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Kentucky-Day 2

September 15, 2009

The day started around mid morning.  I slept late after the previous days travel, events, and excitement which I felt was a well deserved treat.  But after I crawled out of bed, I got ready for the day.  My daughter would be in school until 3:00 so I had then to myself and to do a little sight seeing and maybe a tasting.

DSC02616My first stop was at Heaven Hill distilleries, the makers of some very popular names in bourbon like Evan Williams and Elijah Craig.  They are also partners in bottling,  importing and/or distribution of many other products such as Hypnotiq and Christian Brothers.  Heaven Hill is the home to The Bourbon Heritage Center, a   limestone building with white oak floors, and a copper roof that houses the history of bourbon.

DSC02612After doing a couple of tours in distilleries, you begin to hear very similar stories, including the how to’s of making and why bourbon is unique.  And though each distillery does thing a little different, the process is the same.  But if you listen and look closely through the tours (assuming you have a good guide like John at Heaven Hill), you may tidbit or two the you never knew.  Such was my day today….

In 1888, a man named Marvin Stone invented the paper straw.  Previous to this, straw were typically made of grass.  But Mr Stone was a Mint Julep drinker (bravo!), and created the paper straw.  Why?  So that the grass would not interfere with the flavor of his Julep!!  Cool, huh?

DSC02619After the tour there is usually a tasting, and  Heaven Hill is no exception.  The group I was with was sampled to two of there premium products: Evan Williams Single Barrel, the only vinted bourbon ( this one was a 1999), and Elijah Craig 18 year Old.  Both are amazing!

Unfortunately, sleeping late did not allow time to do much more before I picked up Savannah.  But I had a little time to kill, so I played tourist walking the street of downtown Bardstown and looked at the window displays each sponsored by a bourbon brand in the shops set up to celebrate the Bourbon Festival.

DSC02638Time came to get Vannie.  Our evening together was typically Daddy/Daughter stuff, but ended at Nelson Park with the kick off party for the festival wich included a couple of Bouncy Houses and a Balloon Glow.  Well done!!

After I took a very tired young girl home, I decided to hit the Old Talbot Tavern for a night cap. The Old Talbot Tavern is right in the heart of Bardstwon and is rated as one of the top 10 bourbon bars in the US (as it should be considering where they are!).   I enagaed myself into a conversation with a couple who was doing a tasting flight of Bourbons.  The Tavern carries about 27 bourbons and for $25 you can sample any 5 on their list.  These are not tasters either: they are full shots!! 

Then I met  Charlene, a member of the Order of Colonels, and a fellow traveler Phillip, whom Charlene had met at the visitor’s Center earlier that day, and took him on a guided tour of the town. When Charlene found out I lived in Santa Fe, she told an amazing story of her experiences in The City Different and of dancing at Fiestas some years ago.  She regaled her story with a childlike flair and energy that reminded me of my deep love of New Mexico.  And as I walked back to my hotel I realized I was a little homesick.  Salud, Lady Charlene.


 Bourbon Barrel Family

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