Monday, September 26, 2016

The Right... Bourbon Trail Adventures


Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  I must say, I forgot how much I love spending time in the kitchen on Sundays.  Summer makes me much less motivated to meal prep and with all the traveling I've been doing lately, finding the time has been near impossible.  I finally had an afternoon in the kitchen yesterday and it was really exciting.  I also finally have a calm(er) week at work which means I can actually bring my lunch instead of eating out!


Speaking of all the traveling I've been doing, I'm finally catching my breath from all the weddings and finally have time to post more about our Bourbon Trail adventures from our trip to Lexington!  We had a goal to tackle three distilleries - Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve and Four Roses - and set out super early since it was a 1.5 hour drive to Maker's Mark.  I had no idea what to expect because I did minimal research leading up to the trip so luckily Jen did the Bourbon Trail planning for us.  We pulled up to Maker's and I was instantly drawn to the dark grey and red color scheme of all the buildings.  I also loved that it was nestled away in the hills and we later found out its because the water used in the distilling process comes straight from a lake nearby.  The whole distillery felt very homey and welcoming.  We learned a tremendous amount about the Maker's brand history and how the specific bourbon is made.  Unfortunately the plant was shut down for cleaning for the month so we didn't get to see the fermentation in action.  One of my favorite parts of the tour was in the rackhouse because you could literally smell the bourbon (call me crazy but bourbon is my liquor of choice and it smelled so amazing) - they call it "angels breath" and for good reason haha.

We were able to visit the bottling room where they were hand-dipping each bottle (yes, every bottle of Maker's Mark is hand dipped, making each seal unique).  During the tasting I discovered a new favorite: Maker's 46 - it was so much smoother than regular Maker's Mark!



At the end of the tour we went to the gift shop and dipped our own bottles of Maker's!  I went a little heavy on the wax on accident and it was more intimidating than I expected (notice my fully covered arms and apron - it's serious business)!





We then went to Woodford Reserve which was in the middle of the beautiful Kentucky horse farms and I could tell right off the bat it was a little more commercialized (definitely not in a bad way though).  The plant was fully operational so we were able to taste some of the sour mash in the fermentation room and it was definitely not as bad as I expected!  Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn't make it to Four Roses but on the way back to Lexington we had the crazy idea to hop out of the car and take some photos in the middle of the country road.  Such a fun adventure (minus a few fast-driving cars) and also such a long day!  We finished the night with beers at a local brewery and BBQ - more on those places to come!


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