First Friday with Funk and Blues

Keith Hubbard and Friends perform April 3

When pianist Keith Hubbard decided to retool his ivory-based New Orleans funk and blues ensemble from the '90s, he found the right ingredients for his musical gumbo with Frankfort’s Laura Ellen Penn on vocals and Danville guitarist Pat Morley. Fans of Dr. John, Marcia Ball, Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi will enjoy Keith’s spicy menu  the same recipes he used in opening shows for Delbert McClinton throughout Kentuckiana.

The Combination food truck will sell TexMex food and Wilderness Trail cocktails are for sale.

Date: April 3, 2020 — April 3, 2020


Elevate your Bourbon knowledge

Bourbon Stewardship Class

2-7 p.m. March 21
Cost: $150
Instructors: Dr. Pat Heist, Macaulay Minton and John Coffee
Open to 25 people

Interested in taking your Bourbon knowledge to the next level? Then join one of our upcoming classes to become a bona fide Certified Bourbon Steward. This program speaks to Bourbon lovers from ALL walks of life! This in-depth program is designed to guide you on your journey to becoming a Certified Bourbon Steward, and will equip you with the tools to discuss America's Native Spirit both confidently and accurately while enhancing your ability to make educated recommendations for individual taste and preferences.

Topics covered will include:

  • What makes a bourbon a bourbon? And how it is different from other whiskeys?
  • Bourbon terminology and descriptors.
  • Distillation, aging, and brand creation.
  • Identification of Kentucky’s heritage brands and which distilleries produce them.
  • Hospitality and service in the bourbon industry.
  • Building a flight and the art of tasting: An exercise identifying 3 Bourbons demonstrating the relationship among the products, describing their characteristics and nuances with nosing and tasting notes.
  • Accurate bourbon history, including Kentucky’s role in its creation.
  • In the lab with Dr. Heist: Join Wilderness Trail Distillery co-owner Dr. Pat Heist will lead this hands-on event that teaches the story of bourbon from the microbiology level through final finished product.

This special event will conclude with a catered dinner with your choice of a ribeye, chicken cordon bleu or vegetarian option.

And when the distillate settles, you will have picked a private barrel of Wilderness Trail Bourbon and be fully prepared to take the Certified Bourbon Steward test (code and book included). You may purchase bottles from the barrel pick as soon as they are bottled.

If you are interested, email Macaulay Minton to learn more or register by calling the Visitors Center at 859-402-8707.

Date: March 21, 2020 — March 21, 2020


Wilderness Trail is 18th member of KY Bourbon Trail

Wilderness Trail, one of the founding distillery destinations on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft TourⓇ, has advanced to join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure, becoming the 18th stop on the world-famous journey that showcases America’s only native spirit.
Launched in 2012 as a premium craft distillery in Danville, Ky., Wilderness Trail has expanded its production and grown its distinctive visitor experience to meet the standards to become the first KBTCT distillery to graduate to the iconic Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour.

“This is an exciting day for Wilderness Trail, the Danville community and all our Kentucky Bourbon Trail® partners,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “Wilderness Trail has established itself as a can’t-miss stop that fully delves into the art and science of our signature spirit.
“On behalf of our members, we congratulate Wilderness Trail on their success and proudlywelcome them to the legendary Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour as its 18th member, the most participating distilleries since the KDA founded the KBT® in 1999.”
Co-owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist are recognized globally as leading fermentation specialists through their original company, Ferm Solutions, consulting with distilleries around the world to develop products and enhance production.
With more than 20 years of experience in the production of alcohol and bringing some of the best brands to market, Baker and Heist expanded their focus to creating their own brand of unique spirits ensuring quality and a healthy dose of science in the process.
“We are very excited to be joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® after years on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® for both our growth as well as the impact to our community,” said Baker, Co-Owner and Master Distiller.
“We excel in offering a unique experience and educational perspective of the Bourbon-making process by focusing on the science in making Bourbon while maintaining a traditional Bourbon distillery process across our 163-acre campus in historic Danville, the birthplace of Kentucky.”
“Wilderness Trail Distillery has been an incredible asset to Boyle County,” said Jennifer Kirchner, Executive Director of Destination Danville. “In addition to their significant contributions to our local economy in agriculture, industry, and technology, they have helped us
to build a robust tourism footprint.
“If you love Bourbon and you love Kentucky, then you will love Danville.”
Coupled with Danville’s small-town charm and history, Wilderness Trail will be a welcome addition that highlights the spectrum of the state’s different distillery sizes and approaches, said Adam Johnson, Senior Director of the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® program.
“Even in a quintessential ‘Main Street, America’ town, Wilderness Trail shows you can have a world-class attraction with fantastic hospitality,” said Johnson, who is a graduate of Centre College in Danville and has lived in Danville for more than 20 years.
Wilderness Trail currently produces a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Bottled in Bond, a Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon, and a Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, as well as Harvest Rum and Blue Heron Vodka.
Open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, the visitor experience will include a 45-minute
walking tour and an educational tasting seminar in the Tasting Room. 
“Shane and Pat have poured their hearts and souls into their distillery and it shows in every last
detail,” KDA President Gregory said. “We applaud their commitment to our timeless craft and
thank them for their efforts in securing Kentucky as the one true, authentic home of Bourbon.”


Event features music by Fourth Street Station

Wear your fuzzy clothing and dancing shoes for The Fur Ball.

This event is a fundraiser for the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society. Free music by Fourth Street Station. There will be food trucks and Wilderness Trail cocktails for sale. 

Fourth Street Station, a jam band, will perform originals, Grateful Dead, Dylan, Allman Brothers, blues, alt country, Rolling Stones, and other classic rock. Members are: Larry Bitensky, keyboards, guitar and vocals; Dan Worley, guitar and vocals; Mike Dixon, bass; and Brian Cusato, drums.

Date: March 6, 2020 — March 6, 2020


Sales of 16-year-old Bourbon bottle go to Bourbon Charity

Kevin McGuire of Danville (in photo) was the first person to receive one of the 50 box sets of the 16-year-old Bourbon. 

Shane Baker and Pat Heist purchased a 15-year-old barrel of Willett Distillery Bourbon at Willett-To-Be-Cured, an auction for the American Cancer Society. After a year of aging at Wilderness Trail, it was bottled to be sold this holiday season as 16-year-old.

Sales of the $2,500 box set all go to Bourbon Charity. The majority of Wilderness Trail’s donations through the Bourbon Charity will go directly to families who are battling cancer. Some of the funds also will go to public non-profits such as St. Jude and the American Cancer Society but the mission of this project to give direct to families.

Many of the people who contacted us about the Bourbon shared that they too have family or friends who have battled cancer and that is the reason they wanted to support the project. Even if the $2,500 bottle is not in the budget, if you want to make a donation, you may go to Bourbon Charity.

Most of the 50 bottles available were placed in the main lottery for people who signed up online at our website or in our visitor center.

We still have fundraising plans. That Bourbon barrel is going to get another chance to continue raising money to battle cancer. We distilled a special barrel of four-grain Bourbon almost 5 years ago.We are going to double-barrel it and finish it in this infamous old barrel for a while longer. Then we will have bottles of some more great, rare Bourbon to talk about and keep asking the question: How many lives can this one barrel keep touching?

What’s next for the barrel after that? Stay tuned.

Date: December 18, 2019 — December 31, 2019


Great weather, delicious chili, fantastic vendors and awesome sponsors made the perfect setting for the third annual Wilderness Trail Charity Chili Cook Off Oct. 19.

Proceeds support the Danville Kiwanis Local Youth and Senior Citizens programs. Thanks to our awesome sponsors, cooks and tasters, the event raised $7,100.

Our judges had the tough job of selecting the top three winners of the 17 contenders for first through third place trophies and People's Choice awards. Only a few points separated the winners, who were: first, Randell and Tanya Reynolds of Stanford; second and People's Choice, Stanford's Blue Bird's Chef Bill Hawkins; and third, Nicole Caccciatore of The Farmhouse Restaurant in Parksville. Thanks to other great cooks. All of the chili was delicious.

Thanks to our vendors: Broomtown; Central Kentucky Hemp; Kravins; Sugar; Southern Style Kettlecorn; The Local Shaved Ice; Larry Mac's Beer Cheese; and inflatables by Perryville Party Rentals. Many thanks to the Boyle County High School Key Club for providing pumpkin decorating, face painting and balloon animals and the Boyle high cheerleaders for selling hotdogs. The Arts Center of the Bluegrass helped children make a cool spider craft and the Boyle County Public Library gave away books. 

The 2018 Chili Cook-Off raised more than $6,700 to purchase coats, clothing and a small toy for children for the holidays and they have other youth programs as well. We think this year's proceeds will be close to this sum.

The Kiwanis receive the names of the children they help at the holidays from Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wilderness Trace Child Development Center and Sunrise Children's Home. No other agency helps these children in this capacity. The winter warmth supplied from your generosity supports a program that began more than 90 years ago. Twenty years ago, the Boyle County Senior Citizens Center became recipients of the holiday project and other programs, too.

The 40 members of the Kiwanis Club appreciate the support of their mission and know that everyone has a lot of fun in the process.

This is a family-friendly that featured free pumpkin decorating and face painting by the Boyle County High School Key Club and free library books from the Boyle County Public Library Bookmobile.
Of course, this event would not succeed without the generous support of its sponsors.
Thanks to the following:
Platinum: WHIR and WRNZ radio.
Gold: The Advocate-Messenger; Heidelberg; Kentucky Cooperage; PNC Bank; Sellers Manufacturing; and WKYB-FM.
Silver:  Boyle PVA Lacresha "My" Gibson; Buzick Construction; Corning; Farmers National Bank; Johnson Polhmann Insurance; Mediocre Creative; and Stuart Powell Ford Mazda.
Bronze: Bluegrass I.T. Services; Bruce Devine Roofing; Caverndale Farms; Central Kentucky Federal; Coldwell Banker VIP Realty; Community Trust Bank; InterCounty Energy; Hayslett Mechanical; Keystone Industrial; The Still at AMBRAbev; United Structural Systems; Wilderness Trace Solar; and Xtreme Style Signs & Screen Printing.


Date: October 19, 2019 — October 19, 2019


Donation supports humane society spay/neuter program

Wilderness Trail Distillery presented $10,000 to the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society’s (DBCHS) community cat spay/neuter program. Distillery co-owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist made the donation to Fizzy Ramsey, president of the DBCHS Board of Directors, at the distillery's First Friday,

The event featured Patriotic Paws red, white and blue T-shirts and they still are on sale at the distillery. The donation was made possible from a charity barrel auction held during the Kentucky Bourbon Affair.

Baker chose the humane society because he and his wife, Melissa, are animal lovers and wanted to support the local nonprofit’s efforts to control the animal population.

“We are overjoyed by the generosity shown by Wilderness Trail Distillery,” says Ramsey. "They are the metaphoric pebble in a pond creating a ripple for change, not only in the Bourbon industry, but for our own community. Their partnership supports and inspires our paradigm shift in humanely addressing pet overpopulation.”

DBCHS has been working with a consultant to determine the humane society’s needs and an expanded community cat spay/neuter program is one of the biggest. The consultant recommended the local shelter use the “return to field” process for cats. That means in lieu of shelter intake or possible euthanasia, any community cat brought to the shelter will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and returned to its original home location. The report recommends DBCHS find $49,210 in funding —  $39,000 to get an estimated 600 community cats sterilized through the return to field program; $10,000 to help with income-targeted spay/neuter through Happy Paws Spay/Neuter Clinic for cats and dogs; and $210 for portals needed in between cat cages to improve their living quarters.

Since the community cat program began this spring, Ramsey says Boyle County Animal Control and shelter staff has helped organize over 110 surgeries, which also involves community education on cat behavior and population control. “People arrive to surrender a stray cat(s) and we give them the opportunity to keep the cat as we schedule spay/neuter surgery and rabies vaccination. If the cat is feral and they prefer not to handle the cat, we get their permission to spay/neuter, vaccinate and return the cat to its original location; maintaining its place, and preventing new, likely unaltered, cats from moving in.” Area veterinarians have been instrumental in the success of this method in addressing community cats.

Date: July 5, 2019 — July 5, 2019


A limited quantity available through our gift shop

Two hundred years of history is quite a milestone and we applaud Centre College for its remarkable journey. We have celebrated all year with sales of our wheated, single barrel Bourbon with the story of Centre on the side label.

Sales of Centre Bourbon continue while we have the wheated single barrel in the gift shop. If you are wondering about the availability of Centre College Bicentennial Bourbon in our gift shop, please call 859-402-8707.  Our gift shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Cost is $55 ($60.50 with tax). We do offer the Bourbon in a mahogany collector's box that includes two shot glasses. Cost with the box is $94.41 (including tax). We can ship to places in Kentucky where alcohol sales are legal. If you are interested in purchasing, you may download a shipping form. Please include a daytime address where the delivery can be made because someone age 21 or older must sign for it. Cost is $25 to a ship a bottle and the fee increases based on how many bottles will be shipped. Email your form to Macaulay Minton at

Please download a Shipping form

Date: April 24, 2019 — October 13, 2019


Here's where you can find our Bourbon and Rye Whiskey

If you're a fan of Wilderness Trail's Bourbon and Rye Whiskey we have great news for you. It sells in 12 states.

In addition to our home base of Kentucky where Heidelberg is our distributor, this is a list of states where Wilderness Trail is sold and who the distributors are.

Tennessee: Athens Distributing

Illinois: BC Merchants

Michigan: ABC control states with Benchmark Beverage distributing

Virginia: ABC control state

Wyoming: ABC control state

Washington, D.C.: Prestige LeDroit

Delaware: Prestige

Maryland: Prestige

Iowa: ABC control state

Ohio: Heidelberg

Georgia: Eagle Rock

Wilderness Trail also plans to sell in Nevada.

In the ABC control states, fans of our spirits just have to ask their store to stock it. For instance, Virginia is a control state and is run by the state of Virginia ABC. Wilderness Trail is registered and in the system in Virginia and any store can place an order to stock it or to ship it directly to a person living there through that store for pick up. If you are looking for some of the latest Kentucky Straight Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon with rye small grain, our Bourbon Single Barrel, Bottled in Bond Bourbon made with wheat or our infamous Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Cask Strength, then please ask your local store to place an order for you!

To see Michigan locations, please download Michigan Bourbon Locations

Date: April 1, 2019


White Oak Trees planted

Thanks to the many people who purchased a white oak tree in hopes that their trees one day will be used for Wilderness Trail Bourbon barrels.

We planted the 2-year-old white oak trees in March and now all we have to do is wait for them to become barrels. Visit your tree as your come see us over the years. Seventy or so years from now, maybe your grandchildren will enjoy a barrel of Bourbon aged in the tree planted for you.

Date: March 16, 2019 — March 16, 2019

Are you 21 years or older?

Wilderness Trail Distillery thinks age statements are important.