My extended family was in town over the weekend for my older brother’s wedding. After Paul and his new bride Liz were off for their Chicago honeymoon, my responsibilities switched from best man to tour guide. After giving the family the option to either go to the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory or a bourbon distillery, my imbibing relatives voted unanimously for the latter.
We went to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY. This distillery is the oldest one in continuous use in America (it made “medicinal” whisky during prohibition) and produces some of the finest bourbons in Kentucky, including the renowned Pappy Van Winkle line. Unlike many of the distilleries on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Buffalo Trace is family owned and many of the bourbons are still hand bottled.
We got a tour of the bottling facility and storage warehouse, as well as a fascinating explanation of how the aging process in the charred oak barrels gives bourbon its amber color and signature taste. Bourbon is an important part of Kentucky culture and tradition and it was very cool to get a glimpse of the process.