Following a rainy Derby Day, J and I left our Old Kentucky Home and headed South back to Tennessee. But not before making a stop at a distillery, of course. Because really, what’s the point in being in Kentucky if you’re A) not going to the Derby or B) not going on the Bourbon Trail?
The relentless rain of Saturday followed us on our ride home Sunday and we actually debated about stopping somewhere. Last year, at Wild Turkey, the weather was beautiful and we were able to appreciate the outdoor aspects of the tour. On Sunday, though, the constant drizzle didn’t make getting out of the warm car very appealing. We relented and decided on Buffalo Trace Distillery as it was relatively close to the interstate and you know, I’m sort of from Buffalo and all.
So off we went, arriving about 10 minutes after the hour-long tour started. We joined everyone in a warehouse where they were showing a film about the history of the distillery and the surrounding area. Pretty interesting but also a tad on the cheesy side.
We were then escorted deeper into the warehouse where we were immediately engulfed in the pungent odor of bourbon laced oxygen. Warning: If you are even the slightest hungover, wandering around in air that is heavy with alcohol fumes will not do any good.
Barrel upon charred barrel lined 5 stories of a warehouse solely dedicated to the art of Buffalo Trace’s Bourbons. Various ages, chars, humidity levels, and temperatures are all factors in the outcome of the product. Honestly, I still think they all taste like jet fuel unless diluted so don’t ask me to explain the differences.
Either way, we sauntered out of the warehouse and into another much, much smaller one where the Buffalo Trace workers bottle a pretty special concoction of theirs: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. J particularly likes this stuff because, well I don’t really know why. I think he likes it simply because it’s expensive. I like it because they are bottled with these fun little horse stoppers on top.
There are 8 different stoppers, all representing a different stride of a horse race – spelling out BLANTONS when you’ve collected all of them. I’m a sucker for a good collection.
I’ve mentioned I don’t really care for the taste of straight bourbon but tried the original Buffalo Trace (after which I breathed fire) and Eagle Rare (which had a slightly less stunning taste). Also on the menu, Bourbon Cream – a mixture of Buffalo Trace and real cream similar to Bailey’s but so much better! For real. I drank that stuff straight up, then mixed it with some root beer for a magical adult root beer float. I don’t even like root beer floats, that’s how tasty this stuff was.
Alas, J insisted that I couldn’t stay there forever, gulping free booze like a hobo. So we headed back on the road. But not before finding out that Buffalo Trace IS NOT PART OF THE KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL. Epic fail. I just assumed… Alas, our passports will have to wait another year to be stamped. Or I’ll draw a buffalo in and no one will be the wiser.