Back in February… yes, you read that correctly, February… I jumped on an airplane…yes, an actual airplane, remember those?… and landed in Louisville, Kentucky. Camera gear in hand and taste buds excited- I was ready for the annual Bourbon Classic.
This was my first time attending the bourbon + culinary event and I had a blast with my whiskey drinking comrades. I was invited to attend the media bus tour, which was a wonderful treat. We visited Buffalo Trace distillery where we received the “hard hat” tour and some bonus views/info on how Buffalo Trace is growing (aka taking over the bourbon world lol). After the tour, I sat down with four amazing bourbons to try and some wonderful bites that were a nice pairing.
(1) Sazerac Rye 18 | Over 15 Years of Winning | 90 Proof. (2) Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye | 2020 Third Finest Whiskey in the World | 128.8 Proof. (3) E.H. Taylor Single Barrel | No Age Statement Winner | 100 Proof. (4) William Larue Weller | 2020 Second Finest Whiskey in the World | 127.5 Proof. From my “research” the last bourbon listed there is the most expensive thing my lips have tasted. (And they enjoyed it!) All to say, the team over at Bourbon Classic spoiled us and it was a wonderful treat. Thank you for inviting me!
We also visited Bulleit’s new tasting room and took a very educational tour. I found it interesting how Bulleit came up with its glass bottle and label choices and the design ideas behind it. Bulleit’s bourbon tasting is very tantalizing. They walk you through an immersive tasting that touches on all the senses… sight, sound, smell, and taste. Four different bourbons that relate to the four different seasons. Colors and music change according to what you are sipping on. Super cool.
As part of Saturday’s Taste event, I also traveled with guests to a few distilleries. Apparently, Michter’s does not have a lot of tours at the Shively location. We were able to witness the science behind Michter’s wonderful bourbon. There were spots along the tour that I was not allowed to take photos… top secret type of stuff. I thought the best part of the tour was tasting their bourbon that did not go through their famous chill-filtration vs. bourbon that did. The difference is outstanding. Very cool (literally). After Michter’s we headed over to Peerless and learned all about their history, finishing, of course, with a bourbon tasting.
On my own time, I drove out to Maker’s Mark‘s beautiful estate. I really enjoyed their tour and tasting as well. You end with a walkway made by Chihuly, it doesn’t get much better than that. You won’t see any Maker’s Mark photos… I was officially off the clock and wanted to just enjoy the day without a camera around my neck. Below are some photos I took from all the other tours. I had a blast in Kentucky… if you’re a whiskey drinker- go! Well, as soon as COVID allows you to.