Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kentucky Bourbon and more



















We rounded out time in Frankfort Kentucky with several diverse visits. First, we toured the Buffalo Trace Distillery and learned about how they made their version of Kentucky sour mash. Unlike so many productions tours these days, pictures were allowed and we were able to mingle with the workers at several of the stops on the tour including walking among the bottling team as they filled the flasks for several types of bourbon, including their most expensive 20/25 year aged single barrel bourbon.

The most important part of the process is the aging in the wooden casks, where the bourbon takes on its taste. Under Kentucky law, bourbon cannot be called straight bourbon if it contains any colorings or flavorings that do not come naturally during the aging process. There are many details of the aging process that affects the final taste. While their many advanced techniques to produce the best results, the basic formula and experience of the staff are the critical factors in having exceptional bourbon. One of these is the tasting section, where those with exceptional palates ensure that the taste of each batch is up to standards. Our guide said he has been interviewing for one of those jobs for over ten years. So, I guess I do not have much of a chance to join the ranks of the team. In the barroom (visitor center) they have a photo of one team of these experts and just darn lucky folks.

At the end of the tour, you get to sample a number of the products, including some of the more expensive. Unfortunately, since we had to leave immediately after the happy hour, I had to pass, as the duty driver. Anneke, not a bourbon drinker, never the less stepped into the breach and had my share.

Next we visited the Kentucky History Center in the heart of historic Frankfort. Here the history of the state was followed from the earliest times up to and including the current era. It is an easy and pleasant tour with many interactive displays. I am always looking for WWII war posters that I have not seen before, and sure enough they had one. All in all it was a nice way to spend several hours learning about the history of Kentucky.

Finally, we stopped at the State Vietnam Memorial. It is designed in the form of a sundial. The shadow of the dial falls on the names of those who died, on the anniversary of their death. There are over 1100 names on the dial. It is an impressive sight.

9 comments:

Rick and Paulette said...

Another great tour and interesting photos to boot! What a job - tasting bourbon all day. I wonder how long a person lasts in a career like that?

John and Ellen said...

The Kentucky Bourbon tour seems both interesting from the process point of view as well as the history. I usually drive by these places but I will rethink this attitude now. Another great post!

John
relaxedrush.blogspot.com
connectedtothevinephotography.blogspot.com

Margie and Roger said...

What nice tours you had in Kentucky. That dial at the Veterans Memorial is very impressive. Enjoy your travels.

E Squared and Mui said...

Won't be applying for the taster job sine I don't drink the stuff. The design of the Vietnam Vets Memorial is so great; lots of thought went into it obviously.

Judy and Emma said...

Visit's to war memorials are such emotional journeys for me.

Corrie, Dan and Gumbo Ryan said...

funny, didn't you used to be a Scotch man? if you have the time drive over to Bardstown & check out the Whiskey Museum. very interesting, especially the part about CG efforts during Prohibition. - corrie & dan

Janie and John said...

Sounds like a full day. I would love to see the distillery. We've been to wineries and breweries but never a distillery.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Nice to have a wife that picks up your slack (or your drink sample). ;c)

What a touching idea on the VN memorial. Too many names...

Kevin and Ruth said...

We did a similar tour last fall in Bardstown, Kentucky at the Heaven Hills Bourbon Distillery. We enjoyed it very much and were able to part take in the tasting after as we rode our bikes there from the campground which was only a mile or less away. We also found the tour very interesting. Glad you enjoyed yourselves.

Kevin and Ruth
www.travelwithkevinandruth.com