It is Monday and that means another distillery tour report. This one is from last week on a Tuesday, June 21st because we were busy Monday, me reading a good book and Kat working. It’s hard to believe we were only in Kentucky last week, we have gone through Illinois and Indiana already and are now camped in St. Louis, Missouri. Anyway, Buffalo Trace distillery is our last distillery to talk about until we get the Anheuser Busch tour in St Louis, MO. Since we are out of Kentucky, we move onto beer and next will be wineries. I am starting to see a pattern in our travel activities.
The tour was said to be really good and FREE! It was in Frankfort,Kentucky, the capitol of Kentucky.
It was about an hour away from our campsite at General Butler. That drive is one spot where I got my impression of Kentucky roads from. Very small, windy and overgrown roads.
My favorite part of the drive was the man walking on street in a cutoff tshirt, shorts and a very big hand gun strapped to his elastic waistband. We had to both look twice and confirm that!
We saw a lot of signs on barns as we drove to the distillery and I never checked out why, but I saw a sign later that stated it was a family farm sign? I have yet to google that to know what that was about. Before the tour we had decided to go to the center of Frankfort to check out the capitol building since it was the capital of Kentucky.
The tour was pretty short and we didn’t see too much of fermenting rooms, stills, etc. like we did in past tours, but it was free, so oh well. We had learned a lot about the bourbon industry and common distitllery laws already. Those were the ABC’s of Bourbon. A=no additives other than water and yeast (government regulated), B=Barrels are white oak and charred, used only one time (then sold), C= Corn, Bourbon has to be 51% or more corn. We did get to see the Blanton Bourbon being bottled, which was a very manual process. We had just tasted it last weekend with our friend Josh before the Churchill downs tour and it was super delicious, so I had a little more bit of appreciation.
All in all the tour was short and reiterated a lot of what we had already learned, but we did learn that:
- Kentucky has a population of about 4 million people and in Kentucky there are more than double the number of barrels of whiskey.
- Buffalo Trace got its name from the trace/trail the buffalo made to the Kentucky river because the buffalo could cross the river there since it was low and the people followed.
- Buffalo Trace never had to shut down during prohibition, Its age makes it a national monument.
- They got around the rules of prohibition by calling the bourbon “medicine”. Dr’s could prescribe it for certain illnesses. You could get 3 pints a month. I would compare this to a medical marijuana prescription.
- Most of the buildings were brick and not wood and tin as we had seen in the others. The windows were all opened though to let the natural air and temperatures in the building. They are soon opening their own tin buildings.
- OFC- old fat cow is not what this stands for-(Kat’s guess).. it really means old fire copper because of the process and materials that removes impurities and does not leave a flavor of metal.
- Again, the limestone underground water was mentioned as a key ingredient to fantastic Bourbon.
- The barrels are all made in Lebanon, KY and Lebanon, MO. The same company as Jim Beam.
- Another beautiful campus.
We didn’t finish the buorbon trail. There were a few we would liked to have visited, but that means we have more reason to return to Kentucky. Now that we are gone from Kentucky and have moved into St. louis, Missouri our next stop will obviously be Anheuser Busch.