The local company specializes in drink and food tours. | Courtesy of Mint Julep Experiences

Ten years ago, Louisvillians Sean and Lisa Higgins decided to ditch their day jobs and follow their dreams by opening a tourism company — called Mint Julep Tours — that would take people out to Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries.

A renewed interest in bourbon was just beginning, and the Higgins saw an opportunity to join the momentum.

Sean and Lisa Higgins started Mint Julep Tours in 2008. | Courtesy of Sean Higgins

Turns out their instincts were spot on.

Now, with a rebranded name of Mint Julep Experiences, the company employs 50 people and runs a fleet of 20 vehicles to serve more than 30,000 guests a year. And just Monday, they announced that they’re expanding into the Nashville market to offer tours along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.

“Tennessee’s rich history of hospitality and craftsmanship remind us so much of what we love about our Kentucky home,” said Sean Higgins in a news release. “Our passion for tourism is contagious. We can’t wait to unveil our immersive outings exploring the heart and soul of Nashville.”

The Tennessee Whiskey Adventures will begin April 11 and feature two daylong experiences.

The company has hired a Nashville native, Adam Smith, as the director of operations. Smith has worked more than 16 years in Nashville’s tourism industry, including opening the Music City Center in 2013 and Westin Hotel in 2016.

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail opened last year and features more than 30 distilleries. It operates much like the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, where participants collect stamps on passports by visiting each distillery.

“Growing Tennessee’s rich whiskey tourism industry will be greatly assisted by Mint Julep Tours,” said Tennessee Whiskey Guild manager Kim Mitchell in the release. “Their deep expertise and proven partnerships will be an asset to our Guild members and the Tennessee Whiskey Trail as a whole. We look forward to the experiences they create to properly present our brands.”

The two tours offered include “Legends,” a trip to Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel distilleries, and “Rising Stars,” a visit to H Clark, Leiper’s Fork and Corsair. For information about each tour available out of Nashville, check the Mint Julep Experiences website.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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