One of the 1,000 places in my 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List by Patricia Schultz is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. And today we started along the trail. There are 6 Bourbon Distilleries on the trail. We started with the 2 closest: Jim Beam and Heaven Hill. After brief tours, we did the only sensible thing to do: taste!
Here's a picture of Christi and I sitting and enjoying our Booker's at the Jim Beam tasting room--what a rough afternoon we were having! I also learned that like certain wines [champagne, chianti, etc.], there are specific things that makes a bourbon. First it has to be at least 51% corn. Additionally it has to be aged a minimum of 2 years in charred new white oak barrels. Nothing can be added at the time of bottling to enhance the flavor, sweetness, or color. 90% of bourbon comes from Kentucky. They have the limestone soil that allows for clean, crisp water that essential for making good bourbon and Kentucky is the only state allowed to put their name on the label.
I look forward to touring [and TASTING] at the other 4 distilleries: Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, & Buffalo Trace.