Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bourbon Trail Part 2

This week we wanted to finish up the rest of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We needed to visit 3 more distilleries and get our “Passport” stamped so we could earn our free t-shirt.

Tuesday was going to be the best weather wise so we decided to go then. The first distillery was about a 2 hour bike ride and the first tour started at 10:00am. We left at 7:00 am in the dark so we could stop for breakfast. The temperature varied between 37 and 41 degrees. We knew it would be a cold ride in the morning but a very nice ride in the afternoon. The temp reached 75 on the way home.

I am not going to go back into the history of bourbon or the distilling process. You can go back to my earlier post to read about it. Kentucky Bourbon Trail Part 1.

Our first stop was the Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles Ky. It is hidden between some very affluent horse farms.

The visitor center


This is a very small distiller. They only make one bourbon and only employ 53 people. They are the only ones that distill the mash 3 times. This raises the proof content.


They also had a unique way of getting the barrels from the fill operation to the rack house for storing. Since they only use one rack house, they have a barrel rail where they roll the barrels from one building to another.


After the tour we went in for some sampling. I think Max and I both agreed that this was our favorite Bourbon. It was really smooth.

We left Versailles and headed about 20 miles over to Lawrenceburg Ky to the Wild Turkey distillery.

Max riding the barrel turkey. Maybe I should limit her samples for the rest of the day!


They have just moved into a new facility and are in process of tearing down the old one. This is a huge operation and is very modern. They control everything from the grain farmers to the coopery that makes the barrels.



They go through a million pounds of corn every week.


Everything was stainless steel and state of the art, computer controlled.


Yeast Room


Fermentation Room


Barrel filling line


Max, still not liking Bourbon!


The last distillery was Four Roses. Another small distillery.  It is in a beautiful mission style facility.



The mash is heated with steam from below which releases the alcohol vapor into the condenser.



Pure “Moonshine” or “White Dog”


Roses all over the grounds


By the time we finished all six distilleries we determined that the processes were similar but the recipes were different which gave each of them their  unique taste.

If you have the time and are in central Kentucky, take the Bourbon Trail. It will take about two days visiting 3 distilleries each day. Don’t forget to get a passport at the first one you go to and get it stamped at each one. You can send it in to get a free “Bourbon Trail” t-shirt.

On the Amazon front we are still picking and are working 10 hours four days a week. We are pretty much exhausted by the time we get home. After Thanksgiving, peak season will start and we will probably go to 11 hour days and work 10 hours on one of our days off. I think we will become zombies when that period comes.

One good thing is, that at the end of next week we will be at our halfway point. I have a bad case of hitch itch and I am ready to head west. It does not help that I have been researching California and have made our reservations to get into the Thousand Trails resort in Palm Springs and then at Wilderness Lakes for February and the first part of March.

The campground here is full and everyone seems to like to socialize and get together every chance they can. Every Saturday there is a carry in for dinner at the clubhouse and this week will be the Halloween get together.

That’s it for now.

Enjoy Your Day!


Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

Great post. Glad to hear work is going well.

Mike and Terri said...

If you were a bit bleary eyed leaving so early in the AM for your tour, I'll bet that brisk bike ride woke you up in a hurry. :-)

The Bourbon Trail sounds interesting and will have to go on our list.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems to fly by, so it won't be long before you can scratch your hitch itch. Hang in there.