Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday Ed and I celebrated 15 years of marriage.  It’s certainly been a wild ride!!

To celebrate, we did a couple of the Bourbon Trail distilleries.   Most Bourbon is made in Kentucky.  Kentucky has an abundance of White Oak Trees that are used to make the barrels.  The weather in Kentucky is ideal.  And the water in Kentucky is run naturally over limestone which removes a lot of the iron.  Great for making Bourbon. 

To be a true Bourbon, the recipe must be aged in a new chard white oak barrel.  It is stored in warehouses.  Each different distillery ages their Bourbon for different amounts of time. Makers Mark usually ages 6 years.  Heaven Hill ages longer…some 10 years and some for 12! Heaven Hill distributes both Evan Williams and Elijah Craig.

Once we finished the tours it was time for the good stuff…the tasting!!


This is what we had at Makers Mark…First was the white. Actually this is moonshine because it has not yet been aged in the oak barrel.  Second was the normal, third was aged longer and was bitter and the last was there 46.  The best. 

At Makers Mark there were several vats of mash being fermented.  They were at different stages and boy did they smell!! They would let you put your finger in to taste.  Ed and I said no thanks!

We then moved on to Heaven Hill in Bardstown.  They don’t actually make the Bourbon here but they do bottle it and they have many warehouses where the Bourbon is stored. We had quite the tour of a warehouse…called a Rickhouse because the rows of barrels are called “Ricks”. 

This is a Rickhouse.
Eight stories…It holds a LOT of Bourbon!

Each barrel is marked with the date it was filled.  The first number is the year. The second letter L is for December. (12th letter, 12th month) Last is the day.  This barrel was filled on December 7th, 2010. 

We were then off to another tasting.  We had some 10 year old Evan Williams and a 12 year old single barrel Elijah Craig.  We first took a sip straight and then another with a few drops of water.  Both were good, but I liked it more with the water.  It seemed smother to me.

We finished off our anniversary date with dinner at Longhorn Steak House.  We have put some miles on our car this week, first with the trip to Louisville and then yesterday on our tour.   Not sure if we will do any of the other Bourbon Trail distilleries.  There are several more…Jim Beam…Wild Turkey..Four Roses.  We had fun, but it seems once you have seen one they are all pretty much the same. 

Oh something else we learned…They recycle the used barrels by selling them to the people who make Scotch!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meeting up with old friends

One of the friends that Ed grew up with still lives in California.  But this week, he was driving back from Cape Cod and we drove to Louisville to meet up with them.  We met at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. It was a 2 hour one way trip for us, but it was worth it to see these two together again.

Jerry and Ed can’t remember when they met but they had a funny stories to tell and we all listened to them for 2 hours over lunch.  (I think if we had been there any longer they would have bought out the fish hooks to pull us out!!)  They had a singing group and would sing at local spots around Springfield Mass.  Stories about how—when Ed first went into the Navy and stationed in New London—Jerry had to drive to pick him up for a gig.  Stopping at a local hangout to pick up another member of the group, and getting there just in time to run down the aisle to the stage.  Everyone thought it was part of the act, but in fact they were running late!!!  That was just one of many we heard yesterday.

Ed and Jerry

It was a fun filled lunch and I am so thankful we were able to drive up to see them.