Kentucky is the nation’s leading whiskey exporter

Published: Feb. 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM CST
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Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that Kentucky is the leading exporter of whiskey, which includes bourbon and rye, according to 2019 export reports.

Beshear made the announcement while filling the 16th millionth barrel of Jim Beam at Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont.

"We are immensely proud of our signature bourbon industry, and thanks to its national and global appeal, Kentucky's exports of whiskey hit an all-time high of $485 million last year," said Gov. Beshear. "Our bourbon is now a multibillion-dollar signature industry, which helps support our families with more than 20,000 jobs and an annual payroll topping $1 billion."

Kentucky exports also continued to grow, reaching more than $33 billion in goods and services shipped abroad.

"Our state continues making its mark on the global economy," Gov. Beshear added. "Having bested our own export records eight of the past nine years signifies that Kentucky is headed in the right direction. We will work to continue expanding market opportunities for the benefit of businesses throughout the commonwealth."

Kentucky led all states in whiskey exports in 2019 at $485 million, marking a 326.5% increase since 2004.

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