If you want to experience multiple bourbon tours and tastings in Kentucky as a group, Tour With Us KY is the way to go!
Tour With Us KY has several Kentucky Bourbon Trail and B-Line Trails to choose from, or you can customize your own bourbon-themed adventure.
Our Bourbon Adventure on The B-Line Trail to Maysville and Augusta Distillery Tour
I was invited by Tour With Us KY to check out their B-Line Trail to Maysville and Augusta Distillery Tour.
What I really liked about this part of The B-Line Trail is that it’s in a lesser-known area for bourbon which really makes it a hidden gem.
Our group was made up of people from Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Michigan.
Kentucky is also known as the birthplace of bourbon and 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky.
A bourbon tour can be a great experience for both the bourbon curious and the avid bourbon drinkers.
Bourbon tours can be an introduction to the brown spirit of the Bluegrass State for both locals and visitors from out of state or even outside of the United States.
What is The B-Line?
The B-Line is Northern Kentucky’s bourbon trail with a collection of craft distilleries, bourbon bars, and bourbon-centric restaurants.
What’s the best size for a small group bourbon tour?
I learned that the sweet spot for group tours is 8-12 people.
The vehicle can hold up to 14 people but 1 person would have to sit next to the driver. Everyone in our group felt that 10 people was the perfect number.
We had several people in our group who are over 6 ft tall and could stand up within the van with ease.
On the way to Maysville, we rode as couples, and on the way back we moved the guys to the front of the vehicle and the ladies sat in the back so that it was easier to talk.
(I only sat in front for a quick group selfie.)
Our driver, Keith arrived at my friend Beth’s house/AKA the meeting location for our group. Tour With Us KY offers door-to-door service.
They can pick your group up and drop you back off at your home or any other meeting spot.
It’s a 15-passenger sprinter vehicle with plenty of headroom.
The van had two large coolers in the bus with ice that was easy to access from the back.
Tips before you go
Closed-toed shoes are typically required for distillery tours. Distillery tours and tastings are for the legal drinking age of 21 and up so make sure that you bring a valid ID with you.
You can bring whatever drinks and snacks you want to enjoy during your ride. If you sit in the back of the vehicle be prepared to be the bartender.
One of our friends brought a variety pack of chips that were perfect for snacking on our way back.
The tour starts pretty early in the morning so I’d recommend eating breakfast before you’re picked up or bringing a granola or protein bar with you.
Make sure that you also drink water in between drinks during the day so that you don’t get dehydrated.
I’d also recommend bringing some cash so that you can tip your driver too.
Explore the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center
Our first stop was definitely an unexpected hidden gem!
Did you know that the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center has the largest collection of miniatures in the world on public display?
I’ll be honest, it probably wasn’t something that I even really cared about…until I saw it in person.
The closer that I looked, the more every microscopic detail blew me, and everyone else in our group, away.
Inside the 3,300 sq ft gallery, The Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection showcases scenes from both whimsical worlds and historically accurate time periods.
The miniatures are a 1/12 scale (one inch to one square foot) and all of the materials are REAL…minus the people.
The dresser and portrait above demonstrate the scale with a miniature of both displayed on the left side of the top of the dresser.
That means that there is REAL marble, gold, diamonds, fabrics, etc.
It’s like a sophisticated, grown-up version of a Barbie dream house…on steroids. Each scene really draws you in because of the intricate mind-blowing detail.
The collections at the museum change frequently which gives you an excuse to come back to see something new in the future.
Wander the Wormald Gallery
Inside the Wormald Gallery, you’ll learn more about the regional history of the area through both permanent and temporary exhibits.
Our tour guide, Marla also added so much to our tour as she shared more about exhibit pieces that belonged to her and several of her family members.
We spent enough time at the museum to leave us wanting to see more…but this is a bourbon tour, after all, so we moved on to The Old Pogue Experience next door.
Learn About Distilling History at the Old Pogue Experience at Kentucky Gateway Museum Center
At this building, you’ll learn why Maysville makes the claim that “We are where bourbon began its journey.”
If you don’t have a B-Line Line Guide/Passport this is a great place to pick one up and get your book stamped.
During your visit to The Old Pogue Experience, you’ll learn more about the bourbon history in Maysville, including Pogue Distillery, dating back to 1876.
There are many unique artifacts on display including this H. E. Pogue Distillery Salesman Kit pictured above.
You’ll learn why the numbers on the bourbon barrel indicate the distillery’s ancestry. It’s a pretty big deal that Pogue is number 3.
Make sure that you also take a peek between the barrels to see the flood marker from when the flood water reached a height of 75.2 in 1937.
As fate would have it, we got to meet a Pogue descendent during our tour of The Old Pogue Experience who happened to drop by the museum for an unplanned visit. (Henry “Hank” Pogue is pictured above in the navy blue shirt.)
Tour and Tasting at The Old Pogue Distillery and Homestead
Our next stop was the site of The Old Pogue Distillery and Homestead for a tour and tasting.
During the tour, you’ll learn about the bourbon-making process.
The Old Pogue Distillery uses 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% wheat for spice and boldness.
Our distillery tour was led by master distiller, John who is a 6th generation, Pogue.
The craft distillery is in operation since November-May and makes about 4 barrels a day. John is using old recipes that have been in the family for generations.
The barrels are stored off-site and later shipped to Bardstown, KY for long-term storage.
The Pogue Family Home
The Pogue Family has a history on this property that goes back 150 years. Four distillers in the Pogue family lived on the property.
The House dates back to 1845 and has lots of distilling memorabilia and historic images that have been collected over the years.
You’ll also learn about some interesting ties Pogue Distillery had with George Remus, a notorious bootlegger.
Bourbon Tasting With a View
Of course, the best part of a bourbon tour is the bourbon tasting!
The weather was beautiful during the day of our visit which allowed us to enjoy a tasting on the back porch.
The property sits up on a hill that overlooks the Ohio River with views of the bridge in the distance.
We tried tastings of the following:
- Old Pogue Master’s Select (Bourbon Whisky)
- Old Maysville Club (Rye Malt Whisky)
- Belle of Maysville
- Port of Kentucke
There is a gift shop inside if you want to bring your favorite bourbon home with you that day.
Lunch at Beehive Augusta Tavern
I would HIGHLY recommend adding a lunch stop at the Beehive Augusta Tavern to your tour.
Everyone in our group agreed that our meal together was one of the highlights of the trip.
The restaurant has a great ambiance that is thoughtfully curated throughout, incredible food, and a nice view of the Ohio River located in the heart of downtown Augusta.
Keep your B-Line passport handy for another stamp because Beehive Augusta Tavern is on the official The B-Line Trail.
You’ll find over 75 bourbons including Buckner’s Limited Edition 13-Year, single barrel, unfiltered cask strength, Kentucky straight bourbon by Augusta Distilleries.
The bar also has a wine and cocktail menu if you want to mix things up. A lot of us ordered a Kentucky mule made with ginger beer and bourbon with our meals.
Notice the attention to detail in the light fixtures and water pitcher!
Keith took care of our lunch orders after we toured the Kentucky Gateway Museum. It made our visit to the restaurant more streamlined and efficient when it was time for our group to eat lunch.
We had FANTASTIC weather during our visit to the Beehive Augusta Tavern so we opted to dine outside.
What we tried at Beehive Augusta Tavern
For appetizers, our table shared a few orders of fried deviled eggs made with a parmesan crust and topped with bacon.
The stuffed mushrooms were also very popular and happen to be gluten-free. The stuffed mushrooms are made with Jacob’s Farm sausage + chorizo, spinach, and cheese.
For sandwiches, some people in our group opted for the blackened salmon sandwich made with Hillsong Farm bun, remoulade, arugula, and tomato. The salmon had great flavor and I highly recommend the parmesan or smoked bbq fries.
The Breakfast Smash Burger was made with a Hillsong Farm bun, cheese, egg, bacon, caramelized onion, and maple aioli.
The Beehive Smash Burger was made with Hillsong Farm bun, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and Hive sauce.
You can’t go wrong with any of their options for fries that come with the sandwiches: garlic parmesan, smoked BBQ, or sea salt.
For dessert, we tried the Beehive Honey Pie after Keith’s rave reviews. It tasted like a creme Brule pie in the BEST way.
The Beehive Honey Pie is made with creamy honey custard, oat cookie crust, and bourbon whipped cream.
Seriously… save room for dessert, you won’t regret it!
Beehive Augusta Tavern is located on Riverside Drive. If you dine outside there is a good chance that you may see the car ferry crossing the Ohio River during your meal.
Hard Hat Tour and Tasting at Augusta Distillery
A hard hat tour and tasting at Augusta Distillery is an option that groups can add on to their Maysville-Augusta bourbon tour.
The 40,000-square-foot historical building (circa 1803) originally served as a carriage manufacturer and is being transformed into the future home of the region’s premier bourbon distillery and event center.
Augusta Distillery’s mission is to create authentic, curated, bourbon-centric experiences that delight its guests, consumers, and neighbors.
Over the next few years, guests will begin to see phases of the vision for the distillery/entertainment center made into reality.
Once construction is completed, it will have comprehensive tours, bourbon experiences, a full-service restaurant & bar, a gift shop, an event center, and live music entertainment.
Augusta Distillery is located a few blocks from the Ohio River and the city center making it a perfect day trip or weekend getaway.
Augusta Distillery Founders
Augusta Distillery was founded on July 4, 2018. The founding team consists of four couples and a friend, all of whom have known each other for more than 30 years. The founders are passionate about bourbon, creating bourbon-centric experiences, and generating regional economic opportunities.
Two of Augusta Distillery’s co-founders, Lance and Lalani Bates, also own and operate the Beehive Augusta Tavern where we had lunch earlier that day.
Augusta Distillery co-founder Ryan Edwards also owns (with his wife Jamie) a 10-bedroom bed and breakfast, the Augusta Guest House. It is located on the same block as the Beehive and will be opening later this year after a full renovation.
During our tasting, we tried Buckner’s 13-Year Single Barrel Bourbon. The Buckner name is a tribute to the founding family of Augusta.
Buckner’s 13-Year Single Barrel Bourbon is a limited-release whiskey, aged 13 years in new, charred oak barrels.
Several people on our tour shared with me that they really enjoyed the education component during our tasting.
Before each sip, we were guided with tips on how to make the most of our bourbon-tasting experience.
Visit Historic Baker-Bird Winery
This property has an incredible history. In fact, Baker-Bird Winery is the most historic winery in the United States as it was built in the 1850s.
The winery was founded by Abraham Baker, Jr., the Grandson of John Baker, the distiller who purchased the land at the current location in 1798.
Here are a few of the historic bragging rights Baker-Bird Winery can boast:
- Oldest commercial winery in America that still has its original vineyard land
- Only winery to have survived a Civil War Battle
- The only winery that the building is on the National Registry of Historic Places and the vineyard land is on a separate Registry of Historic Places
- Largest, oldest wine cellar in America
- Baker-Bird Winery is one of the 22 wineries listed on the National Historic Registry out of 3,000 wineries in America
Fun Fact: From the 1860s to the 1870s, half of the wine consumed in America was coming out of Augusta, Kentucky.
During the tour, you’ll learn more about Baker-Bird’s wine history while enjoying tastings in different spaces throughout the property. There are lots of great ties to the Cincinnati area on the tour too.
Baker–Bird wines have won over 150 medals in wine competitions both nationally and internationally sourcing Kentucky-grown grapes for their wine.
Baker-Bird Winery also offers several bourbon barrel-aged wines.
Their red wine, Thunderbolt, and white wine, Lightning Strikes, are both aged in bourbon barrels.
See the Oldest Wine Celler in America
One of my favorite parts of the tour at Baker-Bird Winery was going down into the historic wine cellar that dates back to the 1850s.
The Wine Cellar at Baker-Bird Winery is the oldest, largest, wine cellar open to the public in America.
Dimensions for the wine cellar are 40 feet wide, 40 feet tall, and 90 feet into the hill dug out by hand by German immigrants.
This definitely made for a memorable site for another wine tasting!
If you’re lucky you’ll have Beckie with an “ie” as your tour guide.
She truly made our wine tour and tasting experience because she has a larger-than-life personality and legendary one-liners. Beckie was also in charge of our distillery tasting located steps away from the winery.
We seriously wanted to take her home with us after the tour.
Bourbon Tasting at B. Bird Distillery
B. Bird Distillery opened in 2018 and also honors the historic ties to the Baker-Bird site.
John Baker, the distiller, fought in the American Revolution and distilled in Washington County, PA during the Whiskey Rebellion.
In 1797, John moved to Augusta, KY, and continued to distill.
We enjoyed a tasting of a few products of B. Bird Distillery in their tasting room.
You can also see the 50-gallon still used for the distillery today which was around the same size as John Baker’s still.
Our group loved that our day was filled with different experiences at each distillery tour and tasting experience.
Why Should You Consider A Bus Tour vs. Doing it on Your Own
I would say that the #1 reason is that you don’t want to do the planning OR the driving.
It was SO NICE to NOT be in charge of where we were going and when we needed to be there for tour times.
I’m typically the one in charge of the itinerary for our adventures and it can be stressful to organize everything for a group.
We didn’t have to vote on anything because our itinerary was already decided. Many of the places that we visited that day are appointment only and require an advance reservation.
I loved just relaxing and hanging out with friends and moving along the day without the stress of the details.
All of that was taken care of by Tour With Us KY which made our transitions seamless all day.
Even when we ran a little over time, it all worked out without any issues because Keith was communicating behind the scenes with the places that we were visiting.
Leave the Driving to the Pros
It was so nice to spend quality time together in the vehicle on the way down and back too, which also made the travel time go faster.
You can sip responsibly on a group tour. It’s WAY cheaper than a DUI and Kentucky roads are no joke!
I was amazed at the tight spaces and turns that our bus driver handled with ease. I was so grateful that we didn’t have to carpool and that none of us had the responsibility of driving home after enjoying bourbon tastings all day.
Tour Options With Tour With Us KY
Tour With Us KY offers an assortment of tours throughout Kentucky. The best part is that their service is door-to-door.
They pick you up at your house/meeting point, arrange all of the tours AND keep you on schedule. That way you can relax with family and friends without the hassle of driving and bringing multiple cars.
Tour With Us KY will drop you safely back to your house/group meeting point at the end of the tour.
Where do you want to go on your next Bourbon-Themed Adventure With Tour With Us KY?
A group tour is a great way to get a group of friends together to share a new experience together or as an alternative to traditional birthday parties.
Pricing for B-Line Trails for 12 people ranges from $119-$159 per person depending on the trail and includes the following:
- Safe & secure transportation
- Tours & tastings
- Kentucky sales tax
- Bottled water and a cooler with ice
There are currently 3 main trails to choose from for The B-Line Trail:
B-Line Trails Wednesday through Sunday, and other related services most any day of the week. All bookings are based on availabilities.
North -The 6-7 hour tour includes tastings and tours at the following:
Southbound – The 8-hour tour includes tours and tastings:
- Boone County Distilling Company
- Neeley Family Distillery
- Kentucky Artisan Distillery OR the Three Boys Farm Distillery
Maysville- Augusta – The 8-hour tour includes admission, tours and tastings at the following:
- The Old Pogue Distillery
- “Old Pogue Experience” at Kentucky Gateway Museum
- Baker-Bird Winery & B-Bird Distillery
- *Additional add-on options available- lunch at Beehive Augusta Tavern and Augusta Distillery
There is also a new Bourbon and Horses tour if you want to experience a distillery tour and tasting as well as a day at the horse races at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY.
More Tours in Kentucky’s Bourbon Country
Tour With Us KY primarily focuses on the craft distilleries on The B-Line Trail in Northern Kentucky but they will also customize a visit to larger distilleries, including:
They can plan your itinerary or you can plan and book your itinerary and have them provide the transportation.
Thanks again to Tour With Us KY for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own.