travel: louisville + bourbon trail kentucky
Dave and I wanted to take a low-key-ish road trip and since we’ve done most of the Midwest we decided to head a bit south and hit up the Bourbon Trail. As usual with our vacations, we ate practically everything in sight and had a few (okay, LOTS) of drinks along the way. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it – it’s a really beautiful area.
First off I have to give a woo-woo! to the hotel we stayed at in Louisville. 21C is a museum/hotel that was a totally unique experience. There are a ton of little art-surprises all over the hotel that make it super unique, quirky and right up our alley.
There is also a FABULOUS bar / restaurant called Proof right next to the hotel. We didn’t eat there but we had plenty of cocktails! Dave stuck to Bourbon, of course.
I had a delicious cocktail called the Bricks and Ivy, which was Vodka, St. Germain, honey, cucumber and lime. YUM.
Lots of fun art in there too.
Alright – onto the Bourbon Trail! First, we visited the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which is over 200 years old. We got the very best tour guide in Freddie, who is a 3rd generation employee and had such great stories to share from his grandfather and father. He’s also super funny and has a magic trick at the end of the tour during the tasting. When he tells you he’s going to pour whiskey in your hands, just roll with it!
The grounds are absolutely beautiful – lots of flowering trees and stunning old buildings that have been there since the 1800’s. This was probably my favorite tour just because it was so damn charming.
Next up – Jim Beam. The tour was really informative – especially since Beam has so many products, it was interesting to learn what made each unique. The tasting at the end of the tour was great because you get to sample 2 out of about 10 choices, including an experimental Rye they’re currently working on. The best part was that Dave got to watch his very own Knob Creek being born.
They clean out the glass bottles with Bourbon so it doesn’t lose any proof!
He looks too happy, doesn’t he?
Finally, we visited Maker’s Mark, which led me to a Bourbon I actually really dig (remember I’m a strict Bud Light gal). This tour was great because you got to watch everything in action – even the wax hand-dipping of every single bottle!
Ladies and Gents, I fell in love with Makers 46! I tend to give the sour-OMG-my-mouth-is-on-fire look after drinking bourbon, but not with this yummy tasting! I proudly proclaimed to Dave that I LOVE it, and that we should get some to take home – certainly this is some rare variety they make in small batches that we can’t get just anywhere. “Honey, it’s already on our bar at home,” Dave says. Oh, well shit. I guess I don’t know much about whiskey, but I do know I’ll be having one of these soon!
Last, but not least – the foodie portion of our trip! We had fantastic meals at Milkwood, Rye and Doc Crows. But some of our favorites were places we just stumbled upon that were a bit off the beaten path. We had a great brunch at the Silver Dollar. Yes I went to Kentucky and had a michelada and chilaquiles.
And the last place I want to mention is this awesome little Cafe called Please & Thank You. When they say they have the best chocolate chip cookie – they aint lying! And the brownie! DEAR LORD.
Kentucky, it was swell, but my liver hurts – so until next time!