Sunday, February 15, 2009

KY Bourbon Distilleries

Yesterday Jeff and I took a trip to the Wild Turkey and Four Roses distilleries here in KY. Both of those are in Lawrenceburg. Honestly, to begin with I was not too excited about the trip. After going though I am glad we did, because it was very interesting. And it was free!
The Wild Turkey distillery was pretty nice. They had some valentine's snacks made with bourbon of course in the gift shop, for everyone to sample. Our tour was a fairly large group and our guide was nice, but was not that knowledgable about the place. There were several places on the tour that are closed on the weekends, that had we gone during the week, we would have been able to see. Some of the things we could see on the tour looked pretty run down. I bought a bottle of their honey liqueour to try, which I have not tried yet. Overall, it was a good time though.
We decide on our way back to the Bluegrass Parkway, to stop by the Four Roses distilleries. It is a very pretty building with a Spanish look to it. Legend has it, the reason it is called 4 Roses is that the founder was in love with a Southern Belle, and asked her to marry him. She said that she would respond that night at a ball. If she was wearing a rose the answer would be yes. That night he attended the ball, and she showed up wearing a corsage of four roses. Hence the name.
Overall, we thought that the 4 Roses distillery was a better tour. We were able to take pictures inside there, as long as we did not use a flash. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all of our questions. While on the tour they let everyone sample the 130 proof and 140 proof "white dog." The distilled products, before they went into the barrels, which are what give the bourbon its flavor and color. Taste also depends on how long it is aged. After the tour we were able to sample four of their different types of bourbon. I am not a huge bourbon fan so I took small sips and gave the rest to Jeff, except for the last which was their single barrel. It is VERY smooth and very nice tasting, for a bourbon!

Here are a few pics from our day yesterday:

Me in front of the Wild Turkey sign.

Jeff and the sign.

The outside of the Four Roses distillery.

The fermenting process. Each vat is 30,ooo gallons.

Some of the vats at Four Roses are made out of wood, and some are stainless stell. The vats at Wild Turkey are all stainless steel.

A little bit further along in the fermenting process, it forms a crust.

After fementing, the mash gets pumped into this still, which is about 3 stories high.

Once it goes through the still, it goes through one of these and it is 130 proof. Then it goes through the other and is 140 proof. The things like these are what we got to taste the "moonshine" from.

Me sitting on an old barrel that had been made into a swing.

Jeff in the swing.

Jeff and the stack of barrels.

If you get the chance I highly recommend going.


Melinda Earlywine said...

Hi Jeff and Natalie: Glad you enjoyed your tours. Lawrenceburg has more to offer than bourbon also. It is a nice quaint town where I have lived most of my 52 years. We have a very good education system and home values are good here also, especially compared to surrounding counties. Come visit again soon.

Melinda Earlywine
Exit Realty Crutcher