A few weeks ago David and I made a road trip to Louisville. David collects bourbon and for his birthday in June I promised him we could go do the Bourbon Trail this fall. I’m not a fan of bourbon, but I was happy to be the designated driver while he got to do tastings and hunt for rare bottles.
Our first stop was Bardstown. We’d left Atlanta on Thursday afternoon and got to Bardstown around 2am. I slept in on Friday while David got up at 6am to go wait in line for a special release of some rare bourbons at Heaven Hill Distillery and Willett Distillery. After snagging a few bottles, he picked me up and we headed into town to grab some breakfast. After breakfast, we headed back to Willett so he could show it to me and to see if he could get some more bottles. The rick houses where they store the bourbon were creepy as hell. I thought they looked like an old prison or mental hospital.
After Willett, we headed to Heaven Hill for a tasting. Having a sip of one of David’s samples reminded me why I don’t drink bourbon.
After finishing up at Heaven Hill, we headed to Louisville and checked into our hotel before heading out to Buffalo Trace Distillery for a ghost tour. I love ghost tours and try to find one whenever we go out of town. Buffalo Trace is over 200 years old and produces some of the most well-known, and sought after bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle. The property is amazing with beautiful old brick rick houses. The ghost tour wasn’t scary, but we did get to go inside one of the rick houses at night, which was a bit creepy.
After the tour we got to have a tasting and visit their little museum. Luckily they had non-bourbon options for the tasting and I got to try a root beer, an Irish cream, and a vodka.
When planning the trip, we decided to go the same weekend that my alma mater, Florida State University, would be playing University of Louisville so we could go to the game. David traded a bottle of bourbon for our tickets, which turned out to be a great deal since the game was sold out and tickets were not cheap. Unfortunately, the game was a total embarrassment and we lost by a lot. Afterward, we went out to dinner and walked around Fourth Street where there were a lot of restaurants and fun bars.
On Sunday we went to brunch at The Silver Dollar, an amazing little spot that had been recommended to us by a bartender the night before. The atmosphere was great, the food was outstanding, and David got to try 2 bourbons he’s always wanted to try but hadn’t been able to find. I think our waiter told us they had something like 89 bourbons, many of which are rare.
After brunch we he headed back to Bardstown for our last night and did a tour of the Four Roses bottling plant. Then on Monday, before heading home, we did an early tour of Willett since we hadn’t had a chance to do a tour on Friday. I thought Willett had the best tour because the tour guide told us to stick our fingers in the fermenting mash and taste it (it was gross) and there were cats.
After finishing the tour and picking up some more bottles, we started the long drive home. The trip was a lot more fun and interesting than I had expected. David is already planning another trip so we can see the rest of the distilleries on the bourbon trail. He thinks he can bribe me to go in two years when FSU plays in Louisville again.