Today after we dropped our truck off at the local Ford dealer (it should be fixed by tomorrow!) and got our rental car for five dollars a day, we headed off to check out the Buffalo Trace Distillery. We went on the distillery tour and it was interesting and informative.
Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in Kentucky (since 1787). They were one of only four distilleries in the whole country allowed to continue operating during Prohibition (bottling for medicinal purposes only–you could get one pint every 10 days as long as you had a prescription from your doctor).
Here on one of the warehouses you can see a little of the sooty black fungus that's been prevalent in the news lately:
It's called Baudoinia, and it's a newly-discovered fungus that germinates on ethanol, the colorless alcohol that evaporates during whiskey fermentation. The mold has found prime breeding ground in parts of Kentucky, especially in areas surrounding aging warehouses.
That shallow cutout down the middle of the warehouse floor here is used for moving/rolling the barrels. The barrels weigh about 530 pounds each, and as our tour guide pointed out: "It takes a pretty good Bubba to move one o'them barrels."
Heading into the bottling building:
Bottling Blanton's single barrel bourbon:
They fill six at a time:
There are actually 8 different racehorse stoppers (one for each letter of B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S). Hm. Okay so maybe there are twice as many Ns. The bottle we bought has an N on it. Anyway, the horses are all in various stages of racing postures, with the second N crossing the finish line, and the S looking victorious after a win. Our N horse looks to be crossing the finishing line.
These tracks are all over the whole place…used for rolling barrels from one place to another:
Oh, and check out this guy's jacket (just a guy on the tour with us):
We ended the tour with a tasting (of course) and brought home a bottle of the Blanton's and a bottle of the Eagle Rare … both single barrel bourbons. I think we're planning to also visit Woodford (my personal favorite) and Four Roses. Should be fun!