The Bourbon Trail Quest!

MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2016 in Non Cigar Related
My wife and I decided to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary early (ours is in October) since my mom could watch the kids. We decided the entire Bourbon Trail in Kentucky would be our quest for this long weekend.

Day One!

We started off the first day at The Evan Williams Experience in downtown Louisville. There we did a historical tasting called the Speakeasy tour. It was in a 1920s style bar and focused on Prohibition and the effects it had on the country as well as the history of Evan Williams Bourbon. We did not take any photos but we did sample 4 bourbons. Evan Williams white label (bottled in bond), Henry Mckenna single barrel 10 year, Pikeville Rye and Evan Williams 23 year small batch.

The next stop was Bulleit where we did not do an official tour but walked around by ourselves.

After leaving Bulleit, we headed down to the Jim Beam American Stillhouse! This place was crazy so we also did the self guided tour. Jim Beam is one of my favorite mixing and cooking bourbons.



From Jim Beam, we headed to the Four Roses C0x Creek bottling and storehouse facility. It was a great tour that really focused on what happens to the bourbon after it is placed in the barrels. They are also the only distillary that uses single story rickhouses. We tasted their Yellow Label, Small Batch and Single Barrel. 





Post edited by MikeTodd on

Comments

  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 6,624 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very. Very. Cool.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • CigarPunkCigarPunk Stuck In OhioPosts: 826 ✭✭✭✭
    My kind of trip
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Outstanding trip, idea and write up Mike, thank you for sharing and congrats to you both for your anniversary too! My wife and I celebrate 5 years married in September so it seems our anniversaries are close together as well! 

    The bourbon trail is one of the things I have always wanted to do, thanks for sharing the experiences and pictures this was really cool! Four Roses is one of my all time favs and their Single Barrel Barrel Proof offerings is probably my go to never let me down drink, flavor bomb and goes down like liquid velvet, hope you got a chance to try some!

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Outstanding trip, idea and write up Mike, thank you for sharing and congrats to you both for your anniversary too! My wife and I celebrate 5 years married in September so it seems our anniversaries are close together as well! 

    The bourbon trail is one of the things I have always wanted to do, thanks for sharing the experiences and pictures this was really cool! Four Roses is one of my all time favs and their Single Barrel Barrel Proof offerings is probably my go to never let me down drink, flavor bomb and goes down like liquid velvet, hope you got a chance to try some!

    Brett
    We had their Single Barrel but it was not barrel proof.
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Day 2!

    Day 2 found hs making our way to Loretto, Kentucky home of the world's famous Maker's Mark distillery. It is a beautiful drive in with a new visitor center located in the mansion at the top of the hill. The tour has you walking down to the original distillery with the two stills used. On this tour we got to stick our fingers in the fermentation tanks to taste the "Distiller's beer" which is around 8-10proof and very sweet. Our tour includes the bottling line where each bottle is hand dipped in the signature red wax. The bottled over 5,600 cases the day before we were there. Their workers can dip 23 bottles per minute!! We got to sample their White Dog (distillant that has not been put into a barrel), Maker's Mark original, Maker's 46 and Makers Special Reserve that was created by the people of Keeneland Downs in Lexington, Ky. They bought the first case of Maker's Mark back in the 50s. It was all topped off by a walk through a special rickhouse that has a ceiling by renowned blown glass designer Dale Chihuly. 






    After Maker's Mark, we made our way up to Lawrenceburg to Wild Turkey. I am not a big fan of Wild Turkey but it is on the trail so we went. We did not do the tour since the next two were sold out but we did walk through their small history area. We did get our passport stamps so that we can get our free t-shirt! When you complete the trail, you can turn in your completed passport and you get a free t-shirt. The shirt design changes every year.

    We went 8 miles down the road to the Four Roses distillery. The distillery is in shut down due to a major expansion that they are doing. They now have the need to bottle at a higher rate so they must make more. The cool thing about Four Roses is that the cost of the tour is $5 and includes the three samples plus you get to keep the tasting glass! Also, one price gets you into both facilities so you get 6 samples and 2 glasses for $5!! My wife and I now have a nice set of 4, Four Roses glasses to enjoy!
    Here we are at the tasting at the distillery. Again we sampled the Yellow Label, Single Barrel and Small Batch.



    We finished the day off at Heaven Hills in Bardstown (Bourbon Capital of the world!). Again, we did a self guided tour at their heritage center to get our passport stamp. Heaven Hills is responsible for brands such as Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. They also have the bottling rights for multiple brands such as Hypnotic. Since each distillery on the trail charges for full tours, we decided to only do the tours that we both really wanted to do.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mike if you get a chance to pick up the Heaven Hill White Label BIB 6 year do it, it's around $12-$16/bottle and can go head to head with anything under $75/bottle imho. It's a rarely known jewel and only available to small region! I have a buddy send me a few bottles every year so I always keep in in stock, enjoy!!

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • dirtdudedirtdude LaughlinPosts: 4,965 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Sounds like my kind of tour, enjoy
    A little dirt never hurt
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 5,561 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now you gave me the bug. I gotta go there.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Day 3!
    Today was the day I had been looking forward to. My favorite distillery is Buffalo Trace. I have been there many times since my parents live about an hour away.
    Buffalo trace is the oldest continuously ran distillery in the US. They were one of four distilleries permitted to operate during prohibition. They said that during that time there were around 30,000 people and Doctors wrote just over 6 million prescriptions for "medicinal bourbon". Buffalo trace is owned by the Sazerac company that is an American owned company. Buffalo Trace is known for brands such as Blantons, Eagle Rare, Elmer T. Lee, Pappy Van Winkle, W.L. Weller and Buffalo Trace. All of these (along with 13 other labels) come from just two mash bills.  The flavors come from the amount of time the liquor is aged and where at in the rickhouse the barrel is placed. Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and W.L. Weller are all made from mash bill #1 and Blantons, Elmer T. Lee and Ancient Age 10 year are all made from mash bill #2.
    Buffalo Trace also offers Bourbon Cream (better than Baileys) and Vodka. The new Wheatly's Vodka is 10 times distilled and amazing!!! It is a mix of corn and wheat vodkas made by their master distiller Harlon Wheatley. He actually has 6,000 experimental barrels aging all over the grounds.  
    If you are ever in the Frankfort, KY area, Buffalo Trace is a must to see. The grounds are beautiful and the tour/tasting is FREE!!! They are also the most award winning distillery in the WORLD! 

    Somewhere in this picture could be some Pappy Van Winkle! This is the center of the rickhouse where it is stored....now which one is it??




  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,579 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

  • WaterNerdWaterNerd Southern CaliforniaPosts: 2,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very cool Mike @MikeTodd Thanks for posting!
    Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain
    — Henry Ford
  • genareddoggenareddog South eastern indianaPosts: 2,719 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like a great trip.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,767 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We were up that way last spring.  Very disappointed to find that Bardstown has banned smoking in ALL hotels.  Period.  So, we spent all our money in Elizabethtown, and merely viewed the attractions at Bardstown, don't want to support them if they are against hotel owners having the freedom to decide for themselves how to run their business.

    I know, we're dinosaurs remembering a past America where freedom was important to people.  Now, most of America can't wait to get in on the action of curtailing someone elses freedom so that they can feel like they're "doing something".

    Bernheim Forest is also there, lovely trails and gardens.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭

    Looks like lots o fun.

    Cheers.

  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    DAY 4!!
    Sorry this last part took a few days.
    On our last day, we made our way to Woodford Reserve. It is a beautiful drive through horse country to get there. The distillary looks like something out of a painting and in general is a beautiful landscape and place to be. I am not the biggest fan of Woodford but it is a very nice distillery.




    Our last stop was a new distillery called Town Branch. It is an Urban Distillery in the heart of Lexington, KY and also boast a microbrewery. The tour goes over both facilities and the tasting is 4 samples and you can mix and match between the bourbons and the beers. It is a really cool facility and I think is part of a movement to make micro distilleries. We did not take any picturess. I am surprised I took this many as I prefer to enjoy things in the moment and not from behind the lens lf a camera.
    After our last distillery, we found the visitors center for Lexington, turned in our passports and got our t-shirts!! It is offical, WE CONQUERED THE BOURBON TRAIL!!  




  • StubbleStubble T E X A SPosts: 3,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is so cool...Thanks for posting the pics!!
    Hey, you gonna eat the rest of that corndog?
  • Edna20Edna20 DCPosts: 1,322 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is awesome!! We need to do this. My mom lived in TN for a bit and when we visited her we went to the Jack Daniels distillery. We wanted to do the tasting tour. The woman looked at us in disgust when my husband asked about it, as it turns out, you cannot bring a 1.5 year old on a tasting tour ;) Whatever, he was strapped to my husband in a carrier, it wasn't like he was going to sneak a sample :smiley:
    Team O'Donnell FTW!
  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,315 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow very cool trip. I would love to do that but, I'd have to go with the couple that drove me around in the Love Bug.. Lol
  • NolagizmoNolagizmo Nola, LA.Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think I'm gonna plan on doing this next year when I goto Tennessee... thank you very much for posting this Mike.
    "Come party with me in Tennessee for my birthday July we can smoke in the Smokey's."
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