Sunday, August 21, 2011

i {heart} my ol' kentucky home

It's been almost 4 years since Joey and I have taken any sort of "vacation" together..just the two of us.  We thought it was high time we got the heck out of dodge and had a weekend getaway.  My mom and dad so graciously offered to keep Kate for the weekend so Joey and I headed south toward Frankfort, Kentucky to begin our Bourbon Trail experience.  For those not familiar with Kentucky bourbon or the Bourbon Trail, there are 6 historic distilleries between Lexington and Louisville that offer public tours.  Only one tour costs $5 a guest, the rest of the tours are free and even offer free tastings :)  The first distillery you visit you receive a Bourbon Trail passport to get stamped at every distillery you visit.  Visit all six and you receive a free t-shirt.  It's pretty much impossible to hit all six in 1 day between tour times available and the driving times between distilleries.  It's much more enjoyable to take your time and try to hit about 3 a day.  I'm not much of a bourbon drinker myself, but the history of the distilleries and the beautiful countryside of Kentucky are enough to get me in the car to tag along (and.....the derby pie and free chocolate bourbon balls at most distilleries).  Joey, however, was in complete heaven.  The tour guides are absolutely charming, the buildings and scenery are breathtaking and the stories that these historic landmarks have to tell are awesome.  I've always loved living in Kentucky, but being on this tour and learning even more of Kentucky's rich heritage makes me love it even more!  I HIGHLY recommend that if you're ever in Kentucky you make it a point to check out the Bourbon Trail!

Here's a photo recap of our amazing weekend!  

Be sure to get your passport at the first distillery you visit and get it stamped at each stop!
First stop on our trip.
The master distiller, Jimmy, came out to take pictures. 
The resident CEO (critter exterminating operator) Samuel Pepper.
A true Kentucky lunch, ham sandwiches, bourbon infused mustard, Ale 8 and derby pie for desert!
Distiller's beer, a product made during fermentation.  This will get distilled into pure moonshine that will turn into bourbon after its stored in a new charred white oak barrel for at least 2 years.  The charred oak is how bourbon gets is flavor and color.
A barrel that has been stored for almost 14 years that will become a very, very expensive bourbon for a single barrel limited anniversary edition batch

Notice the black "gunk" on the buildings.  It's a type of black mold that grows on everything within a mile radius of the distillery.  Totally harmless from the alcohol evaporating from the barrels.  They call it angel's share.

The trees at Jim Beam were completely black from hundreds of years of angel's share. 
A little nerve wracking to be in a warehouse that stores 10 million pounds of bourbon overhead while on the tour.  9 stories high and this "x" brace is supposed to be the best support available.
Happy vacation to us!

1 comment:

Lynnette W said...

Hi Leslie! Loved going through your pics from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. My husband and I recently went there too. (Wild Turkey has always been our adult beverage of choice :-D) We drove our motorhome to the distilleries in the day and to nearby campgrounds at night. So fun. Here are some of our pictures: