In the darkness of the wee hours of Tuesday July 13th a group of intrepid travelers made their way to the Dane County Regional Airport to begin a journey that might just change the entire course of their lives. It might in fact change the entire course of human history. Probably not though. Most likely it will just allow them the opportunity to visit some good friends in the bourbon business, and have some good fun along the way.
Jerry, Adam, Josh, and Kali landed in Louisville at around 10am. We arrived during a drenching downpour. When we left Madison the sun was just coming up and the storms that were hitting Louisville made for something of bumpy ride coming in. We made it though. Baggage was collected, and rental car was aquired. Props to the Alamo Car Rental guy for being very helpful and nice.
Upon leaving the airport we hopped on the highway and headed for the heart of bourbon country...Bardstown! Jerry and Adam had made this trip about 5 years ago and things were starting to look familiar. The first stop upon arriving in Bardstown was a quick stop at the Heaven Hill Visitor Center to check times for a tour that we are planning on taking on Thursday.
Now it is time for lunch. Our lunch choice today is Mammy's right near the center of Bardstown. Our waitress at Mammy's was wearing a tshirt that said "Country Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'". The atmosphere was very friendly and the food was very good. Jerry had the Baby Hot Brown. A lunch sized version of a Kentucky classic. The Hot Brown contains: Texas Toast smothered with roasted turkey, country ham, parmesan cream sauce, cheddar cheese, baked in the oven until bubbly then topped with a slice of tomato and BACON! How dear friends can this be bad???
After lunch it was time for our first distillery visit. Today we were visiting our friend Hunter Chavanne at Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. We met Hunter when he came to Madison for " A Celebration of American Distilling" in February 2010. Hunter gave us a private tour of the family owned distillery. This distillery was built by the Willet family in 1935 at the end of Prohibition. You can still feel the rich history of this place as you look around. This small family run distillery produces knock out bourbons and has an exciting future. The bourbons that come out this distillery include Rowen's Creek, Noah's Mill, Pure Kentucky, Kentucky Vintage, Vintage Rye and Bourbon and Willet Small Batch.
After the tour we sat in a relaxed setting and shared a glass of Willet Family Reserve. We discussed the joys of our business and the joys of having customers who appreciate whiskey this good. Hunter remarked that his night at "A Celebration of American Distilling" at the Edgewater Hotel was so wonderful because those in attendance were so saavy about their whiskey.