“I can’t tell you how or where I’m heading now, But, the winding of the road is steadying my soul.” – Ashley Monroe
Miles traveled: 93.2
This morning I walked around downtown Bardstown, stopped in a couple of local shops, and took in the scenery. It was simply too perfect of a day outside, so I couldn’t pass up a chance to soak up the sun in the 75 degree weather….in August! After walking a few miles, I hopped back in the Jeep and made my way down to Maker’s Mark Distillery. Yes, more bourbon. Several folks along the way said it was a must-do because of the property. And they were correct – beautiful place, old but well kept buildings, and well maintained grounds. Really neat spot. I took the tour, learned a bit more additional information to add to yesterday’s info, and took the world’s tiniest sips of the 4 kinds of bourbon. Bourbon is not my favorite thing (as my dad sighs with relief) – it smells better than it tastes….candles anyone?? But it has been interesting to learn about the process – it’s pretty complex!
What makes Makers Mark unique? Well, compared to the two places I checked out yesterday, Maker’s uses only one recipe. So they don’t have a wide variety of products. All of their bottles are still hand dipped and they hand rotate the barrels after three years of aging up at the top of the warehouse. They start their barrels at the top, where the temperatures are more extreme and less consistent, before rotating them down to the bottom. Thought that was interesting. And I’d hate to be the poor person who has to hand rotate a barrel that has 50+ gallons of liquid in it. I hope he/she has workers comp insurance!
The one other piece of information I scooped up today is why Kentucky. Why is Kentucky the bourbon center of the world? Water. Yep, water. It’s really that simple. Kentucky has quite a bit of limestone, which naturally filters the water. As a result, the water in Kentucky is very low in iron and rich in calcium. Apparently this is a good thing when it comes to bourbon and whiskey. Who knew? Water.
Next, I made my way up highway 62, which is known for being one of the most beautiful drives in Kentucky. I entered Woodford County and the town of Versailles. This is horse country. And it is stunning. I drove around with no agenda, slowly, and checked out all the huge horse farms – it’s an absolute shame that they all had “no visitors” signs. But I get it. These are world-class horses. There were several horses up along the fence line, so I was able to see them up close – just beautiful animals.
After stalking several horses (I saw no signage saying I couldn’t), I made my way into Lexington, KY to hit a couple of stops recommended by a local resident that I went to high school with! Marion – one of the most hilarious people I have ever met – gave me a couple of suggestions the other day, so I went to check them out. Stopping first at Country Boy Brewery and then I enjoyed some of the best barbeque I have ever consumed at Red State BBQ. Marion warned me that the place looked a little sketch, and she was correct. But the food was amazing. I had pulled chicken and the double smoked brisket. I’m not normally a huge brisket fan, but oh my lordy was this brisket tasty. It was melt in your mouth tender. So good. They also had 6 different BBQ sauces – one from every region essentially – and yes, I sampled them all! I would venture to say that this BBQ was better than what I had in Memphis. Awesome recommendation!
I was stuffed. So I headed to the hotel to call it a day. Tomorrow I am heading to Nashville in the afternoon to close out my road trip – could not be more excited about my next stop! Side bar – i do have more pictures and will update this post tomorrow (whoops – forgot the card again!).
Until next time…