If you’re a bourbon connoisseur, a visit to Kentucky Bourbon Trail surely must be on your Bucket List.
Approximately 95 percent of the world’s bourbon whiskey is distilled and aged in Kentucky. Approximately 100 percent of that is treasured the world over. Kentucky’s bourbons range from the broadly available to the highly refined luxury treat.
Legend claims that a Kentucky Baptist minister, Rev. Elijah Craig of Bourbon County, first aged whiskey distilled from corn in charred oak casks. He then sent his casks from Louisville down the river to New Orleans. The long trip to the Big Easy caused the whiskey to take on a reddish color from the oak, and a special flavor as well.
The dates of Rev. Craig’s shipped distillation appear to be lost to history. A more hard and fast date is 1783, when Evan Williams is thought to have been the first commercial distiller in Louisville. Others quickly followed – to the point that one block of Louisville’s Main Street had so many distillers that it became known as “Whiskey Row.”
Today bourbon fans can follow the “bourbon trail” and visit six Kentucky distilleries. Using Louisville as their base, bourbon fans can make day trips to Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.
At night, they can enjoy the “Urban Bourbon Trail” at some of the world’s best bourbon bars in Louisville. Particularly intrepid fans can get Bourbon Passports, which can be stamped at each distillery and each bar – with completed passports earning their holders premium giveaways. Local restaurants also offer bourbon-flavored entrees to further tease the palate.
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