Thursday was a bit rainy, so we decided to just go and visit some more distilleries. There are seven major distilleries that are a part of the Bourbon Trail. You get a passport that lists each one, and when you visit the distillery, you get your passport stamped. Once you have visited all seven locations, then you can turn the passport in for a “free” t-shirt (not factoring in the cost of gas and admission fees for the tours!)
We did four distilleries on Thursday, but due to painfully slow internet service today at the park, I will only discuss the first two. It is simply taking forever to upload photos. I will do a follow-up post with the second ones, which also included a craft brewery. The park is again sold out, and they are gearing up for Halloween this weekend. We are stocked up on candy for the kids (did not find any boxes of Dots though…bummer!)
Our fist stop was Four Roses Bourbon, in Lawrenceburg, KY. The tour is free. The distillery, built in 1910, is of Spanish Mission-style architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places. They are the only distillery that uses single-story rack warehouses, so they do not have to rotate barrels and the barrels are not subject to temperature variances like the barrels in multi-story buildings are. Given the age of the distillery, it was very cramped for a large tour group, but nice to see they are still using equipment that is older than I am. We were able to sample a single barrel bottle, small batch bottle and the Four Roses Yellow, which they recommend for mixed drinks. The Yellow label was good.
Our second stop was at Wild Turkey, also in Lawrenceburg. Cost of their tour is $5.00. They are situated on over 900 acres. Wild Turkey recently created a new distillery and bottling plant in 2010. By volume, they produce the 2nd most whiskey in the world. It was a very industrial-feeling tour, unlike the other distilleries. Very clean and modern, most everything is now run by computers. We were able to sample several different types of their bourbon whiskeys. Personally, I did not like any of them. I thought they were too harsh tasting.
They have a big barrel in their fermentation room for photo ops. Even with all the new modern equipment, the distillery still shuts down in July and August, because they are not able to keep the temperature in this room below 90 degrees. The temperature of the yeast must stay under 90 degrees or it will spoil the whole batch. You can see the vats behind us.
Everything in the tour at Wild Turkey was behind glass, so the indoor pictures didn’t turn out too well. Every day the master distillers sample their product in this room. They can only sample for 15 minutes at a time, or else their taste buds get over saturated.
Look for part two of our day coming soon! Hope everyone has a great weekend! Back to work for us tomorrow!
Quote for the day: “He was a wise man who invented beer” – Plato