The fourth installment in my summer vacation recap is about our stops at Maker’s Mark, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace distilleries. You can read about the first stop in Cleveland, our first day in Kentucky, and our second day at Jim Beam via the links.
Our first stop at Maker’s Mark was a hike. It was about an hour drive to get there from our hotel, but we started with that one so we could work our way back through the other distilleries. Maker’s Mark was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1980, so as you tour the grounds you get a peek back in time.
Most of the distilleries were shutdown for summer so we got a unique look at the cypress fermentation tanks. Some of them have planks that are more than 200 years old.
Some of you may know that Maker’s Mark has a distinctive red wax seals on all of its bottles. This was trademarked in 2012 and no other liquor company can use the red wax seal on their bottles. We had the chance to tour the bottling area and see where the bottles are dipped.
As we were checking out the barrels we learned that they put special wood slats into the Maker’s 46 barrels to give it that extra oakey flavor.
We got to sample all of the different Maker’s Mark varieties in their special tasting room. I especially liked the Maker’s 46:
John and I had a lot of fun in the gift shop where we got to dip our own Maker’s bottles and take them home. They are so cool that I never want to open them!
After Maker’s Mark, we headed over to Four Roses Distillery. We didn’t make it in time for the tour, but they had a patio tasting going on so we signed up for that. I loved the name of Four Roses, which was named after a romance, you can read the full story here.
We had a little break after this stop and headed over to Wallace Station for a delicious lunch. It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. It was the perfect place to stop and right in between our distillery visits.
We had a little bit of time to kill as we had signed up for a ghost tour at Buffalo Trace Distillery. When we arrived the distillery was seemingly deserted, setting the stage for the tour.
Buffalo Trace is a National Historic Landmark dating back to 1792 when “The Old Taylor House” was built on the property and still stands today.
Buffalo Trace was featured on the TV show Ghost Hunters and is said to be haunted by the ghost of Col. Blanton. On our tour we heard lots of stories and got to visit the haunted sites as well as the Stony Point Mansion where Col. Blanton died in 1959.
We didn’t see any ghosts, but we did have a complimentary tasting of some of the Buffalo Trace products and I have to take a second and rave about the Bourbon Cream! This stuff is amazing…it puts Bailey’s to shame…but you can only get it at the distillery…so I bought two!
Have you been to the Bourbon Trail? What were your favorites?
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