‘Glove Up!’ Tours Take Visitors Behind the Scenes to Learn about Bourbon’s Beginnings

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is kicking off a new behind-the-scenes tour program this summer, beginning with a look at the history of Kentucky bourbon. “Glove Up! Behind the Scenes at the Kentucky Historical Society” will allow tour-goers to venture into archives and storage areas normally off limits to the public. Tour leaders will issue curator’s gloves to participants so they can personally handle authentic historical artifacts and documents that tell the story of the state’s bourbon industry, said Sara Elliott, KHS director of historical resources.

One of the earliest known handwritten bourbon recipes in existence will be among items available for inspection as will a julep cup made by Asa Blanchard, a silversmith as prominent and respected in Kentucky as Paul Revere was in Boston. “A lot of folks are visiting bourbon distilleries these days,” Elliott said. “Our tour broadens that experience by giving people a hands-on look at the history of bourbon, which dates back to Kentucky’s early settlements in the 1700s.” KHS staff will lead the two-hour tours on the first and third Saturdays of June, July and August from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

The cost is $20 for KHS members and $25 for others. Each tour is limited to 12 adults. Price includes admission to the entire KHS history campus. Participants must pre-register by calling 502-564-1792, ext. 4408. “We’ll cover quite a bit of ground, so people should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a lot of walking,” Elliott said. The bourbon tour is the first “Glove Up!” tour KHS is planning to showcase unique aspects of Kentucky’s history.

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