acres are home to a small herd of longhorn cattle. Interestingly, the buildings are repurposed tobacco barns. In addition, an antique Dodge truck resides in the gravel lot in front of the visitors center. It all makes for a quintessential down home country feel.

First Stop: The Visitor Center

Our first stop was the visitor center, which also houses the tasting/cocktail bar and gift shop. Cocktails can be purchased and then enjoyed at any of the many indoor tables, or at the outside seating area. There is a fairly large stage at the far end of the visitor center, but don’t expect to see the “Big Show” because at this point, there are no performances. Hopefully there will be in the future.

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Tours

Preservation Distillery currently offers three different experiences. The first is “Welcome To Preservation Farm“. This one hour tour and tasting includes a walking tour of the distillery campus and a tasting of 3-4 of their spirits. The price is $24. The second is the “Premium Cask Overproof Whiskey Experience“. It’s also a one hour tour and tasting, which includes a distillery tour, but differs from the “Welcome To Preservation Farm” experience in that the tasting includes 5 of Preservation’s spirits with at least one being from one of their cask strength bottlings. In addition, a take home souvenir is included. The price is $45.

The final experience is the “VIP Ancient Reserve Experience“. This 1 1/2 hour tour and tasting costs $154. However, for that price, visitors get a private tour of the distillery, a vertical tasting in the barrel room, including thieving from a barrel, and a private guided flight of some of Preservation’s most rare releases. Also included is a ploughman’s board luncheon to accompany the tasting, and a souvenir tasting glass.

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Our First Tour

We met our tour guide, MacKenzy (no longer with Preservation Distillery), in the visitor center. It turns out, MacKenzy has been around wine and spirits for quite some time, so she is extremely knowledgeable about the industry. We knew we were going to be in good hands.

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

A Bit of History

Our tour began with a brief history of the distillery. Founder and Proprietor, Marci Palatella, has spent many years in the spirits business, and is an expert at selecting choice barrels for making small batch bourbons. She and her husband had been looking for a place to open their own distillery.  They fell in love with the Bardstown area and the farm that would become the Preservation Distillery.

Preservation Distillery + Farm is a Unique Place

There is much that makes Preservation Distillery unique. For example, the first stop on our tour was the grain mills. All of the grains used for Preservation’s bourbons are ground on site. There are different types of mills that can be used to grind grain. Both a roller mill and a hammer mill can be found at Preservation. It is the latter which will primarily be used going forward, but it was out of service while we were there, so the roller mill was on duty. Speaking of grain, all of the ingredients used at Preservation Distillery are sourced either locally, or from around Louisville, which is less than 50 miles away. Last but not least is the small herd of Longhorn Cattle. The cattle play their role in sustainability by eating the spent grain. Preservation and sustainability is Preservation Distillery + Farm’s mantra.

The Distillery

Our next stop was the distillery proper. Preservation has 2 mash tuns, 16 closed fermenters, and  2 copper hybrid stills (a pot still connected to a small column). There are also two additional columns which can be used for higher alcohol spirits. All have a capacity of 1000 gallons. The water used for mashing is from their own on-site limestone water well. The freshly distilled spirit, also known as “new make”, is barreled on site. It is then aged, dumped, blended and bottled a few miles up the road.

Back To The Visitor Center

Our tour finished back at the visitor center for the tasting. Our tasting included: Cowboy Little Barrel, Wattie Boone & Sons 7 year old, Rare Perfection 14 year old and 1 year old Preservation bourbon. The first three are sourced and blended small batch whiskeys, while the last is made start to finish at the Preservation Distillery. Since our visit, the tasting selections have changed, so your results may vary. In addition, they are beginning to bottle their own house distilled bourbon, so that may be on the menu as well!

Our four tasting glasses were nicely presented on a plank. The name of each spirit was written by each glass for easy identification.  A small cone of popcorn to cleanse the palate, and water with a dropper, were also thoughtfully provided. We also had the opportunity to taste Campeon Tequila. Preservation distills this Tequila in Mexico, and 3 varieties, a Silver, Anejo and Reposado, are available to sample and purchase.

The Rest of the Property

After our tasting, MacKenzy was kind enough to take us out to see more of the property. We walked back past the distillery  and saw the large former tobacco barn which is now used as an event space capable of holding 300-400 guests.  Then it was on to the fields to see the Longhorn cattle. What beautiful animals they are!

Conclusion

Preservation Distillery is picturesque, welcoming, and, like many small craft distilleries, unique.  This trifecta definitely makes it a stop not to miss while on the Kentucky (Craft) Bourbon Trail!


We hope you have enjoyed our Preservation Distillery + Farm Tour Review! Want to see more? Then watch this short video of our visit! Would you like to learn more about one of their bourbons? Then check out our Rare Perfection 12 Year Old Bourbon Review!

Date of First Visit: June 2019. Updated June 2024.

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