My father turned 80 years old back in June. Had a great big birthday bash with friends and family from all over the country. My brother, sister and I had the ultimate gift planned for him - an "all expense paid" (ie., we'd pick up the bill) trip to Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky to visit the finer distilleries in the state.
My Dad loves his bourbon - which likely explains my predilection for the stuff as well.
Coordinating schedules took a while, but we finally nailed the date, made reservations and made our collective ways to Bourbon Country.
Keeneland Farms and Racetrack - Amazing early morning walk around the grounds. Beautiful rolling hills and thoroughbreds.
Woodford Reserve Distillery - Great facility and staff. FINE sampling to be had in the tasting. And most amazing of all, I've been drinking bourbon WRONG for all these years!
Four Roses Distillery - Least impressive facility. DON'T DRINK THE YELLOW LABEL. Ever.
Amazing dinner at The Merrick Inn. So tasty!
KAD (Kentucky Artisanal Distilleries) - Makers of top-shelf Jefferson Reserve and a few others. Had a fantastic tour of the facility. Great tour guide gave us the lowdown on all the "goings-on" on location. Was impressive. Had a nice tasting afterwards and walked out with a limited edition bottle of Jefferson Reserve aged in RUM barrels! Can't wait to sample that awesomeness.
Bardstown - Amazing little town which bills itself as the home of bourbon. Spent some time walking about, enjoying the small town charm and favorable weather. Enjoyed a great lunch at the very, very historic Talbott Tavern where Jesse James and his gang had a shootout in 1868. Oh, yeah. Its haunted, too.
Finished the day at Jim Beam, the very largest of all the distilleries visited. Much more commercialized than the others but still enjoyable.
Dinner at the Butchertown Grocery for some remarkable high-end cuisine to finish up the trip.
All in all, a great trip worth repeating.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!