Since I had the day off on Monday between Christmas and New Year, I decided to take the short drive to Central Kentucky to visit my younger daughter in Georgetown. She and her husband asked me to come help with a few little household repairs. My good pal and neighbor, Rex, also had the day off so he accompanied me on the drive.
We were able to click through the job list my daughter left for us quickly with the three of us working together. We ran by Red State barbecue for an outstanding lunch then drove to Buffalo Trace for a tour and visit to the gift shop. Rex enjoyed good Bourbon but had never visited a distillery. Since Eagle Rare is his favorite spirit, we decided that Buffalo Trace would be a good first distillery for him to visit. Our guide, Coy, was interesting and knowledgeable about Buffalo Trace and other Bourbons. We were surprised at the size of our tour group. I can recall that my wife and I were the only ones in some of the tours there just a few years ago. With the current Bourbon fad, the huge increase in the number of visitors at distilleries shouldn’t be a surprise. Rex had a great time at the tour and especially the tasting. He had a chance to compare Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare side by side and even tasted the Wheatley Vodka. In the bottling room we saw that both lines were bottling Blanton’s Reserve although there was no Blanton available in the visitor center gift shop.
After we left the distillery, we drove past the Old Gran-Dad Distillery on 460 between Frankfort and Georgetown then on to Lexington. We were pleased that the Liquor Barn on Man o’War was well stocked with many of our favorite brands. I bought Eagle Rare (10), Elijah Craig (12), Larceny, John J. Bowman, and Bulleit Rye. Like at the distillery, we saw no Blanton’s on the shelves at Liquor Barn.
I am not a rye drinker but Bulleit is an exception for me. When I visited the Bulleit Distillery in May of 2014 as part of the Bourbon Affair, our host, Tom Bulleit told us that Bulleit Rye is essentially 100% rye I became even more skeptical. However, at Tom’s urging I sampled the Bulleit Rye and found it to be excellent. I still don’t care for Bourbon with a lot of rye in the mashbill for sipping straight but Bulleit Rye is a nice change and is a very pleasant drink on a cold winter evening.
I also picked up a couple of gifts for my lovely wife who allows me to take my trips to distilleries. She loves Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream. A root beer float made with this cream will make her day. When her friends come over, I can lighten the mood of the ladies with some shots of Bourbon cream. I also got a bottle of MBR Blackberry Moonshine for her. We visited MBR in Penbroke back in the spring and she really liked the intensity of the fruit moonshines there. MBR uses a pound of blackberries to make a 750 ml bottle of their Blackberry Moonshine. An after dinner sip of that is a nice was to end a meal at home.
We both enjoyed our outing to Buffalo Trace and to restock the liquor cabinet at Liquor Barn. My pal, Rex is anxious to visit another distillery soon and to see differences in column and pot stills as well as fermenting and storing variations from one brand to another.