Due to my latest work assignment, I’ve found myself in Kentucky for a while. One of my colleagues sent out an Outlook meeting notice for Sunday afternoon. The meeting was slated to start at a Bojangles fast food restaurant in Frankfort and include a tour of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon distillery. I was a little late, and work intruded for much of the afternoon, but the effort was rewarded. The tour was great!
The tour cost $14.
It’s amazing how many different alcoholic beverages can be made with just a few simple ingredients and time.
The ingredients are mixed in this big container.
I was surprised the fermenting process took place in these giant wooden barrels with open tops. We were offered a taste of the wort.
The fermenting wort smelled awesome. The surface was bubbling with escaping carbon dioxide.
From there the mix went in to the distillers.
According to the tour, Woodford Reserve is distilled three times, which is one more distillation process than most other bourbon distilleries.
After it gets to the proper alcohol level, the mix goes into barrels.
Barrels are rolled downhill on tracks to the warehouse. Each barrel, when aged, is worth around $13,000.
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is aged in barrels for over six years. Some is moved into a new cask and aged again to make Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. We headed back up the hill to the visitor’s center for a tasting.
The chocolate really enhanced the flavor of the double casked bourbon. It was a nice end to a great tour. Total time was roughly an hour. New tours start every twenty minutes.
I titled this part 1 of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail because there are nine member distilleries and a visit to each earns a stamp in a special passport. Nine stamps and you’ve earned a commemorative t-shirt. I have a new goal. Details at www.kybourobontrail.com.
The list is:
Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller
Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
Four Roses Bourbon
Bourbon Heritage Center – Heaven Hill Distilleries
Bourbon Town Branch
Here’s a video I found from the Woodford Reserve marketing group explaining their bourbon.
7855 McCracken Pike
Versailles, KY 40383