Hitting the Trail

Six Bourbon Distilleries in 3 days.

I’m just here to tell you, it CAN be done. I did it, along with my sidekick, Jon. We left out early on Friday morning, headed to Kentucky and it’s famous Bourbon Trail. Its a little over 6 hours to drive there, but we made it with time to spare. And, oh, was it ever worth it.

Our first stop was at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

montgent1I was treated like a queen here. Lunch with Jim Beam’s great grandson, Fred Noe, followed by a special tour, where we drank straight from a barrel. We were also invited to attend the Jim Beam 75th Anniversary Party, which was a real treat. Whiskey Sours and toasts, cake and cookies. Did I mention Montgomery Gentry was there? Like, a row in front of me. But that’s not all. Mr. Noe graciously gave us tickets to their private concert at the Louisville Palace later that night. I’ll be detailing all of these things in a later post, I just wanted to touch base and let everyone know I was alive after this crazy weekend!

After the concert, we walked down to the covered pavilion area in Louisville where all of the bars are located. I am NOT a bar girl. I do NOT stay out late. Or drink, for that matter. But, having fun was the goal, and it was vacation, after all. So, we made our way into Howl At The Moon, a dueling piano bar where I sat perched on a barstool for over 4 hours, laughing until I nearly cried… Oh my Lord that place was a riot. Those people can sing any and everything! We didn’t crawl in bed that night until nearly 3, which, sadly, put a damper on the touring the next day. We were scheduled to start out at the first distillery on the list, Four Roses, at 9am. Um, we were still snoozing at 9. And 10. But, we made it eventually, and then to Wild Turkey (Loving that new American Honey!), Woodford Reserve, and then finally, Heaven Hill.

From there we joined my cousin and his family for dinner at the Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown where we dined on Burgoo and Hot Browns, two staples of Kentucky Cuisine.bourbontrailheader

The touring started up again yesterday at Maker’s Mark (look, they welcomed me!) , quite possibly one of the most gorgeous factories I have ever seen. Personal bottles were dipped in the trademark red wax, and then we were off to lunch at Kurtz, again in Bardstown.

I’ll be delving into more of the festivities, with reviews, pictures, anecdotes as I get through everything! Right now, I need to rest…and get started working on recipes for these fantastic Kentucky Masterpieces to share with you:

Burgoo – a staple stew connected to Kentucky, filled with veggies and multiple meats.

Chocolate Bourbon Balls – there wasn’t a single place that wasn’t handing these bad boys out.

The Hot Brown – an open faced turkey and ham sandwich born at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, covered in enough cheese sauce to put you into a coma.

Derby Pie – a trademark dessert that is a staple in the Kentucky Derby festivities.

Have any of you tried any of these? Do you have a favorite? Have you visited the trail?

Obviously, I have. 6 distilleries, over 15 different Bourbons sampled. 3 days. But, my Bourbon Passport is complete, and later today, I am mailing that sucker off to get my free tee shirt.

As soon as I’m sober.

Have a great day, everyone, and thanks for checking in…there’s more to come, I promise!

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