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Saint Nick in January at Preservation Distillery

Here during our January run, we stopped in and did a Preservation Distillery Tour in Bardstown Kentucky. This tour is certainly unique and is part of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail lineup. After visiting, you’ll see just how “craft” this distillery actually is, where small batch means just a few barrels and local ingredients are a norm. This distillery is also woman-owned, making it only one of a few in the state!

Upon coming into the Preservation Distillery property, you’ll pass through a metal-work branded gate. You’ll see some “old school equipment,” and a handful of renovated barns, one of which would be the main tasting room and gift shop. The vibe in the gift shop is great, with welcoming staff, rustic elements, and whiskey galore. The gift shop itself was a renovated bar with a stage, and is tied in with local history. 

The brands that call Preservation Distillery home are Old Man Winter, Rare Perfection, Wattie Boone & Sons, and a few others. The standout of the group and the one I have seen/heard most about was Very Old Saint Nick. This is a brand you might see in the rare whiskey case at your liquor store with seasonal releases, at a premium price. I was certainly invested in trying this whiskey and learning the brand’s story. 

The basic tour here takes you through the production facility, where you’ll see all of your standard distillery equipment. Here your guide will explain how the equipment is used or what makes it different from what other distilleries are using. This is a great facility, as it is smaller and approachable, and you feel like you’re actually in the middle of production… well, because you are. This isn’t just a demonstration. The only thing you don’t really see here is the rickhouse, which is further back on the property. 

There are some additional features of the property that we loved on the tour, one of which is that it is a certified cattle farm. You’ll likely see some cattle and hear about the sustainability efforts of the farm, which include an on-site aquifer and more. Preservation Distillery makes efforts to work with local farmers as well and has some nice relationships with family-owned farms in the area. These things were certainly nice to get further details on. 

The history of this company goes back to the 80’s, and is certainly unique. It ties in very well with bourbon’s booms and busts over the past few generations, and has a good story of innovation. There is some history behind a few of the brands they have acquired, but it’s a little hard to squeeze them in during your hour, so have your questions ready. 

The tasting here was incredible. I am not going to give away what products were offered, but I was blown away by each bottle. My guide sat and tasted with me, and was incredibly knowledgeable. It felt like I was drinking with a friend, sharing our notes. You don’t get that experience in a lot of places. 

Overall, we were big fans of the Preservation Distillery Tour. This was a unique, homely experience and is an example of craft distilling done right. We hope to be back this year and will certainly be recommending this distillery to our friends, families, and customers! 

** Please note, Unfiltered Kentucky Tours is not paid to advertise any distillery or experience on our website. We simply enjoy bourbon, and try to visit each distillery every year to see what’s new. We will always ask first, but may join you on your tour if we haven’t been to one in a while, or if one of our drivers hasn’t been. Personally, we nerd out a crazy number of things during these tours. but, we keep these reviews vague, in case you were wondering.. We want you to be able to see these beautiful operations and ask questions for yourself! Cheers* 



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