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Kentucky Wrap Up: Rain Vodka

Up on the column of the Rain Vodka still.

I thought I would post a final wrap up regarding my recent trip to Kentucky. I know everyone out there has been clicking "refresh" waiting for the next posts, so I figured a nice conclusion was probably in order. I also wanted to say a few words about another product I brought back home with me from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

It's one thing to take a long weekend and go for a drive. It's something else to set a destination that is 4 states away and takes a full 24 hours to get there and back. Yet, despite the long time spent behind the wheel, Louisville is definitely within reach by car from the Twin Cities. I know the area has a lot more to offer visitors than we had time to see but we focused on the Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Kentucky Bourbon - Woodford Reserve

Although the basic steps in the distillation process are common, one theme that finally became obvious about Kentucky is the serendipity of converging resources. First and foremost is the land itself. Limestone is everywhere, but in Kentucky, it's just under the topsoil. In addition, the rock here is free from iron, making it the perfect filter for natural spring water. The fact that it's so close to the surface makes this water relatively easy to use. From a legal perspective, bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S., but economically, it makes more sense to bring other ingredients to the water source. Second, Kentucky enjoys fertile soil which, in addition to supporting the native bluegrass, also plays an important role supporting local agriculture—and as we know, making bourbon requires lots of grain, including corn, wheat, rye and barley. Kentucky also has the greatest length of navigable waterways in the lower

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Day 2 on the Trail: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Although it's not officially on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, I was probably more excited to visit the Buffalo Trace Distillery than any other. Buffalo Trace has won more awards for their whiskey products than any other distillery in the world. We traveled north to Kentucky's capital, Frankfort to reach the Trace which is situated on 118 acres bordered by limestone cliffs and conveniently positioned against the Kentucky River. Named for this site which was once a migration path for wild buffalo, a distillery in some form or another has existed here since before 1773. It's first official name was Old Fire Copper Distillery, and the original distillation permit still reads O.F.C., as this permit has never been reissued. That's because the distillery has never missed a year of legal whiskey production, even during prohibition. Buffalo Trace was allowed to make whiskey for "medicinal purposes" which required a prescription from

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Kentucky - Day 1 on the Trail: Making Bourbon

Whiskey Creek at Maker's Mark Distillery

Our first day on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® started with a drive through Bardstown which is south of Louisville. Although we'd spend the evening in Bardstown, we drove straight on to Loretto for a tour of the Maker's Mark Distillery. Along the way we passed Jim Beam and Heaven Hill. I had heard good things about the Maker's Mark tour, and since it was somewhat off the beaten path, we decided it might work best to start there and make our way back to Bardstown in the afternoon.

Our arrival was timed perfectly and we started a tour of the grounds, crossing Whiskey Creek to visit each building in turn. Along the creek stands one of the oldest liquor sales buildings called the Quart House where customers used to come and fill up their quart jugs. Those days are gone, but the

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Kentucky - The Seelbach Hotel

The trip started with a pre-dawn drive and continued with some morning cruisin', followed by an afternoon on the road and finally ended with even more time behind the wheel. It's a long trip, but we managed it in one day, pulling into Louisville at about 6pm local time with the sun and southern warm weather to welcome us.

The Seelbach This first day was supposed to be dedicated to "getting there" but once the car was parked we definitely made the most of it. We arrived at the hotel and were greeted by valets, eager to help us with our bags. It's actually pretty quiet this time of the year in downtown Louisville—this is the calm before the storm. In about a month, it will start to pickup as everyone prepares for the onslaught of over 100,000 visitors on Derby Day.

As you can see from the image in

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Drink Of The Week: Seelbach

A few weeks ago I posted a teaser about our upcoming tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Well, it’s time to kickoff the bourbon trail series starting with a special Drink Of The Week and a perfect start to our exploration of Kentucky bourbon country. Click here to see all of the Kentucky bourbon posts on one page. New posts will be added over the next few days so you can see how the trip progressed. The first destination of our tour was the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY. The History Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Seelbach Hotel is a perfect example of gilded-era luxury and beauty which recently underwent a $12 million restoration. Its turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts Baroque style served as the backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s wedding in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Once a fellow resident

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Kentucky Teaser

Very soon, I'll be taking a road trip with my wife through bourbon country. As the preparations are coming together I thought I would write a short teaser to kickoff a series I'll be writing to document the experience.

Bourbon whiskey is the only true American spirit, and the heart of production lies within the state of Kentucky where legendary distillers have crafted the world's finest bourbons with over 200 years of tradition. Our goal is to explore the area, experience those traditions and enjoy the countryside. There's also plenty to see outside of the distilleries, so we hope to take in as much of the local culture as we can.

Since this is a road trip, the first leg of our journey will be the long drive to Louisville. It's about a twelve hour trip from the Twin Cities, but if we leave early enough, we should be

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