View Full Version : Help me find the gold!
Hi. I'm new to the site and am hoping somebody can help me out. I'm traveling to Bardstown next week.
First, any strong recommendations for distillery tours? I'm thinking Maker's, Beam, Heavenly Hill; unless someone can point out why a trip to Frankfurt (Buffalo Trace or Four Roses?) would be worthwhile.
Second, what about special bottlings to be on the lookout for? I owe my father a belated birthday present and would like a unique souvenir (or three) for myself. I don't want to end up with something I could just get in my local liquor store, and am thinking in the $100/bottle price range. If it helps, our preferred rotation these days is Maker's Mark, Basel Hayden, and Evan Williams Single Barrel (but we are also open to trying anything.)
Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses. -Jim
Well, let's start with the tours:
Beam-well they do have that little visitors center, but no actual tours of the distillery.
HH-their actual distillery is in Louisville and they don't give tours there, but do have a nice visitors center.
Maker's-it's all kinds of pretty, that's for sure. and usually crowded.
My recommendation is Four Roses. It's actually in Lawrenceburg. It's pretty, and small and not busy so you normally get a personal tour.
As far as a special bottle...there aren't that many $100 bottles to choose from, and those are hard to come by even in KY as they are pretty well known for the most part. You may come across the Vintage Bourbon or Ryes, the older ones in that collection run about that much...but I hate to recommend the extremely aged whiskies to someone who is not accustomed to drinking whiskey of this age(though they are good, but something of an acquired taste).
Better may be to get an assortment of bottlings you can't get where you are from: these may include Four Roses Single Barrel and Small Batch, Ridgemont Reserve 1792, Very Old Barton, Very Rare Old Heaven Hill 10yo BIB, or many others you just may not find locally or may find cheaper (but not always, I've seen some things cheaper other places)
There are a ton of labels in Ky that don't make it to Tx. Too many to list. A few are: Dowlings Deluxe Bib, Virgin 101, VOB, Wathen's and the BT collection.
I would also vote for the Four Roses tour.
P.S. There is a store in Bardstown (Toddy's) that will give a discount to SB.com members.
Toddy's is a great store...good selection. Besides Four Roses, I would do the Buffalo Trace Tour. Nice folks, nice distillery and you get a sample of BT bourbon at the end of the tour.
Be sure to pick up Four Roses Single Barrel and Small Batch. These are only sold in Kentucky and New York. Pick up any others that you have never seen before or see seldom. Labrot & Graham( Woodford Reserve) and Austin Nichol's (Wild Turkey) both have pretty nice tours.
Labrot & Graham has a nice tour, but get the Four Roses Single Barrel and Small batch bourbons.
Thanks all for your feedback. We leave St. Louis tomorrow morning and plan to stop for a lunch of hot browns at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. (Never heard of them until I saw them on Bobby Flay's Throwdown - man, they look awesome!) Then we'll head down for a quick hitter in the Beam gift shop and a tour at Makers. We might head back to Louisville for dinner at Bourbons Bistro, but since we're staying in Bardstown that'd be another 80 miles round trip; we may not have the energy for that.
Anyway, thanks to your collective sage advice, we're going to go to Four Roses on Wedesday morning. Everyone seems really high on Four Roses, so I'll probably stock up on it and will look for any other single barrel and small batch offerings that I haven't seen before. We hit the road again Wednesday afternoon, but I hope we'll still find time for a few additional stops like HH, BT, and Toddy's. I'm so jazzed for this trip, and I appreciate your help! -Jim
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