Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bourbon Trail Trip

I was a little nervous going into the trip because I had planned the majority of it and we were mixing our social circles as Todd invited his friends and I invited some of mine. All in all, it was a very fun weekend and I know everyone had a great time.

Todd & I, along with a couple of my friends, left early Saturday morning from Columbus, Ohio to head down to Lexington, Kentucky to begin our adventure on the Bourbon Trail. We met up with some other friends and our party bus at the Hyatt, where we would be staying the night. We originally had 23 people going on Todd's birthday trip but due to some circumstances out of anyone's control, we only ended up with 15.

After getting enough booze on the bus for at least 30 people (and there were only 15 of us), our bus driver took us to our first Bourbon distillery of the day, Four Roses. From Lexington, it was only about a half hour drive, but that was already enough time for some people to get a few drinks in them. Did I mention it was only 10:00 AM? We arrived just in time for a tour followed by a tasting. Out of the four distilleries we visited over the weekend, Four Roses had the best samples in terms of quantity, which all the guys on the trip loved. They gave out 3 tastings of substantial size. The tour started with a boring 15 minute video followed by a quick tour of the facility. It was a good way to begin our trip since we weren't going to do tours at all the distilleries.

Todd & I on the bus to Four Roses

Outside of Four Roses
Todd with his first taste of bourbon

With my first taste of bourbon....
...and clearly I wasn't drinking much bourbon the rest of the weekend, I definitely didn't acquire a taste for it during the trip
3 of my bridesmaids came along with their significant others (Megs, me, Lynn, and Emily)

All the girls on the trip
Todd & I on the bourbon barrel swing....I loved this thing!
Shane & Todd trying on Four Roses bowties

After a quick stop at Wendy's for lunch, we arrived at Maker's Mark. We originally didn't have a tour scheduled here but got there just in time for one so we decided to go on another one. My favorite part of Maker's Mark was that you were able to purchase a bottle of bourbon and then dip it in their signature red wax yourself. I think all the guys did this. It was really cool to watch & ended up being a nice souvenir....that will later be drank.

Maker's Mark

Todd ended up with double the samples at every place because I would give him mine
Bourbon balls....delicious
Todd in his gear getting ready to dip his bottle
There he goes!
Todd's bottle....he decided to go for the "slam dunk" and dip the entire bottle

Our last stop of the day before driving back to Lexington was to Jim Beam. Since we only had less than an hour before it closed for the day, we were only able to do a tasting here but after 2 tours, I think everyone was fine with that. I think this was my least favorite distillery we went to. I expected a lot more since it was Jim Beam but the samples were small and in plastic cups. The highlight of the day though was Todd told them it was his birthday and got a hat to wear the rest of the day. Seriously, he wore it the rest of the day.

Jim Beam
Todd & his samples
Loving his new hat

Our party bus waiting for us outside Jim Beam
After about an hour and a half drive back to Lexington, everyone checked into the hotel and had about an hour of downtime. We met up around 8:00 PM to walk downtown for dinner at deSha's. They are known for their amazing cornbread and hot brown, an open faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a cheesy cream sauce.

Our group at dinner....I have no idea what half of the people are doing
Todd & our fried green tomatoes
Todd & his hot brown
Todd & I

By the time we were done with dinner, it was around 10:00 PM. Everyone was tired and had been drinking for about 12 hours straight at this point so we headed to a few local bars before calling it a night shortly after midnight.

On Sunday morning, we met up with some of the group for breakfast at the hotel. We had plans to head to one more distillery, Woodford Reserve, before driving back home. Unfortunately, only a few of us were still interested in the thought of bourbon so there were only 5 of us that stuck around. But let me tell you, the others missed out because Woodford Reserve was my favorite distillery. Despite the 90 minute tour, the place itself was gorgeous, the bourbon was very good (according to the guys), and you could even get your own bottle of bourbon engraved.

Woodford Reserve is a national historic landmark
Gorgeous place on a beautiful fall day
Where the bourbon is made
Woodford Reserve is the only distillery to use copper pots
Todd & I
Todd volunteered to have a glass of bourbon straight from the barrel
Too bad he didn't really get to drink all that though
Todd & I posing
Todd, Mark, Ryan, and Emily sampling some bourbon
Todd's bottle that he got engraved

We stopped for a quick dinner on our 3 hour drive home and arrived back in Columbus late on Sunday. Todd had a great time on the trip and we were glad that so many of our friends could join us to celebrate his 30th birthday.

All of the goodies we bought during the weekend


Anonymous said...

love this trip! and i love bourbon so i'd be doubly in love with this trip. todd looks reeeeeeeeally happy in the pictures with the samples hahah

bluemillion said...

Hope you get a chance to come back and take the free Kentucky Cooperage (bourbon barrel-making factory) tour! It's terrific. Maker's Mark is just outside Lebanon, Ky., which is also home of the Cooperage, right on Main Street. Great companion pieces for our wonderful distillery tour. Learn more at Come back during the Heart of Kentucky Holiday Festival Dec. 3-5 and take the candlelight tour of Maker's Mark. Glad you enjoyed the Bourbon Trail!