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View Full Version : Heading to Louisville help me plan bourbon crawl



RWBadley
03-31-2009, 07:59
Hi Guys, The middle of May I'll be going to the Louisville area for a week. My plan is to go generally east from there out to the coast then back for the flight return to Reno. I'm pretty excited as I've never been east before. Anyway,

If you have any suggestions of a place or two I must hit on my adventure please let me know. I may be traveling with some libations and will certainly be thirsty- if anybody wants to meet and show me a favorite bourbon spot I'd be up for it.

I mostly kinda lurk here, but would post more if I had anything exciting to say- Tho I did just sell a bottle of Hirsch 20 on ebay to help finance this trip... cool huh? Tho I in hindsite might end up missing the bottle (and I'll see you in the support group when my last bottle is gone... ;-)

Cheers,
RW

mozilla
03-31-2009, 08:04
Sounds like a fun trip.

The new and old distilleries in Louisville are very interesting. Bardstown...just south of Louisville has some other great bourbon sites to see. On your way east from there...Lawrenceburg should be your next stop.

Have a great time.

squire
03-31-2009, 09:03
Hey RW, that's quite an itinerary, what is your East Coast destination?

RWBadley
03-31-2009, 09:33
Hey RW, that's quite an itinerary, what is your East Coast destination?

SO far, I fly into Louisville on Tue eve the 12th of May, then figure on Wed to hit Bardstown and Lawrenceburg or like that. Then over to wherever... The only two definites are Saturday & Sunday in the Lynchburg VA area for a bike ride, and then Tuesday back in Louisville for the return flight to Reno.

Maybe you can suggest a good east coast spot to land for a time? I really want to dip my feet in the other side of the ocean ;-) I've never seen the sunrise on water, only sunset...

bonneamie
03-31-2009, 09:58
I recently made my first visit to bourbon country and I thought our itinerary was perfect: Jim Beam in Shepherdsville (movie and self guided tour), Heaven Hill (movie and limited guided tour), then out into the boondocks for Makers Mark, no movie but full guided tour. Each place offered a tasting too.

squire
03-31-2009, 10:13
They're some great places but only if you're flying. Just for the sunrise and some good food Virginia Beach, Hilton Head or Tybee Island East of Savannah.

cowdery
03-31-2009, 19:17
Two words: "Bambi Walk."

Typically you start at the Phoenix Hill Tavern on Baxter Avenue, then proceed into the Highlands, stopping at every bar that seems interesting. Baxter turns into Bardstown Road. You just continue until you get to the Bambi Bar, where you have a burger. It can also be done in reverse.

RWBadley
03-31-2009, 19:35
Two words: "Bambi Walk."

Typically you start at the Phoenix Hill Tavern on Baxter Avenue, then proceed into the Highlands, stopping at every bar that seems interesting. Baxter turns into Bardstown Road. You just continue until you get to the Bambi Bar, where you have a burger. It can also be done in reverse.

This sounds veeery interesting. I'll have to look into it. It's in old town Louisville?

kickert
04-01-2009, 06:23
Having done most of the distillery tours in KY, I would suggest you do whatever it takes to get on the Buffalo Trace hard hat tour. By far the best tour I have been on and you see all aspects of the bottling process.

mobourbon
04-01-2009, 11:42
Having done most of the distillery tours in KY, I would suggest you do whatever it takes to get on the Buffalo Trace hard hat tour.



I agree with Kickert! You can also see the small batch and single bottle bottling hall, where everything is done by hand. Call ahead for the hard hat tour. They are now given at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm M-F. I'm a tour guide there, so ask for Fred. I'd like to meet you, if I'll be working the day you're there. We are in Frankfort.

cowdery
04-01-2009, 17:49
This sounds veeery interesting. I'll have to look into it. It's in old town Louisville?

Not Old Town, Highlands. Actually, it begins at Cave Hill Cemetery, which is just east of downtown.

RWBadley
04-01-2009, 20:38
Not Old Town, Highlands. Actually, it begins at Cave Hill Cemetery, which is just east of downtown.

East of downtown. Got it. I will be there May 12th eve. Anybody in for some fun?

RWBadley
04-01-2009, 21:04
I agree with Kickert! You can also see the small batch and single bottle bottling hall, where everything is done by hand. Call ahead for the hard hat tour. They are now given at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm M-F. I'm a tour guide there, so ask for Fred. I'd like to meet you, if I'll be working the day you're there. We are in Frankfort.

Frankfort... Fred, I will hope to see you either 10:30 or 1:30 either Wed or Thur. Thanks for the tip :grin:

wildcatdon
04-03-2009, 10:02
If you are going to dine in Louisville go to Bourbon's Bistro on Frankfort Ave...They have really good food and over 158 different bourbons. Check it out..Make sure you go to Bardstown and go to the Bourbon Heritage Center..It is a very good tour and tasting at the end..The Buffalo Trace tour is very good as mentioned above..I went in Dec..They have an excellent gift shop also..You should enjoy that..

RWBadley
04-03-2009, 13:11
If you are going to dine in Louisville go to Bourbon's Bistro on Frankfort Ave...They have really good food and over 158 different bourbons. Check it out..Make sure you go to Bardstown and go to the Bourbon Heritage Center..It is a very good tour and tasting at the end..The Buffalo Trace tour is very good as mentioned above..I went in Dec..They have an excellent gift shop also..You should enjoy that..

This sounds great! Now, the only thing I'm going to need is a cheapish motel nearby to the Bistro, and if anybody wants to meet me there to help drink 158 flavors of Bourbon- you know I don't think I can tackle that on my own in one night ...;-)

barturtle
04-03-2009, 16:36
The closest place I can think of that can be called cheap would be the Ramada on Zorn Ave.

RWBadley
04-03-2009, 21:35
The closest place I can think of that can be called cheap would be the Ramada on Zorn Ave.

Hmm, Looking at a map I found the Ramada, but am having a hard time figuring were the Bistro might be. If this Bar is downtown, then it looks as if there are about a million other bars there too. This could be a week long project in itself....

barturtle
04-03-2009, 21:43
Hmm, Looking at a map I found the Ramada, but am having a hard time figuring were the Bistro might be. If this Bar is downtown, then it looks as if there are about a million other bars there too. This could be a week long project in itself....


http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&ei=C-TWSaKXE52Ntgecl_zgDw&q=bourbons+bistro&ie=UTF8&ll=38.263254,-85.695763&spn=0.071031,0.11879&t=h&z=13

there are quite a few bars downtown, but for the most part you want to concern yourself with the ones on the Urban Bourbon Trail (http://www.justaddbourbon.com/planavisit/urbantrail.aspx), all of the rest of which are downtown, but the hotels in that area tend to be a bit pricier. Bourbon's Bistro is 2 miles out of downtown, but the rest are within walking distance of each other (even more so now that one of original bunch closed)...and yes you can hit all of them in one night, if you take a cab.

RWBadley
04-04-2009, 09:28
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&ei=C-TWSaKXE52Ntgecl_zgDw&q=bourbons+bistro&ie=UTF8&ll=38.263254,-85.695763&spn=0.071031,0.11879&t=h&z=13

there are quite a few bars downtown, but for the most part you want to concern yourself with the ones on the Urban Bourbon Trail (http://www.justaddbourbon.com/planavisit/urbantrail.aspx), all of the rest of which are downtown, but the hotels in that area tend to be a bit pricier. Bourbon's Bistro is 2 miles out of downtown, but the rest are within walking distance of each other (even more so now that one of original bunch closed)...and yes you can hit all of them in one night, if you take a cab.

Thanks for the info. I am looking forward to the adventure.

fricky
04-04-2009, 11:54
Bourbon Joe and I visit Louisville twice a year on our way to Bardstown for the bourbon sampler and the bourbon festival. We stay at what is now called Hotel Louisville at 120 West Broadway. Previously, it was a Holiday Inn. Within 2 blocks is a trolley stop that will take you down 4th street to the river. On 4th St. you can vist Jockey Silks bar in The Galt House, Maker's Mark bar, the Sellbach Bar, and the Brown Hotel. The visitor center is also on 4th where you can get your Bourbon Country Passport.

The Hotel Louisville has a free shuttle service. They will pick you up at the airport and will also take you to Bourbon's Bistro. If you give the driver a reasonable tip, he will waste no time returning to the Bistro to take you back to the hotel.

Another feature that we like is the outdoor covered lounge where one can smoke a cigar.
Doug

craigthom
04-05-2009, 18:29
This sounds veeery interesting. I'll have to look into it. It's in old town Louisville?

There are a couple of bars in Old Louisville worth visiting (for sure the Mag Bar), but I like Chuck's idea best for giving you a nice impression of the city.

The Urban Bourbon Trail bars are good if you want to spend your time drinking bourbon, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you get a broader Louisville experience in Phoenix Hill and the Highlands. It's worth walking down Bardstown Road during the day to visit the shops and watch the people. Especially on warm days.

RWBadley
04-05-2009, 19:06
There are a couple of bars in Old Louisville worth visiting (for sure the Mag Bar), but I like Chuck's idea best for giving you a nice impression of the city.

The Urban Bourbon Trail bars are good if you want to spend your time drinking bourbon, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you get a broader Louisville experience in Phoenix Hill and the Highlands. It's worth walking down Bardstown Road during the day to visit the shops and watch the people. Especially on warm days.

This is good to know. I've changed my schedule to allow more time in town. Not enough, I'm sure, but insted of spending one day I'll spend 2.5 days. Like I said earlier, I bet a week isn't enough, but I'll have to deal with it... If any of y'all can free up some time, meet me for a quick one, or two.

Cheers,

RW

squire
04-05-2009, 19:58
Wish I could RW, last time I was in Louisville my five year old son insisted we spend the day at the Zoo rather than tour a distillery. Next time we are there he'll be driving so I will pick the tour.

wildcatdon
04-06-2009, 09:48
Check out the Breckinridge Inn...Not too far from Bourbon's and they have a shuttle service also..Very close to expressway to get downtown if needed..

RWBadley
04-06-2009, 11:35
Wish I could RW, last time I was in Louisville my five year old son insisted we spend the day at the Zoo rather than tour a distillery. Next time we are there he'll be driving so I will pick the tour.

Time goes by fast. My son went from 16 to 23 in the blink of an eye and there's no way he'd wanna be Designated Driver- he wants in on the fun. He won't be on this trip tho ;-)

cowdery
04-08-2009, 17:43
The Urban Bourbon Trail bars are all places that are specifically targeted to visitors. Almost all of them are in hotels. This is nothing negative. I like most of them very much. But if you want a local experience, do the Bambi Walk or some percentage of it.

RWBadley
04-09-2009, 16:13
The Urban Bourbon Trail bars are all places that are specifically targeted to visitors. Almost all of them are in hotels. This is nothing negative. I like most of them very much. But if you want a local experience, do the Bambi Walk or some percentage of it.

I've been looking into this Bambi walk and have also been thinking of looking for a hotel that might be more in this area- it looks to be a bit south of downtown.

Maybe the suggestion of Breckenridge Inn would be perfect, it seems to be clean and reasonably priced, while being a little further away, it should be OK

cowdery
04-10-2009, 10:47
I've stayed at the Breckenridge Inn. It's a decent place in a nice neighborhood.

RWBadley
04-10-2009, 13:20
I've stayed at the Breckenridge Inn. It's a decent place in a nice neighborhood.

I just changed direction in hotel arrangements ;-) After looking at options I ended up reserving at the Sheraton just across the river. They have shuttle service from the airport. I kinda liked the look of being just across the river from downtown. Apparently the place has just been remodeled, is non smoking and is in pretty nice shape. Giving up the rental car for two days made the little extra cost a push... and I didn't intend to drive while in Louisville anyway other than to find the hotel... On Thursday I'll just grab the shuttle back to the airport and pick up the car to continue on to Bardstown and elsewhere.

Thanks for your help...

Cheers,
RW

barturtle
04-10-2009, 13:48
The Sheraton is a good choice for visiting downtown, as you *can* walk across the 2nd St bridge right into downtown.

RWBadley
04-10-2009, 14:04
The Sheraton is a good choice for visiting downtown, as you *can* walk across the 2nd St bridge right into downtown.

It appears to be something of a longish walk. I'm guessing I may walk across in the AM, but after the days festivities a cab back may be in order.

Around here in Reno we don't have a bridge over any river that is longer than a few hundred feet. I discovered this 2nd St bridge looks to be about a mile long, tho I wouldn't think the river section to be that big, and am hoping there is pedestrian access by stairway off of Riverside dr., that should cut the walk across by a fair amount I would guess.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited at the prospect and it appears things are shaping up nicely for the visit.

Tho I'm still looking for a partner in crime for an evening of tasting ;-)

barturtle
04-10-2009, 14:52
I'm not aware of any stairs. Consider it the way to get the best view of the city you can.

The Galt House is only 1.7 miles (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=700+W+Riverside+Dr,+Jeffersonville,+IN+47130 +%28Sheraton+Louisville+Riverside+Hotel%29&daddr=140+N+4th+St,+Louisville,+KY+40202+%28Galt+H ouse+Hotel+%26+Suites%29&geocode=FQ_uRwId35bj-iFYGwl37hxTjA%3BCS0peF_IWCDpFXzDRwIdZHbj-iGh5TbAbszbgQ&hl=en&mra=pe&mrcr=0&dirflg=w&sll=38.262243,-85.752325&sspn=0.035516,0.059395&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=15)

Once you're across the river, hitting all but Bourbon's Bistro to do the Urban Bourbon Trail and see some of the best parts of Downtown it's just a 1.5 mile stroll (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=140+N+4th+St,+Louisville,+KY+40202+%28Galt+H ouse+Hotel+%26+Suites%29&daddr=702+W+Main+St,+Louisville,+KY+40202+%28Proof +On+Main%29+to:280+W+Jefferson+St,+Louisville,+KY+ 40202+%28Blu+Italian+Mediterranean+Grille%29+to:Ma kers+Lounge+to:500+Fourth+Street,+Louisville,+KY+4 0202+%28The+Seelbach+Hilton+Louisville%29+to:Brown +Hotel&geocode=FXzDRwIdZHbj-iGh5TbAbszbgQ%3BFfLBRwIdG2Lj-iF0-NOVhswfiA%3BFSu0RwIdgnvj-iF8Exei8h7SKA%3BFaqoRwIdmHHj-iEL-NceIYV7DA%3BFQelRwId9XDj-iHrq3o2zulcuw%3BFciYRwIdlXDj-g&hl=en&mra=ls&dirflg=w&sll=38.252095,-85.758255&sspn=0.017761,0.029697&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=15). The longest distance between bars is 0.6 miles. It also takes you near to the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Muhammad Ali Museum. Ending at the Brown Hotel, it gives you a good location to grab a cab (it's not all that easy in Louisville, make sure you get your cabbies phone number, so you can call him later)

RWBadley
04-10-2009, 15:24
The longest distance between bars is 0.6 miles.

Lordy, a guy could die of thirst in that distance , I'll have to carry a flask:grin:

barturtle
04-10-2009, 16:28
Lordy, a guy could die of thirst in that distance , I'll have to carry a flask:grin:

Tell me about it, we almost had to call for an airlift when there was still a place on the Trail that was at Slugger Field, a whole mile from the rest of the places.

craigthom
04-11-2009, 17:16
I've often seen cabs queued up in front of the Brown. There's some parking for them across the street and maybe on Broadway.