A Perfect Day On the Bourbon Trail
Written by: Eddie O’Daniel, Springhill Winery
Kentucky has long been known for its southern charm and traditions. America is quickly learning that Kentucky’s culture is seasoned with fine bourbon that has a long history of its own dating back to the days of George Washington, America’s first distiller. Today your favorite adventure will begin on the Bourbon Trail where you will travel the lush rolling hills of Kentucky, past farms framed in white fences and as horses graze leisurely in the fields. Slow down, relax, …as you explore the many distilleries in the heartland of Kentucky, discover how bourbon is made, and taste the deep flavors of Kentucky Bourbon.
The trail starts at Springhill Plantation Bed and Breakfast, right in the middle of Bourbon country. You wake up to hot brewed coffee and fresh Derby pecan muffins outside your door. Hurry down to a waiting plantation breakfast of bread pudding smothered in bourbon maple syrup, fresh sliced melons, honeyed ham and scrambled eggs with roasted sweet peppers, yes, …southern cheese grits with an attitude, hash browns, biscuits the size of cups with lots of sausage gravy for the topping. Go ahead and fill up, you’re going to be tasting bourbon all day long!
Hey, you’ve got to move, …the Heaven Hill Distilleries Trolley will be leaving in minutes. You don’t want to miss the tour around Bardstown to learn of all the hot spots in town. It’s a guided tour visiting many historical sites such as Jim Beam’s home. You’ll learn the history of My Ole Kentucky Home and Stephen Foster the rock star of the 1800’s, and the Talbott Tavern once a stage coach stop and Inn, now a great restaurant ‘n watering hole with evening entertainment, The Ole Stables across the street that’s now a great restaurant, …wow so much to choose from for dinner tonight. Don’t forget Mammy’s right on 3rd street, a quaint little restaurant that has a killer “Bourbon Burger”, just down from “Peacock on 3rd” where the ladies love to browse the new fashions before heading to Barbara’s interiors down Broadway. Oops, it’s almost 10:30 when the tour begins at Heaven Hill distillery. Luckily you’re on the Trolley, they’ll get you there on time!
The Heaven Hill Heritage Center was recently completed and the copper roof still glistens in the sunlight. You’ll have fun checking out the historical bourbon exhibits and browsing in the gift shop before the tour begins. The lights come on and you’ll walk into a tasting room that looks like a bourbon barrel. Sniff the amber elixirs for the woodiness and vanilla aromas, sip the layers of the bourbon flavors for the depth of caramel and barley. You’ll marvel as you tour through the bourbon warehouses and learn the age old traditions of the industry.
Next you’re traveling down the Bourbon Trail to Makers Mark in Loretto, another historical community that’s only 12 miles away through the rolling hills of farm land of Kentucky. As you approach the distillery, you’re transported back in time when life was slower and “living was easy” as the song goes. The picturesque clutter of buildings with red shutters and a stone walled creek winds beneath the huge shade trees and along the country road. You enter the visitor’s center and you recognize the smells of the oak bourbon barrels. You’ll discover how this small distillery grew to one of America’s premier bourbons with a worldwide reputation for quality that’s genuine Kentucky, and they still handcraft every batch. If fact, you can hand dip your own bottle of Makers Mark Bourbon in the trade mark red wax for your distinctive wax dripping. Don’t worry, they’ll teach you all about techniques of hand dipping. Your hand dipped bottles of Makers will be the envy of all you friends!
Hey it’s almost lunch. You had better get to Mammy’s for that “Bourbon Burger” before heading out to Jim Beam’s Distillery for the next tour on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. The Perfect Day is well on it’s way!