Thursday, July 15, 2010

Journey to Bourbon Country Day 3

Day 3 in Kentucky and it is hot. Really hot. It is really easy to see why these distilleries close down for a couple months each summer. It would not just be uncomfortable it would be dangerous to work under these conditions. We asked Jimmy Russell on Day 2 if the closure was more about the ability to make quality bourbon or more about the discomfort of the warmth in the distillery? He said it was some of both.

Despite the fact that these places are not up and running at the moment there is still a lot to see. We had on Day 3 a bit of a wide open schedule which allowed us the opportunity to check out a whole bunch of places in very short visits.

The day started in Frankfort with breakfast at the White Light Diner. This place came up in every search of the internet of places to eat in Frankfort. We later discovered that it is going to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network on July 26th. It is not hard to see why. This place has a lot of character and everyone who works here is a character. Rick the owner greeted us and found out where we were from and then told us good luck with the food because he was not cooking today. HA! He headed out and we were left in the capable hands of his wife. Now I wouldn't exactly call the service friendly, it was more like they were tolerating us being there but that is kind of the charm of this place. You can get a PBR for breakfast and there is an airhorn on the back counter I am assuming in case anyone gets out of line. We may need to get one of those at Star.
After breakfast we headed off to the Buffalo Trace distillery. We did not have a meeting set up here but we figured we should see as many places as we can on this trip. The thing that is stunning about Buffalo Trace is how BIG it is. There are rickhouses upon rickhouses (all made of brick by the way) just full of barrels of whiskey waiting to be ready for you and me.

Then it was back on the road for a trip to Woodford Reserve. If Buffalo Trace is big and industrial then Woodford is laid back and bucolic. There is just absolutely no way you can visit without taking some time to sit on the deck and look down the hill at this picturesque distillery So that is just what we did. Even in the heat a nice cold Ale 8 1 (A late one), the soda of Kentucky, was a great way to spend a little time.

Next on the distillery visit list was Heaven Hill and their Bourbon Heritage Center. This might be the best museum dedicated to an alcoholic spirit ever. The place offers all kinds tours and exhibits about whiskey and in some cases the history of Kentucky and America. Truly worth the visit if you ever find yourself in this part of the world.

Now we are in Louisville and dinner tonight is at Jack Frye's a favorite from our visit 5 years back. Then tomorrow and Saturday are all about LebowskiFest. A little reward for all the hard work we have been doing. Big fun will be had by all. If there are any pictures that are family friendly enough we will post them.

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