Our day was packed from front end to back end. That's the way I like 'em. I hope my guys feel the same, but if they don't, they go with it with minimal complaint!
Last night we went to bed eager to get today started with our very first tour and tasting on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Now, we didn't go to any old distillery, we started out with the best of the best — Buffalo Trace in Frankfort! It's been around these parts since the 1780s, and is the oldest working distillery in the United States.
Hubby Bill and I have got to hand it to Ryan in setting up the day. He did his homework, or should I say, worked his magic on securing "free" top-of-the-hour (first tour of the day) tickets at Buffalo Trace, then secured another set of tickets to another distillery, Woodford Reserve (sponsor of the Kentucky Derby), before driving the rest of the day to make it to St. Louis, MO, for an evening MLB Cardinals game. No moss is growing under our feet in the past couple o' days.
Did you know that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon? That's one of many fun facts learned from our first tour with guide, Daryl, who was on his game singing the praises of bourbon (of course), and the process of the oak barrels that makes carmel-colored whiskey bourbon a worldwide favorite. In order for whiskey to be called bourbon, it HAS to be made in the USA (a law passed in Congress after prohibition states the fact), and it HAS to made with at least 51% of corn, rye, wheat, or malt barley.
Last fact - one oak barrel starts out with 53 gallons of bourbon, but as they age, the contents evaporate. The barrels never move once they are on the shelf until they are ready to bottle which could be 5 years, 7 years, 15 years, or over 20 years! Prices of bottles will reflect on the age of the bourbon (as wine frequently does too).
Our gang has been to wineries and brewery tours but never did anything with hard liquor until today. Drinkers, or not (we aren't-or not much), it never mattered to anyone there. The two places we went to were glad to show off their distilleries with people from all over the globe. As a matter of fact, 95% of all bourbon is made in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The state is not all about thoroughbred horses, the Derby, or Kentucky Basketball.
With great memories of our morning and afternoon fresh in our minds with the tours and tastings, we strapped ourselves back into the Accord to continue our trek West. The drive to St. Louis was a little under 5 hours. Our goal was to get to the hotel to check in before heading to the game. Thankfully, it all worked like clockwork.
The night was a gorgeous one for baseball, compliments of a beautiful sunset with the light casting its rays just right on the Arch and surrounding area. The game was not too shabby either. The home team, Cardinals, beat the Miami Marlins 5-3.
Bourbon and Baseball, baby!