Ahh, good ol' Kentucky!
Unless you're from that part of the U.S., you probably haven't given much thought to visiting Kentucky. Home of the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger of course, but Kentucky is most notably famous for their smooth, sippable bourbon.
100% of the worlds bourbon is made in the U.S., infact it's our official national spirit. And 95% of it is made right here in Kentucky.
We spent a few days in Kentucky exploring bourbon country. And this is what we found:
We tasted a lot of it. Never enough to get buzzed with their 1/4 oz samples, but enough to distinguish the different aromas, flavors, and qualities. We even learned the Kentucky Chew, the proper way to sniff it and sip it.
First you part your lips and put your nose all the way in the glass. Inhale slowly through your mouth and nose. Then you sip. Then you sip, making sure to swish the smooth bourbon around your entire mouth. Thanks to Jim Beams late Master Distiller Booker Noe for this technique.
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Definitely our favorite part of passing through Kentucky was taking the tours of the distilleries. We learned the entire bourbon making process from start to finish, even getting to taste the yeast, see the bottling plant, and step inside a few of the barrel buildings.
For our final stop before continuing south to Tennessee, Nick and I stopped by the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey in Bardstown to brush up on our history.
The sheer amount of whiskey memorobilia was amazing. Empty and half-empty bottles from a century ago lined the cabinets. Plaques describing the humble beginnings of some of America's biggest brands were all over the walls.
We even learned more about prohibition and how it affected this region.
If you enjoy whiskey or Kentucky straight bourbon even a little bit, I can't recommend to you enough taking a tour through bourbon country.
There are dozens of distilleries, far too many to see them all. I suggest doing your research and deciding on a handful to visit. Our favorite tour was at Maker's Mark. It was quite a trek away from the cluster of other distilleries, but definitely worth it.